With the announcement today of the demise of Virgin Australia I began thinking about how grateful I am for the amount of flights that I have experienced with Virgin in Australia. Australia has a fantastic air safety record and this is not without cost and effort. To the thousands of Australians whose jobs have been effected by the announcement today that Virgin Australia is entering voluntary administration I send my sincere condolences and thank you for so many wonderful travel memories.
My husband and I found ourselves in a similar situation in 2013 following the Global Financial Crisis when the Australian Electrical retailer Retravision went into voluntary administration following a change in policy by European credit insurers. Retravision had been operating in Australia for over 50 years, was a second generation business and employed some 15,000 plus Australians.
With little warning for the many small business owners who formed the group there was no fanfare, no press and no Government assistance. The government was phoned to assist but did not even return the phone calls so in the end we had to take our bat and ball and leave the stadium, so to speak. Many employees were effected but for the business owners we had to manage our leases, stock, staff, business and personal debt and keep going and although it wasn’t easy we did it.
As a private Company that has a 5 billion dollar debt surely Virgin Australia is also subject to market rule and although its demise is shocking it points to the airlines inability to run a profitable business. Hopefully the best case scenario will be that a new airline will emerge with a new and improved business model that can be sustainable and at the same time re-employ the large and skilled workforce that was Virgin Australia.
They say behind every cloud is a silver lining and hopefully this saying proves true for the many Virgin staff as well as the many other global airlines that are suffering. Following our experience we did have to make substantial changes and it did take us nearly a decade to recover financially but at the same time we were reminded of what we did have, our health, our family, our friends and even more importantly the inner resilience to keep going when the times got tough.
Today many people will be facing the same challenges and in my experience you will survive especially if you are prepared to make some sacrifices and changes. Reach out for support if you need it – people will want to help you if you let them. It is important to take one day at a time and keep seeing the blessings that you still do have in life.
When I look at the clouds I’m often comforted by their seemingly gentle reminder that life is constantly changing and that nothing actually does stay the same. Sometimes we are at the highest of heights rising above and through the clouds and sometimes we are caught in the seemingly never ending grey. Clouds are beautiful and can give comfort if we take the time to realise that change is inevitable and that we are not without the inner strength and external support to deal with it.