CEOs of companies are usually viewed as someone living in ivory towers, completely inaccessible and sometimes, not even human. Thus it was indeed very heartwarming to read this exchange of letters between a small 10-year old boy and the CEO of Australian airlines, Qantas.
The letter, scribbled in pencil, says, “I’m Alex Jacquot, a 10-year-old boy (please take me seriously) and I want to start an airline. I’m the CEO of the airline, which by the way is called Oceania Express. I have hired a CFO, a Head of IT, a Head of Maintenance, Head of On Board Services and a Head of Legal as well, along with my friend Wold (Vice-CEO) We are both co-founders. Seeing as it is the school holidays, I have more time to work. But I don’t have anything to do (that I can think of). Do you have any ideas of what I can do? Seeing as you are the CEO of QANTAS, I thought I’d ask you.”
Alex also explained that he would specifically like some advice on how to help passengers sleep on a proposed non-stop flight from Sydney or Melbourne to London.
To the student’s delight, Mr Allan Joyce, CEO of Qantas wrote back to Alex, inviting him to attend a meeting at Qantas headquarters, as well as a tour of the Operations Centre.
Joyce thanked Alex for getting in touch, and said he had "heard some rumours about another entrant in the market. Our competitors don't normally ask us for advice, but when an airline leader reached out, we couldn't ignore it. Naturally, there was only one way to respond: CEO to CEO.. He added "because I too was once a young boy who was so curious about flight and all its possibilities".
This is probably the sweetest thing we have read in the current chaotic times; all it takes sometimes is to just be kind.