JetBlue Airlines Company has incorporated about 13 years ago in the state of Delaware. Since its inception, the company has had its main focus to establish itself as a low-cost domestic carrier (jetblue.com). Its strategies from inception have been a combination of differentiation and low-cost strategies that to a greater extent were attributable to its initial robust growth in the first six years of its operation to become the 11th largest player in the industry (business.library.wisc.edu). The management of the airline’s vision was to offer customers a choice by combining low fares as is the case with most discount airline carriers with comfort (jetblue.com). After the turbulence brought about by the recent recession in the industry, the company re-evaluated its strategies to ensure that it survive the turmoil. Some of the key turnaround strategies that have seen the company come up so strongly as it is currently included some cost reduction tactics such as the introduction of smaller capacity carriers, raising fares and expansion into new selected markets (airfleet.net). Despite the success so far the airline has continued to enjoy, it needs some strategy moving way forward to ensure it continues to grow and perform well in an industry where competitive pressures continue to build day by day. This can be achieved if the company is able to identify key success factors and bank on building strengths them.
Key success factors
Just like in any firm in the service sector, an airline’s success is built on four pillars; customer satisfaction, people, finances and internal processes the main focus here is managing its fleet (cpewc.org). Here is a critical analysis of each of these four factors individually.
Customer satisfaction is crucial to every business regardless of whether the company deals with services or products (incentivemag.com). For JetBlue, this is crucial to ensure that it continually attracts and retains customers more than its competitors do. JetBlue’s appeal to customers comes through its low fare charges, value-added services such WIFI equipped jet aircraft, enhanced security and safety of onboard clients, and warm welcoming employees (shinesroomonline.com). Such steadfastness on customer satisfaction will ensure that customers will keep flowing in and solve the problem of flying under capacity as is currently being experienced by most airliners (schaeffersresearch.com). In effect, the company will run profitable and be cost-effective being a low-cost carrier.
As is in any business, people form the greatest asset a company can have. Personnel especially the cabin crew must be on the frontline in offering the best customer service. But to do this they must be well motivated and trained. Internal branding comes in handy with external branding (lacp.org, forbes.com).
Internal processes (fleet management)
Effective fleet management is very essential in the airline industry. Such issues as delays or malfunctioning of an aircraft can have very disastrous consequences for an airline (aabri.com, denisonconsulting.com). JetBlue through such initiatives as having smaller aircraft for short flights and larger aircraft for long-distance flights can greatly avert the issue of delays. In addition, proper maintenance and continued replenishment of the fleet can greatly enhance safety and reduce to zero any chances of malfunctioning (jamespeterson3.net).
Proper management of finances is essential to enhance profitability (michelgutsatz.typepad.com). JetBlue needs to be aware and plan carefully on the nature and number of the fleet to have, to know where and where not to have a route and the kind of aircraft to fly to where to control costs and run profitably (juneauempire.com).