frontier airlines ceo

Frontier Airlines CEO: The Pandemic Made People Lazy

Speaking at Morgan Stanley Laguna Conference on September 12, Frontier Airlines CEO Barry Biffle weighed in on remote work setup popularized during the start of the pandemic. According to Biffle, the pandemic made people lazy and workers became less productive.

He clarified that “This isn’t just a Frontier thing, this is society-wide.” He added “We got lazy in COVID. I mean seriously, people are still allowing people to work from home, all this silliness, right? All that’s out the window. So we need to get people back in the office.”

Domestic airlines like Frontier struggled, as international travel demand surpassed domestic travel this year. In August, Frontier reported that revenue per passenger for the second quarter in 2023 was at $127. That’s equivalent to a 9% year-over-year decline.

He pointed out that the current overhead is one of the reasons why the airline’s profits are down. According to Biffle, “When we look at overhead versus 2019 adjusted for capacity, it’s up dramatically.” He added “Why do I have more people per plane in overhead than I had in 2019? It’s because they’re not as productive. We’re not alone in this, you hear every company out there talking about the productivity challenges. Enough! We’re going to focus on it.”

Return to the Office?

The Frontier Airlines CEO isn’t the only one who criticized remote work setup. Companies like Meta, Apple, Google, and even video-meeting company Zoom have encouraged their employees to return to the office.

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon was one of the first executives to have a negative opinion about work-from-home setup. Solomon said in 2021 “This is not ideal for us, and it’s not a new normal.” He added, “It’s an aberration that we are going to correct as quickly as possible.”

Earlier this year, Elon Musk described remote work as “morally wrong.” In an interview, he said that remote workers should “get off the goddamn moral high horse with the work from home bullshit because they’re asking everyone else to not work from home while they do.”

But then, there are CEOs like Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky who expressed support for a fully remote setup. Last year, Airbnb allowed their employees to “live and work from anywhere.”

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John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.

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