Some kids are just born leaders with a clear-cut vision for their future. Alex Jacquot may only be ten years old, but he’s already got his career path all figured out.
The Australian boy has set his sights on starting his nation’s newest airline company. He’s already hired staff and is working on tough logistics like how to support a 21-hour flight from London to Australia. When he ran into snags with his plans, the resourceful young man sat down and asked for help from a rather unlikely source: the competition.
Alan Joyce is the CEO of Qantas, the oldest airline in Australia. Alex must have decided to bypass other airline staffers and seek the advice of the best in the business, so he penned a two-page letter to his idol to see what knowledge Alan might pass along.
“Dear Mr. Joyce, I’m Alex Jacquot a 10 year old boy (please take me seriously) and I want to start an airline,” Alex wrote. He went on to explain that his airline is called Oceania Express, and he’s been steadily addressing the many problems and tasks associated with starting a new business for a while. But with school holidays approaching, he wondered if Mr. Joyce would have any ideas for topics to grapple with during his extra free time.
Alex’s adorable letter continues as he asks the CEO for advice on starting an airline, and finally, how on earth are they going to tackle those extra-long flights to and from Australia? The boy signed with his official title, “CEO and Co-Founder of Oceania Express.”
Most of these sorts of letters no doubt end up in a recycling bin somewhere, yet incredibly this one made it to Alan’s desk. Once he got a good look at it, the CEO decided to respond to this budding business owner in the sweetest and most polite way imaginable. The reply, written on official Qantas letterhead and signed by the CEO himself, has now gone viral online.
The letter begins by thanking Alex for writing, along with a knowing nod at grown-ups with the line, “I had heard some rumours about another entrant in the market, so I appreciate you taking the time to write.”
Alan went on to say that while he would normally not give advice to his competitors he would make an exception for this burgeoning entrepreneur. “I too was once a boy who was so curious about flight and all of its possibilities,” Alan wrote, adding, “My number one tip for starting an airlines id to put safety front and center. And do everything you can to make travel as comfortable and affordable as possible for your passengers.”
Alan went on to say that he and his team of engineers were still working out the details of accommodating passengers for almost an entire day, but rather than brush off Alex’s questions he took his kindness one step further.
“We want to think up as many ideas as possible to make the journey more comfortable for all,” Alan continued. “For this reason, I would like to invite you to a Project Sunrise meeting between myself, as the CEO of Australia’s oldest airline, and you, as the CEO of Australia’s newest airline.”
Alex was also invited on a tour of the airline’s Operations Centre, where they “keep an eye on every Qantas flight, wherever they are in the world.”
Alex was over the moon when he received Alan’s letter. We are sure he’s counting the days until he can go visit the CEO and see how a real airline runs. We’re so glad that an important business person like Alan took the time to encourage a kid’s dream. Never forget that today’s kids are tomorrow’s future, so a small act of encouragement really goes a long way!
Please share this story to encourage Alex to keep dreaming big and reaching for the stars!
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