Airplane relationship goals text

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airplane relationship goals text

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There are other reasons to be concerned that a period of sustained health for the airlines could be coming to an end. Weeks later the U. The top four airlines now fly three-fourths of all the seats offered in the U. Though price wars frequently erupt, it appears to many that the airlines are not competing as hard as they would if more big carriers were battling for passengers on the same routes. The first is a great one-time opportunity: More on that breakthrough later.

The second is the campaign to attract business customers. That will indeed add more flights and seats on long-haul routes, but Southwest is also trimming unprofitable flights, so its total capacity will increase only modestly.

For the six-month period ending June 30,Southwest posted an operating margin of That sounds great on the surface. The rub is revenues. Almost its entire plane fleet consists of Boeing s in two varieties, the and the newer The single-aisle models are close to identical, except that the newer model contains more seats than the — vs.

Using one plane produces big savings in pilot training and maintenance. The company also gets more work out of each plane than other major airlines.

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  • Southwest Airlines Field Techs

Southwest also has a history of skillfully hedging its exposure to swings in the price of jet fuel, a Kelly specialty. But when prices plateaued at high levels, Kelly—figuring they had pretty much peaked—sharply reduced purchases in the futures market. So when prices began to plummet last year, Southwest took only minor losses on hedges and pocketed most of the cost savings. Big smiles are wonderful but maybe not enough.

Meanwhile the network carriers are closing the profitability gap. In the past Southwest typically enjoyed a seven-percentage-point advantage in operating margins on its domestic business.

But in recent years, according to a study by Barclays, that edge had shrunk to about two percentage points. The central issue for Southwest is how to adapt its basic product—whether it can provide the upscale perks that will lure business passengers from, say, Delta or American and not alienate its loyal customers. In the past several years Southwest has invaded half-a-dozen major airports it had previously shunned, including Reagan National near Washington, D.

To fill more seats, Southwest is also echoing the majors by offering far more connecting flights through such hubs as Midway in Chicago and BWI outside Baltimore. In general, the longer the flight, the greater the competition. Southwest purchased AirTran in to gain a foothold in that crucial market. AirTran used Atlanta as its hub, connecting passengers to dozens of small cities. So far, however, Delta is winning the contest. And the picture is similar for service to Phoenix, Houston, and Los Angeles.

With this goal in their sights, the Field Techs put their collective experience to solving the issue. The question crystallized their goal and set into motion a series of initiatives that prioritized performance toward that goal.

Southwest Airlines Field Tech Business Practice Case Study | Deloitte Insights

To do so, the group had to focus on events across two time horizons, tracking immediate delay indicators while observing long-term trajectory, tuning efforts on both scales simultaneously.

To succeed in these goals, the workgroup first had to figure out what data to track that could be a relevant indicator of the problem. They had a lot of data to work within the aircraft health monitoring system, but no single metric had proven to be a reliable leading indicator of this type of failure.

They had to take all of the raw data points, each meaningless on its own, and combine them in different ways until they could see what was different when the failure occurred. Once they identified these exceptions to the norm, they could build a flag around it to trigger an alert.

airplane relationship goals text

With the flag in place, the number-one delay driver occurred less and less often—and gave up its chart-topping position. Still, Field Tech continued to refine its system, creating new flags and revising existing ones while watching the impact on the delay list. In the end, members identified 14 flags for all of the components that contributed to that issue.

airplane relationship goals text

Now the workgroup has turned its focus to the new number-one delay driver, with a goal of driving that out of the top 10 as well. Part of reducing delay drivers requires enabling the maintenance crews to address issues before aircraft go on alert.

As members pick up new skills, they share those capabilities and lessons learned with other members and, in parallel, the line maintenance crews. After that, line maintenance personnel are given as many opportunities as possible to develop and show hands-on mastery, with a more experienced Field Tech group member watching over them.

Eventually, the crew members are expected to teach others recently learned skills.

Southwest bets big on business travelers

In each of these types of learning encounters, the Field Tech group members involved are comparing notes, sharing observations, and possibly tinkering with how the task is completed or the problem is solved. Members value what they see as an opportunity to learn and gain experience faster: And the issues it faces are so varied that members consider it important for the group to include mechanics with a wide variety of expertise, experience, and approaches.

Workgroup members vary in working styles, personality, professional background some are former military; others have worked for other airlines in varying capacitiesand more. So what do they look for?

airplane relationship goals text

Hard work, creativity, stubbornness. A love of challenges. A commitment to getting the job done, by any means necessary. In addition to staffing for passion and growth mind-set, Field Tech looks for existing employees known by their peers as people who can get it done no matter how challenging or complex the issue—those with a real passion for fixing airplanes, who also embraced a team-first mentality.

In short, members have tried to create a rock-star workgroup versus a group of all-stars. However, at the end of the day, shared goals and a focus on outcomes mean that everyone should be aligned around bringing aircraft back into service. Eliminate unproductive friction Not only is each technician unique, so is each node; the workplace culture at each reflects the culture of its region.

Love At First Flight: North Texas woman live tweets love connection on non-stop flight!

A lot of thought is given to matching group member and location. Some airports are very hierarchical, with line mechanics serving strictly executional roles. At such nodes, Field Techs need to carefully structure tasks assigned to line mechanics. Regardless of the location, the Field Tech group tends to hire new members from within—not just within Southwest but within the line maintenance crew at a specific airport. A mechanic from Chicago, for example, would be unlikely to be moved to Dallas.

In the world of aircraft maintenance, relationships are paramount; you have to trust the person working next to you. Field Tech tends to promote people who have built up trusted relationships at a given airport. Going from line mechanic to Field Tech is also a major promotion with a monumental increase in responsibilities, so how the workgroup and the airline support new members is important. Working directly on an aircraft, with a specific and shared goal of fixing the problem, focuses the members on what is important and downplays any unproductive interpersonal conflict.

By the time the two emerge, having fixed the underlying flap asymmetry, the shared experience of working together as a we, not a me to get a plane back in service can create a deeper relationship and trust between them.

airplane relationship goals text

In addition, the workgroup often hires technicians in pairs—perhaps a main hire and a trusted partner who can fill out the necessary skill sets and already knows what makes the other tick.

This practice can help avoid tensions by ensuring the workgroup is bringing on established trust-based relationships along with specific skills.