A large portion of our business is planning. Planning production, container movement, minding Chinese New Year and the consumption rate of that many airlines require time and knowledge. Normally we transport our product via ocean containers as this is much more economical compared to air transport.
If not, would your organization be willing to discuss the potential for a reciprocal agreement?
We are always open to see any options there might be. Opportunities and advantages we might gain from listening and talking to other parties. Especially if / when we come to business, it might be beneficial to work with your own network. Let’s see how we can work this out. If it can work and there are advantages, we can proceed.
For commercial travel: For us this is a delicate question. Reason for that is that we do not want to make promises we cannot keep in case we sign up for a deal for commercial travel. How and who we fly with depends on the network/available flights at that given moment. Here at Sola we fly around the world a lot, and then I mean really a lot. We want to go from A to B in the best way possible. Longer distance we are allowed to fly Business Class. And you know that when I am in the US for visits and/or trade shows I fly First Class. I am 6 foot 7 and I simply do not fit in a regular seat. Short visits to London are only a 45-minute flight I can book Economy at the emergency exit.
We are not on a budget. This is useless for us. If I need to go from Atlanta to Dallas, I will book a direct flight of 2 hours. And if that is Delta, United or AA, that is for me in terms time spent a choice. I come to the US probably 2 or 3 times per year and fly around for one or two weeks. And in many cases I choose Delta. As long as I can sit comfortably, work and fly at the same time, and my bags are there – I am more than happy.
The delicate part comes from past experiences. I had to go to a meeting on Iceland, and I happened to be in the U.K. the day before. Icelandair did not fly from that location, so I booked with another airline. This lady was really furious when she heard I had not taken an Icelandair flight. So, I prefer not to have preferred airlines, or at least not mention this during meetings.
But now that you mentioned this, and if we come to business, and something needs to be discussed in person in Atlanta, and there is a Delta program that can make the travel easier/quicker, we can discuss the options. But again – I do not want to make promises I might not be able to keep.