Breaking Travel News Investigates: Through the Looking

Breaking Travel News Hears From Former Etihad Airways CEO and Current Metrocore Aviation Group Chairman Peter Baumgartner on the Future of the Industry

One of the most famous children’s books ever written, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” is followed by a sequel, only slightly less famous: “Through the Looking Glass.”

In it, author Lewis Carrol describes Alice’s travels after walking through a mirror into another unreal world of illogical behavior.

A kind of world, I’m afraid, we’ve all come to know too well, in a sense.

As we approach the holiday season, it is once again a time for reflection and trying to make sense of what is happening.

Let me be honest with you, that’s not easy.

Even for a perennial optimist like me, I’m positive, and that’s why.

From a business perspective, I agree with IATA: In 2021, the tide has turned.

We have passed the low point of this period of interruptions.

From a health perspective, and I would never claim to be an expert in this field, all I can do is research sources and listen to people I trust, things are looking brighter too.

It’s a fact: We are in a better position than 12 months ago, and there are a multitude of new drugs on the way, in new ways that should make it easier to reach those who need them.

Yes, I think the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter.

This is the hope that guides me, although right now, around the world, governments and businesses are once again becoming more and more cautious.

Winter won’t be easy, that’s for sure.

But we cannot function much longer in a purely defensive way.

We cannot keep thinking and acting small.

A year ago, I tried to argue in favor of seeing 2021 as a year of awakening, as a departure, a new beginning.

Looking back, it’s fair to say that, as a society, we were not successful in all of those areas.

However, I am convinced that if your business is relatively stable today, you and your teams embraced the change, listened to your customers, and bravely seized an opportunity or two.

You were agile and innovative, tough.

You saw the opportunity when others were hiding in the shelter.

If that sounds like you, I have the utmost respect for what you have accomplished.

Those who invested in an enterprise-wide approach to integrated risk management and resilience on time were in better competitive shape when the pandemic struck.

Their crisis management was simply more effective, and there was bandwidth to think outside the box and execute those antipodean opportunities.

In fact, I have seen many such role models: in the aviation industry, within the companies that I am advising, with large technology companies or small niche players alike.

There is a lot of smart behavior and everyone deserves the rewards.

So in my mind it’s clear, now is the time for everyone to break out of this pandemic mental prison once and for all.

The challenge today must be to overcome yourself.

Be brave, fearless and fearless.

And be aware, there is a difference between fearless and sloppy.

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