JetBlue is an American passenger airline founded in 1999. The airline serves 22 of the states in the United States of America and extends its services to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The airline has its headquarters in New York. With more than 130 operational aircraft, the airline makes more than 700 point-to-point daily flights to more than 70 destinations. The airline's success is mainly a result of efficient management of the experienced directors and executive. The founder of the corporation was also a cofounder of Morris Air, the first ticket-free airline, which was later sold to South West airlines. He then founded Open Sky and introduced the concept of the Internet booking of air travel. With such a history of air travel, he founded JetBlue, originally New Air, as a discount airfare travel, aiming at providing quality of service to the customers.
In less than ten years, JetBlue Airline was able to conquer the airline business and rank high among the domestic air travel providers in the United States. The success of the company is attributable to the management of the company and the innovativeness with which the company approached the business. They have survived over the years, providing discounted air travel and improved services to the customers. This has ensured that the airline remains competitive and a major threat to other airlines that have been in the skies for longer.
Mission, Vision and Stakeholders Impact
The mission of the establishment of the airline was stated as to establish a leading low-fare carrier in the US. The vision for the establishment was to ensure steady growth of an airline that would bring the humanity back to air travel. The company has an objective to establish itself in the business and, thus, grow enough to maintain its success, yet remain focused on its values of safety, caring, integrity, passion, and fun.
The mission, vision and goals statement have helped the company to realize its success in a short time span. These statements were developed after a serious and detailed study of the business environment with the founders' history and experience helping. The experience that each of them had in the air travel helped identify what was lacking in the business and moved to provide exactly what the customers were missing. With these strategies, the airline has stated something that is not found in other airlines, namely the customers' bill of rights. This makes it a unique option for many of the passengers, and with such a customer-centered approach, the airline has been able to keep up the competition in the air travel industry and come out successful.
The company stakeholders have also played a vital part in ensuring that the airline succeeded in the business. The internal stakeholders comprise of the director and founder, and three executive vice presidents. All of them have a history in the air travel industry, and this is the expertise that they brought to the company has ensured its success over the years. The board of directors also helps the management with crucial decision-making and representation of the investors and shareholders.
In 2002, JetBlue entered the stock market with a three for two split in the shares this represented 63 million shares that were traded to the public. This increased the customers' feeling of ownership of the company, and this not only helped in increasing the income, but also helped in widening the client base. The company has maintained an upward economic trend since this entry due to its culture and the collective efforts of the internal and external stakeholders.
Forces of Competition Impacting on JetBlue
Competition is expected in any form of business. In the airline business, the main forces of competition are: competitive rivalry, customers bargaining power, suppliers bargaining power, new market entrants and substitute products. Competitive rivalry refers to the existence of two or more companies providing the same kind of service or products. In the airline industry, competition is on customers or passengers. The competition facing JetBlue Airline comes from other airlines in the US, which compete for the passengers. This is what the management and the founders of JetBlue had identified and chose to provide a cheap, yet comfortable way of travel. This has helped the company maintain its competitiveness and retain its customers (Peterson, 2006).
The bargaining power of the customers is another force of competition. There is little clients bargain in the airline industry. This means that if an airline manages to provide a better deal for the customers, its competitive position will be improved. During short distance flights, there are options, and therefore, an airline like JetBlue has to ensure that the customer experience is better than the options available. They have ensured this by being cheaper than other airlines, providing a simple, yet comprehensive process of airline booking and comfort in the aircrafts.
A third force of competition in this industry is the suppliers bargaining power. This refers to the ability of airlines to control the bargain of suppliers in the industry. This still remains a challenge that even though airlines have a voice in the supply chain, they are forced to use a variety of suppliers. JetBlue Airline is also faced with this challenge and tends to rely on partnership with other airlines for technical and instructional support (Peterson, 2006).
