Much of their success is due to their outstanding reputation for on time performance. While other airlines struggle, Southwest leads the pack.
Benchmarking is a powerful tool used by Bain.
An effective set of benchmarks can quickly tell us how far away a company is from reaching parity with its competitors. The problem with benchmarks is that unless you apply common sense you can arrive at some fairly ridiculous conclusions.
I have seen this all too often in my career. On this project the client had invited a specialist aviation benchmarking firm to benchmark a few processes within the operations and provide a blueprint for improvement on some of the core processes. Bain would use these as input into their analyses.
Very quickly into the process, and much to our dismay given the tight timelines, we realized the benchmarking exercise resulted in benchmarks which were of little value. If you have flown a low cost airline you know they cut out every single frill: Basically the customer is paying a really low price in return for no extras.
Another thing low cost airlines cut out are delays.
Low-cost operators are brutal at cutting out any possible delays. The planes leave and arrive on time. A low cost airline whose planes do not move like clockwork is a bankrupt low cost airline.
The specialist aviation benchmarking firm was adamant that the client could reduce the turnaround time for all aircraft from 12 minutes to 5 minutes. The turnaround time is the time from when a plane lands to the time when it is ready to leave.
The turnaround time includes unloading baggage, cleaning the plane and, if needed, reloading baggage. The Asian hubs had an average turnaround time of 8 minutes while the US and Australian hubs were pushing 12 minutes and in some cases 14 minutes.
The business case for more than halving turnaround time was compelling.
It was a significant business case. If we could do that, the airline would no longer need to apply for additional landing rights, would not need to seek a new terminal and likely could serve more routes.
It was too good to be true. If advice cannot be implemented this way then what is the point of the client paying for it? We were all given stop-watches and told to find the best crew in each hub and conduct a DILO day-in-the-life-of study to see if this was even possible.
So we did it and the findings surprised us quite a bit and taught me the importance of applying common-sense: They were quick and able to dart between the seats and clean up everything in no time. Even so they barely managed a 6 minute turnaround. They just could not move as fast.
They were also suffering to maintain the momentum throughout the day. It was the equivalent of repeatedly running a m sprint with too short intervals to rest.
When we brought this to the attention of the specialist aviation benchmarking firm, they mentioned that the solution was to hire younger and more nimble women. Younger women with more options just would not do such work for the same salary.
This does not even begin to solve the problem of issuing employment adverts in the US which categorically discriminated against male hires or older employees.
In this concept, an employee is trained to do more than one task. This eliminates the need to hire more people, increases utilization via their usage across multiple tasks and, the ultimate prize, lowered costs.
Japanese auto manufacturers made this concept famous when they used it to fix defects and improve quality on their production lines. After exposing flaws in the turnaround time recommendations, the senior partner wanted to test this important cost reduction opportunity as well.United Airlines operates more than 3, flights a day on United®, United Express® and TedSM to more than U.S.
domestic and international destinations from its hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago and Washington, D.C. The Conversocial Airline Benchmark Report Flying forward into the future of digital care, this edition of our report looks at who's lagging and who’s exceeding expectations at social customer care in the airline industry.
Jun 03, · In an effort to reverse this, they began a process of benchmarking their activities against other airlines, assuming that by doing this, they could learn and then make the appropriate changes. Unfortunately, you can’t benchmark against others who are just as poor at it as you.
The mission of the Airline Cost Management Group (ACMG) is to share best practices on airline cost management, while providing an industry platform for effective cost benchmarking. Upon completing this course you will be able to: Benchmark effectively to deliver service improvements and achieve better performance results Explain Air Navigation Service Provision core processes of specification and design of service, delivery of service, review of service and customer service An.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — The airline sector benchmark reached a near three-year high Tuesday after a trade group more than tripled its industry-profit outlook. The NYSE Arca Airline Index.