In the evening on my second day there, in a plush hall in the the best hotel in town, amid the distracting aromas of an expensive dinner that lay outside, a senior executive from a top-two aircraft builder spoke to us: He has worked in the automotive industry in the past, where their creed was: The customer is king. What he demands, he should get. "Not in aerospace, though," the speaker lamented: "In the aerospace industry the customer never gets the low lead-time he needs, and never the low price. In this industry the customer is no king—he is a baby—he demands and loses and cries.” His audience were mainly his suppliers, so grim faces looked up at him.
The next speaker was from a leading international airline: “Every time the cost of fuel rises by a-dollar-a-barrel my corporation has lost forty-million dollars for the year,” he declared.
It doesn’t appear that I’ll pay less for my next ticket.