Monday, April 21, 2014

Should Air Canada fire those baggage handlers?

Air Canada, the once-bankrupt flag carrier for Canada, has recently become the darling of the stock markets.

Frankly, that's an embrace they would do well to avoid.

Anybody who has followed the up and down and down and down trajectory of big-name airlines over the past fifty years knows that whenever a big carrier is having a golden moment in the stock markets, it's time to go short.

The big airplane manufacturers are so hard up for clients that they offer financing deals that make the "zero percent financing" of the big car companies look predatory by comparison. All you need to score 100% financing at 0% interest from Boeing or Bombardier is some vague bullshit business plan that promises them you might need a few of their planes five or ten years down the road.

And of course you need two or three right now just to get the ball rolling.


No money down and no payments till 2020!

Honestly, it's easier to start an airline than to start a retail clothing shop in your local mall.

The proof of this is the regular cycle of airline bankruptcies.

Eventually they have to pay some bills and they can't...

They declare bankruptcy and start over under a new name a month later.

Because all those heavily subsidized aircraft manufacturers have tons of product to sell...

But back to those Air Canada baggage handlers. Should they be fired?

Air Canada management, like everyone else, knows that they have achieved their "success" by grinding down the wages of everyone from pilots to flight attendants to baggage handlers.

It's become a never-ending race to an ever-receding bottom. If a few workers take some short-cuts to make their jobs do-able, well, that's life in the age of efficiency. I'm sure that if some alert passenger hadn't made a video of this incident, Air Canada wouldn't give it a second thought.

But, thanks to that video, they now need to feign concern for customers.

They should not be fired, but they will be.

After all, Air Canada's share price is on a roll, and we can't afford to jeopardize that.

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