Álex Cruz, CEO of Vueling, visited London last week and held a conference about he company he runs and the key points that have lead them to become one of the most popular low cost airlines in Europe. This lecture belongs to a series of conferences: “Strategy and Leadership in Spain” , a collaboration between the London School of Economics and the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain.
The conference titled “Reinventing Air Travel – Low Cost, High Service” was introduced by Paul Preston, British Historian, Hispanist and Chairman of the Catalan Observatory, LSE. Then Mr Cruz took the audience through the history of airlines, from the beginning of commercial aviation in the 50’s until the era of mass transport started back in the 80’s. “In just some years flying changed from being only for rich people to be accesible and cheap for everyone”, he pointed out.
A flight from Barcelona to Ibiza inaugurated Vueling 8 years ago, in 2004. Since then the company has become the second lowest cost airline in Europe, covering 21 routes with 59 aircraft. Mr Cruz described the values of the company as ‘sensatez y rebeldía’, which he translated as ‘reasonableness and rebelliousness’. As the young company it is, Vueling has embraced new technologies and also gained publicity in many innovative ways. Although the predictions for the next years are not good because of the economic situation, the reduced demand in some countries and the high price of fuel, the CEO of Vueling concluded the conference with some optimistic words: “The company will keep challenging itself to achieve continuous profitable growth.”
About Álex Cruz
Mr Cruz started his professional career with American Airlines first in Dallas and then in London. Afterwards, he started to develop his own consulting project with Arthur D. Little : his own aviation consulting company becoming a partner with Accenture. After gaining some experience in the consultancy field, he started and managed the growth of Clickair to 26 A320s and 58 Europe-wide routes in 2006. Finally, in 2009, he successfully merged Clickair with Vueling, one of the main and most important achivements of his career.