Lawyers of the Pobeda low-cost airline controlled by Aeroflot went to court with an unprecedented lawsuit against the world's largest consulting company Boston Consulting Group (Boston Consulting Group, BCG is among the big three management consulting along with McKinsey and Bain & Company). Commenting on the conflict, the company noted that the changes in the development strategy of Aeroflot proposed by BCG to Victory are not applicable in principle. What foreign experts did not suit the domestic carrier?
Last year, the Boston Consulting Group won the Aeroflot tender (owns 100% of Victory) to develop the company's business strategy until 2023. The contract was concluded in the amount of 58 million rubles. By the way, “Victory” to this day, as it turned out, uses a business strategy developed for the Dobrolet air carrier, which in 2014 was forced to leave the market due to EU sanctions. The need to update it is long overdue.
Aeroflot, not without the help of BCG, has been tasked to transport 100 million passengers by 2023. The role of the key driver of growth is assigned to the low-cost “Victory”. It is estimated that by 2023 the low-cost airline will carry 25-30 million passengers annually. Until 2026, Aeroflot plans to put 200 Russian Superjet-100 and MS-21 aircraft on the wing.
The head of Aeroflot, Vitaly Savelyev, with fanfare presented the document in the Kremlin. "Our version" has already written about the ambiguity of these ambitious plans, if only because of problems with the flight crew. Now they declare this in the “Victory” discounter, but the reasons are different.
According to the management of Pobeda, the strategy does not analyze the cost of launching new services, the increase in the fleet is not justified, etc. The carrier’s lawyers asked the court to terminate the contract because the contractor’s work does not represent any value for Pobeda.
Recall, the general director of "Victory" is the notorious Andrei Kalmykov. A top manager had previously held the posts of the head of Dobrolet and the deputy head of Aeroflot, with a rather distant relationship to the aviation industry. Andrey Kalmykov came to Aeroflot in 2010 from the travel industry, was the founder of the company-tour operator Sunrise Tour Group.
The very director of Aeroflot, Vitaly Savelyev, in communicating with his subordinates, is said to be not particularly shy, and demands the same rigidity from all top managers. Before transferring to the chair of the head of the low-cost airline, Andrei Kalmykov worked with the right hand of Savelyev as deputy for commerce and production.
Andrei Kalmykov often goes ahead, moreover, according to one of the employees, “he is greedy in a good way, he likes to save on everything that is good for the low-cost airline”. Saveliev seems to like it. And even more like the fact that Kalmykov earns a lot of money from “Victory”.
Airline "Victory" began work at the end of 2014. At the end of 2015, as Vedomosti wrote, she received a net profit of 27 million rubles. instead of the expected loss of 1.5 billion rubles. In 2016, the low-cost airline’s net profit has already reached a record 3 billion rubles. “This is more than we expected,” Vitaly Saveliev, the general director of Aeroflot, proudly emphasized.
But at what cost does Victory manage to make a profit? For the fourth year, Victory has been one of the most scandalous Russian airlines: disputes and conflicts constantly arise between passengers and employees of the low-cost airline associated with carrying carry-on baggage, accommodation in the cabin, availability of various services and options. People often feel constantly guilty and humiliated without guilt.
Opportunity not visible
Victory General Director Andrei Kalmykov flies a couple of times a month on his own low-cost flight as a flight attendant in search of ideas for optimizing work. Many innovations just appeared after his flights: for example, to sew up the seat pockets (collecting the things left by passengers took a lot of time), sticking safety instructions to the backs of the seats (passengers allegedly often take them with them). One gets the impression that Kalmykov is always looking for where else to cut the fat.
“Victory” charges an additional fee for a number of services that competitors provide for free, for example, for transportation in the salon of purchases of duty-free The airline is not possible to order hot meals on board, even for an additional fee. Tea and coffee are not poured to passengers, you can only ask for some water (I want to believe not from the tap), which is also Kalmykov's know-how.
Here is a quote from Andrei Kalmykov from one interview: “The longest flight we have today is Makhachkala - Surgut: it takes just over 4 hours. On this flight, of course, you need to serve and drinks, and meals. But, unfortunately, we see no possibility yet. ”
In contrast to the classic low-cost airlines, Pobeda prefers to earn on baggage fees and to stimulate the sale of choice of seats due to the “separation of passengers in the cabin."
Andrei Kalmykov: “... We use a similar system that is used by the world's main low-cost companies, this is Navitaire. She allocates seats in the cabin of the aircraft in accordance with the algorithm laid down in her ... But if it is very important for passengers, as you say, to fly with your wife together, 149 rubles is not the amount due to which, I believe, you have to endure inconvenience and rely on chance ... ".
"Victory" was the first airline in Russia, which is particularly tough with smokers on board, emphasizes its CEO Andrei Kalmykov. For example, on June 19, 2018, the Mineralovodsky City Court of the Stavropol Territory fully satisfied the “Victory” claim of 218.4 thousand rubles to the violator, through whose fault the crew of the DP855 flight on the Moscow-Gyumri route made an emergency landing in Mineralnye Vody. The Leninsky District Court of Makhachkala did the same for the smoker, because of which the flight DP188 of the route Makhachkala-Moscow made an emergency landing in Volgograd on August 15, 2017. In this case, the amount of recovery amounted to almost 258.7 thousand rubles. Great perk. Is such a serious danger posed by unlucky lovers to smoke in the toilet, because of them to urgently put planes and charge fabulous fines in the amount of airport charges for a forced landing?
I remember that in 2015, Victory forbade its passengers to even chew gum on board. Andrei Kalmykov estimated the damage from a chewing gum stuck in a toilet at 100 thousand rubles. Interestingly, well, probably earned by the airline cleaners?
So maybe foreign specialists from BCG, who were developing Aeroflot’s development strategy (including for Victory), turned out to be insufficiently cynical towards passengers, as it was practiced by the “greedy” low-cost airline in the past? Now will answer in court.
Generosity for their
There is at least one unpleasant episode in the business biography of Andrei Kalmykov. In 2013, he was suspended from his duties as deputy director of Aeroflot because of a criminal case under art. 201 ("Abuse of Authority"). Law enforcement authorities suspected Kalmykov of providing benefits to travel companies owned by his relatives. The reason for this was the materials sent to the Investigative Committee of the Office "T" of the FSB of the Russian Federation. The case featured an amount of 78 million rubles, which the state did not receive in 2011 on the deal from the sale of Aeroflot packages of tickets to the tourist holding Sunrise Tour, as we remember, founded by Andrei Kalmykov himself.