Republic Airways CEO Latest to Suffer From Foot in Mouth Syndrome
Republic Airlways CEO Bryan Bedford must have taken the same “foot in mouth” public communications class as his colleague over at Associated Bank.
“Milwaukee is not a destination market by price. I don’t care how cheap you make it, you don’t go there unless you have to,” Republic chief executive officer Bryan Bedford said at the Next Generation Equity Research Airlines Conference in New York City Dec. 9.
The comments drew laughter from the audience, but Milwaukee business and travel leaders didn’t find much humor in Bedford’s assessment.
Bedford also told analysts that Milwaukee-area travelers are willing to pay more to book a flight on Oak Creek-based Midwest Airlines, which Republic purchased in July for $31 million.
“We have 1.1 million frequent fliers in Milwaukee and they will pay a premium to fly on Midwest,” he said. “They love that cookie.” Milwaukee Biz Journal
I have to question what kind of cookies Mr. Bedford is eating if he’s claiming that there are 1.1 million frequent fliers of his airline in Milwaukee. Considering that there are about 1.5 million people in the entire metro Milwaukee area, I would doubt that 80% of them are frequent fliers of Midwest Airlines.
While he may feel it’s funny to mock a city and the people who live here, but it’s just part of the bigger reason that his airline is struggling in Milwaukee and elsewhere.