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Learning From History – Simple Steps Can Help Cut Costs

The current precipitous state of the airport concessions business caused by the recent downturn of the economy is very similar to the economic impact the Sept. 11 terrorist attack had on the airport concession world.

In many ways, history is repeating itself as it relates to passenger traffic, enplanements and top-line revenue. To that end, I thought it might be interesting and helpful to relate what we did in the fourth quarter of 2001 and the first and second quarters of 2002 to mitigate those onerous times.   

On Sept. 11, 2001, my wife, Patricia, and I were in Montreal, Canada, attending the ACI World Conference when the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center occurred. As you may recall, for several dark days thereafter, all aviation air traffic in North America came to a screeching halt. After being stranded in Montreal for two days, we finally talked Avis into giving us a rental car and drove back to our corporate headquarters at Ronald Reagan Washington National (DCA).  During that 14-hour drive, we crafted the crisis management plan which ultimately saved Anton Airfood and most certainly made us a much better and stronger company.

The plan was based on the obvious premise: that we couldn’t control passenger traffic or enplanements (which is also true in today’s environment); instead, we focused on those things on which we could have an immediate impact: management, budgets, labor/payroll costs, and cost of goods, waste, and theft.

Read the entire story in the upcoming Mayl issue of Airport Revenue News.
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