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Case Study :


JetBlue Airways: A New Beginning

What made the IROP change effort successful?
How would you have organized the change effort differently?

 Established in 1998
 Founded by CEO David Neeleman
 Headquartered in JFK, New York
 60 cities served with 190 aircrafts in service
 9th largest domestic carrier
 11,000+ crewmembers
 Low-cost airline with quality service


 “Creating Customer Value, Satisfaction, and Loyalty”

 Bringing humanity back to air travel
 Absence of flight cancellation decision
 Non-union environment
 Good working conditions


 Managing disruptions and delays calls for visibility across elaborate networks, contingency
planning and resiliency.
 "Airlines, more than most industries, have to negotiate a very complex system of operations,"
says Lucio Petroccione Jr., a former executive at Pan American World Airways and Delta Air
Lines. "You've got ground handlers, fuelers, mechanics, caterers, cleaners, gate personnel and
other operations that you're outsourcing. Building flexibility into your schedule, network and
processes can help you control things more efficiently when they don't go as planned."

Irregular Operations (IROP)

 Unforeseen events: snowstorms, inventory shortages and labor strikes,

 Restrictions on time limits of pilots by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
 Complexity involved in scheduled modification
Examples of IROP:

 Valentine’s Day Massacre - ice storm on February 14, 2007 that led to cancellation of 1,195
 August 2008 Thunderstorms - catalyst in executing better strategies in handling IROPs

Birth of IROPs integrity

 Priority cancellation of flights

 Involvement of the entire workplace
 Coordination amongst various departments.

The plan:

 Process mapping, working trends, and offsite meetings

 Improving the communication system by:
 Providing cross-departmental governance structure
 Leveraging management/processing tools
 Understanding shame findings and attachment to fears
 Removing inefficiency by identifying reasons

Specific objectives of the project

 To improve how we cancel, recover, and communicate before, during and after IROPs
 Identify talent within the organization
 Build cross-departmental relationships through cross-functional and cross-level working teams
 Build internal capability for project management and process improvement, by providing
crewmembers and crewleaders at all levels the guidance, tools and opportunity to "learn by
doing" in a collaborativem supportive, corporate sponsored program

The changes came in many forms;

 technology
 communications
 process flow
 physical layout of critical facilities (System Operations Center)
 philosophical change in system operations management

Formation of process mappingEmployee participation in decision mappingLess chaos and reduced loss in
profitsIdentification of hidden talent
JetBlue had become skilled at cancelling, recovering, and communicating before, during and after IROPs.
The project had identified talent throughout the organization, allowed crewmembers at all levels to grow,
and built cross-departmental relationships. Established a model for future process improvement.
We reccommend

 management
 social media
 scientific analysis