On today's edition of News That Will Make Your Heart Smile, we'd like to share the story of how Alan Joyce, the CEO of Australian airline Qantas, made one little boy's heart soar.
Alex Jacquot is a 10-year-old boy, wrote to Joyce to ask for advice on operating his "airline,"Oceania Express."
"I have already started some stuff like what types of planes I'll need, flight numbers, catering and more," Jacquot wrote in part.
He added that and he chose to name himself and his co-founder CEOs. Additionally, he sought advice on hiring a chief financial officer, head of maintenance, head of onboard services and head of legal.
He also asked the CEO for advice on how to ensure that passengers sleep comfortably on a 25-hour flight from Sydney to London.
"Seeing as it is the school holidays, I have more time to work," he wrote. "But I don't have anything to do (that I can think of). Do you have any ideas of what I can do?"
Jacquot received a swift response from Joyce himself, which Qantas shared to its official Twitter account.
"Our competitors don't normally ask us for advice, but when an airline leader reached out, we couldn't ignore it," the company wrote. "Naturally, there was only one way to respond: CEO to CEO."
Our competitors don't normally ask us for advice, but when an airline leader reached out, we couldn't ignore it. Na… https://t.co/Q8TTULi8Bu— Qantas (@Qantas) 1552269546.0
In his own letter, Joyce wrote that he doesn't typically provide advice to his competitors, but that he remembers when he "too was a young boy who was so curious about flight and all its possibilities."
"My number one tip for starting an airlines id to put safety front and center," Joyce wrote. "And do everything you can to make travel as comfortable and affordable as possible for your passengers."
He then invited Jacqout to a private meeting to "compare notes on what it's like to run an airline."
"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," Joyce replied. "And I'd like to offer you a tour of our Operations Centre (where we keep an eye on every Qantas flight, wherever they are in the world."
The letters soon went viral and Qantas earned significant praise for taking a young boy and his dream of flying seriously.
Corporate Australia taking our young people seriously! I love it! Investing in the future....Can't wait to book a t… https://t.co/6ORfbqj9li— Jane Artup (@Jane Artup) 1552276373.0
@Qantas As a former Qantas employee, I could not be more proud than I am right now to be affiliated with a company… https://t.co/ffv9v8i6Rh— ⚓Heather Forrester⚓ (@⚓Heather Forrester⚓) 1552271162.0
Hats off to Alan Joyce & @Qantas What an opportunity for Alex and all those Oceania Airline employees. I hope we se… https://t.co/VA2hhopvqI— Justin Hill (@Justin Hill) 1552273696.0
This is how business persons should respond to young fans. And if you haven't flown Qantas, you're missing out o… https://t.co/bLZYX6Neni— Vic.castillo23 (@Vic.castillo23) 1552274844.0
@Qantas Seeing it posted on social media does make this more of a marketing exercise, but can’t fault it if the end… https://t.co/JBtkWcLyKG— Jason Bowman (@Jason Bowman) 1552273636.0
Investment professional Paola Rojas summed things up rather well:
This just melted my heart 😍Dreams have to be encouraged! Kudos to @Qantas for this, it's pure gold. You don't get f… https://t.co/nmlOEkurhA— Paola Rojas (@Paola Rojas) 1552271857.0
...you have no experience, you are too young/old, etc. The force is strong in this one... And his parents are surel… https://t.co/zLu2FBSj7v— Paola Rojas (@Paola Rojas) 1552271857.0
I remember when I was a kid and I dreamed of Australia and being an entrepreneur. I "hired" my younger brother and… https://t.co/i67B6zo1MR— Paola Rojas (@Paola Rojas) 1552271858.0
Jacquot, as you can imagine, was ecstatic, telling Brisbane-based radio station 4BC:
"I ripped open the envelope and I quickly read it and I was so excited, I was running around the house for ten minutes. I can't believe it."
We want to know how that meeting goes! Fly high, little one.