It's not unusual for companies to be inundated with messages from people looking for answers — what is rare, however, is for a CEO to personally respond to one. Yet one 10-year-old schoolboy appears to have succeeded, grabbing the attention of the boss behind one of Australia's largest airlines.
Alex Jacquot recently penned a letter to Qantas, the largest domestic and international air carrier in Australia, to ask CEO Alan Joyce, what advice he'd give to get an airline company off the ground.
Jacquot appealed to the CEO to "please take me seriously," when asking Joyce on what it takes to be a CEO and on advancing a business.
"I have already started some stuff like what type of planes I'll need, flight numbers, catering and more," Jacquot said in a letter that's gone viral since being Monday.
Describing himself as the co-founder and CEO of prospective airline "Oceania Express," Jacquot claimed in the letter that he had already hired several members of staff, including a chief financial officer, a head of maintenance, and head of legal.
Now, he was looking for what to do next, asking Qantas for general tips on launching an airline, along with queries such as concerns surrounding sleep on flights that have a duration of over 20 hours.
"Seeing as it is the school holidays, I have more time to work. But I don't have anything to do (that I can think of). Do you have any ideas of what I can do? Seeing as you are the CEO of Qantas, I thought I'd ask you," Jacquot said.
Of course, the handwritten letter found itself in the hands of the airline's boss.
In a letter dated mid-February, the CEO of Qantas responded to Jacquot, saying that while he wasn't typically in "the business of giving advice to my competitors," he'd make an exception, stating that he too "was once a young boy who was so curious about flight and all its possibilities."
In terms of the CEO's top tips, Joyce said that the main priority was putting safety at the top of the agenda, along with making "travel as comfortable and affordable as possible" for passengers.
Qantas admitted that it too, was brainstorming over the topic of sleep and long-duration flights, explaining how it was working on a program called "Project Sunrise," which looks to fly passengers non-stop from Australia to the likes of London.
As the company is still deliberating on how to accommodate these long-haul flights, Joyce said he'd like to invite the 10-year-old to a Project Sunrise meeting, so that the two CEOs could "compare notes." In addition, Joyce offered Jacquot a tour of Qantas' operations center, and said that he'd be in touch to finalize details of the CEO-to-CEO meeting.
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