Boardroom briefing: the end of long-haul budget airlines? long live ecommerce and winning the battle of working at home


Cheap long-haul flights in trouble, growth of ecommerce, and the battle of remote working. Readings from around the world on business, leadership and management.

Will COVID-19 be the death of cheap, long haul flights?

Credit: AirAsia/Instagram

Businesses and individuals, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, have seen the huge growth of long-haul budget airlines in recent years but, with low margins before the pandemic, will any be able to make it post-COVID?

Channel News Asia takes a look at the viability of the long-haul cheap flights that have helped to drive the cost of business travel down, and tourism up, in the region.

Thailand’s NokScoot was one of the first casualties. A joint venture between Nok and Singapore Airlines’ low-cost subsidiary Scoot, NokScoot was operating seven Boeing 777 aircraft to North Asia and India prior to COVID-19. It has now gone into liquidation.

A host of other operators are in trouble, with all eyes on AirAsia X, one of the pioneers of cheap long-haul travel after a recent announcement suggesting it would not get any help for its parent AirAsia. The ability to move around the region easily and cheaply may have been taken for granted; the impacts of losing low-cost, long-haul carriers could be felt for years to come.

Ecommerce the big winner in COVID times

The coronavirus has seen demand rise for cleaning products, and it has been the businesses that can pivot quickly to easy, online delivery that are reaping the rewards globally.

With BSP launching its BSP Pay system in PNG, learning to take advantage of online payments is certainly an area of growth. Forbes Business As Unusual series talks to Angela Richardson, CEO of PUR Home Online Cleaning Products in the US, about what she has learned during the pandemic.

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‘Make sure that your supply chain is intact. Always have different suppliers that you can get [supplies] from,’ she says. ‘Another effective thing that a small business owner can do is to try to connect. You have to have effective messaging and customer service, because people just want to connect – they want to know who they’re buying their stuff from.’

Even with ecommerce, relationships are the basis of good business.

Tips to win the battle of working from home

working from h

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A lot of column inches have been devoted to how flexible and revolutionary working from home is, but for workers who are also locked down with an entire family and homeschooling, distraction is a big issue.

Entrepreneur has a regular check in from an ex-US Navy SEAL to offer some advice on surviving the pressure of working from home.

In the latest offering, author Alden Mills talks about managing your tasks.

‘I call the strategy for dealing with this: manage the moment, NOT the mountain,’ Mills says. ‘When dealing with uncertainty, we must manage for the moment. If we let our minds focus on the mountain, we can quickly get overwhelmed, which is not helpful in making decisions, much less trying to be productive.’

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