That is what Dave Neeleman set off to create with the inception of JetBlue in 1999. JetBlue is a bright, young startup airline. Why has JetBlue succeeded where most have failed? Is Dave's strategy as simple as bringing "humanity back to air travel"?
The billion dollar question is: can JetBlue really stand out in an industry known for its negligible if not absent profitability (over the life of the industry), an industry fret with failure and infamously known for its horrendous labor-management relations?
The Airline Industry is a fascinating market. It has been one of the few industries to reach astounding milestones. For example, over 200 airlines have gone out of business since deregulation occurred in 1978. Currently, more than 50% of the airlines in the industry are operating under Chapter 11 regulations. Since 9/11, four of the six large carriers have filed for and are currently under bankruptcy court protection. Since 9/11 the industry has lost over $30 billion dollars, and this loss continues to increase. Despite the fact that the airline industry is in a state of despair, JetBlue has become the golden example, a glimpse of what the industry could be.
In 1978, deregulation removed government control over fares and domestic routes. A slew of new entrants entered the market, but within 10 years, all but one airline (America West), had failed and ceased to exist. With long-term growth estimates of 4 percent for air travel, it's attractive for new firms to service the demand. It was as simple as having enough capital to lease a plane and passengers willing to pay for a seat on the plane. In recent news, the story about an 18-yr British...
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...s created and focused on a JetBlue model that combines the best within the industry. In an industry that is highly competitive in every process and system, HR is one of the few ways to differentiate a player. Key issues include non-union environment and customized employment packages. They differ greatly from the current firms that are overly regulated and overtly mismanaged. Many companies are plagued with huge pensions, and the inability to motivate their staff. Tensions among employees do not bode well for long-term viability for many of these firms. JetBlue's sources of competitive advantage are it's the alignment of its people, systems and culture. Although JetBlue's strategy is one of a low-cost structure, JetBlue's strength is the dedicated and passionate workforce working with the values set forth by the company: safety, caring, integrity, fun and passion.
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