In the cutthroat world of aviation, it’s rare to help a competitor. But last month, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce made one very endearing exception.
While on his school break, 10-year-old Australian Alex Jacquot wrote a letter to Joyce asking for advice on how to launch his own airline. Jacquot was aware that his note might get passed over. “Please take me seriously,” he wrote in the letter.
Jacquot is wasting no time and is investing much energy into the launch of his airline, Oceania Express. In his letter to Joyce, he (and his friend, a co-founder named Wolf) wrote that he had already hired several key positions at the company, including chief financial officer, head of IT, and head of maintenance.
Jacquot went on to ask for help and advice on a potential new route, a 25-hour flight from Sydney to London. Oceania Express is very concerned about how to help its passengers get a good night’s sleep on a flight of this length. He signed the letter, “Alex Jacquot, CEO and co-founder of Oceania Express.”
In a tweet, Qantas shared Joyce’s response. “I had heard some rumors of another entrant in the market, so I appreciate you taking the time to write,” Joyce wrote in his letter. As far as standard airline advice, Joyce told Jacquot to “put safety front and center.”
At the end of the letter, Joyce invited Jacquot to Qantas headquarters to brainstorm future ideas, “compare notes,” and tour the Operations Center.
Upon receiving Joyce’s response, Jacquot told an Australian radio station that he was “running around the house for 10 minutes. I can’t believe it.”