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Friday, June 28, 2013

GoAir think tank gone nuts

A humorous piece of news in papers today that says GoAir has decided to recruit only airhostesses from now on instead of the 'heavier' male flight pursers. The idea is to lighten the aircraft to reduce fuel burn because of increased operating costs. I find this idea absurd , unimaginative and too shortsighted and in the post below I will present my case why I consider it so.

Female Air Hostesses rule over male pursers in India
Female Air Hostesses rule over male pursers

As per the article here is the logic presented for making such a business case.

“Go Air currently has 330 cabin crew members, 40% of whom are males. Every additional kg on board costs Rs 3 per flight hour. With an airhostess weighing about 15-20kg less than a male flight purser, Go expects to save about Rs 2.5 crore to Rs 3 crore annually. We are reducing the weight on board our aircraft. The size of inflight magazines has been reduced. The potable water tanks are no longer being filled to capacity as only 35% to 40% of that water is actually used. Now the water tanks are filled 60%.

Before I comment on this cost cutting activity let me list out some data points on GoAir that I will use to support my argument against this logic of choosing male pursers over female air hostesses.

  • The airline currently operates across 21 destinations, 156 daily flights and approximately 1060 weekly flights. Reference - 
  • GoAir has a fleet size of 15 aircrafts all A320 -200 that have a maximum capacity of 180 passengers.
  • The Wadia Group-owned airline made a net loss of R133.72 crore in FY 2011-12.

Here is my argument:

1060 flights / week will translate to 55120 flights /year and the total number of male pursers in GoAir is 132 out of a total of 330 cabin crew.  If the staff is evenly distributed on all flights and their rest hours are same, all the male pursers combined will take 22048 flights. If one individual adds 15-20 kgs extra, net additional weight will be 385840 Kgs (taking average weight of 17.5 Kg). With Rs 3 as the incremental cost for every additional 1 kg of weight the total amount will be 1,157,520 (Eleven Lakhs Fifty Seven Thousand Five Hundred and Twenty only).  Where did the figure of 2.5 – 3 Cr Annual Savings come from?? 

With a net loss figure running into 100+ crore you are doing a full fledged research to contain few lakhs (notional) that will seemingly accrue from meaningless measures like these ??

GoAir great minds answer some of my questions here:

  • At what occupancy % has the premise been made?
  • What is the average weight of passengers on board?
  • What is the mix of passengers i.e. men, women and children and is it same for all the sectors?
  •  Which all GoAir counters in airports weigh the passengers before boarding?? If that is not done how the total flight weight is calculated?
  • When the flights are not running to the full capacity what is the threshold point where any incremental weight does not affect the flying cost?

Dear GoAir !! 

With a market share of 7-8% in the Indian domestic market, that flies handles 70 Million (2011) passengers annually (Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation & Indian DGCA) I can safely say that you don’t fly more than 5-6 million passengers in a year. If I do the mathematics right your average occupancy/ flight will not exceed 100 odd passengers (Airbus A320-200 has a seating capacity of 180 pax). With this level of occupancy I don’t think even an overweight 100 Kg male purser can make any difference. Even if they can, the figure is too minuscule and absurd to be even thought off as a cost cutting measure. If your think tank has enough time to invest in such measures such as replacing the male pursers I will be give you more such distractions. Do some research on absurd statistics like the average height of female air hostesses, their arm length, their reach to the overhead bins, their strength to lift and arrange heavy hand bags and their efficiency to deal with odd passengers? My bet is you will again come up with some ridiculous observations and put that as a cost cutting measure. If the management gives you enough bandwidth to do such researches no wonder your market share is the lowest in the market.

Till today I thought, increasing fuel prices, intense competition , lower fares, weakness of the rupee were your prime concerns to run a profitable business, but I never knew you weigh your cabin crew to take business decisions.



Anonymous said...

That's very humorous and interesting post..Really loved the way you had taken up the point with GoAir

Viveksheel said...

I am sure recession and a bad year has given them enough time to spend on cost cutting measures like these. I find it funny and stupid.

Tomichan Matheikal said...

Dnt worry GoAir will have a second thought soon.

Viveksheel said...

I am sure they will come with another 'out of box' idea. If there is no business at least enthrall the crowd with some logic defying ideas :):)