The emergence of new airlines in the business is another force. This has led to increased competition and consequently reduced the income of the existing companies. The effect of this is felt in the constant reduction of the company's revenue, making it to continually seek new and unique methods to remain relevant and favorite among its customers. JetBlue Airline has tackled this force through the introduction of the Air-via - a service that allows the Internet services on the flight. The introduction of seatback television is also an innovation aimed at this effect.
A fifth force of competition is the availability of substitute services. Air travel is not the only option for short distances. This means that airline companies like JetBlue have to innovatively make travelers opt for air travel. JetBlue does this through reduced fares and having a customer-centered approach to business. This, however, poses a challenge for its long-term sustainability (Wynbrandt, 2013).
JetBlue is currently one of the favorite domestic airlines in the US. The position displays its strengths as an established client base, stable and experienced management, collaborating with major airlines and a client centered service provision. The main weaknesses are the economic position and the age of the company. There are, however, opportunities in the industry that directly affect JetBlue. The availability of technology directed aircrafts and the good reputation that the company enjoys can be used to its profits. The management will have to finally consider the threats facing the company such as the competition in the market, increase of fuel prices and technological advancement.
Strategies for Success
Based on the identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, the company needs to make some adjustments to capitalize on the positives and reduce the risks of the negative to its advantage. Firstly, the company should seek to expand the business to include more destinations and even long distance flights. This will ensure that the company is able to capture more travelers going to different places and that those royal customers taking long distance flights will choose to fly with JetBlue. This will increase the revenue for the company.
Secondly, the company needs to invest more in the technology and innovation in order to ensure that they are not left behind in terms of the development. This will give them assurance that they remain relevant to their clients for long. Thirdly, JetBlue should diversify its services and explore a larger transportation system. This could be introduction of cargo planes or holiday plans to beaches and parks around the country. This way, they utilize the client base by providing more services to them. The diversified business will also assure the company a continuous flow of revenue, even when one industry is low.
Strategies to Maximize Competitiveness and Increase Profit
In an oligopoly market like the air travel, competition is expected. Competing risks are the collapse of any business because the customers have a variety of choices to make and if one product is of lower quality in the eyes of the customers, it is rejected. JetBlue seems to have made this realization and came up with strategies to ensure competitiveness. These strategies apply to both internal and external environments. In the internal environment, the company has compiled a team of able and experienced directors and executives, who have a variety of expertise in air travel, project management, financial management and administration. This variety of skills and knowledge helps the company to make evidence based and informed decisions and policies. The company can manage to make profit, while still providing cheaper services to the customers. The company has also put up policies within the workplace that ensure adequate staff training and development. This helps maintain a stable workforce that is updated during the training hence providing competitive services.
Externally, the company provides a client centered services that are cheap. This ensures that more people choose the airline and the more they are, the higher the gains, thus masking the effect of reduced cost. The company also has promotions and marketing strategies that help in creating an image of the company in the public. The company is also involved in community services - a concept that kelps its name spread to more of the prospective clients (Peterson, 2006).
Lastly, the partnership with major international airlines, such as British Airways and Emirates, makes it recognized by many clients as dependable and convenient. This increases its competitiveness in the airline business.
Communication with Stakeholders
The success of any company does not only depend on the strategies that have been put in place, but also on the way these strategies are made to reach the stakeholders. Therefore, communication is an important factor to consider. The effective communication will ensure that the information is received by the target audience with no leakage to competitors. The general information is shared with stakeholders though the media, as well as the company's website and blogs. This is the information that can be publicized such as the purchase of a new aircraft or new partnership. Special meetings are held in the organization to disseminate more confidential information and make policies and plans.
A mixed communication strategy is used in this case. The top to bottom communication disseminates policies and plans, while the bottom-top flow of information provides feedback. The lateral flow of information is used to share ideas and make adjustments at all levels. General meetings with shareholders communicate the periodic reports of the company and its way forward.
Corporate Governance Mechanisms
The corporate governance in JetBlue is comprised of the executive, which is a group of four members, who have been in the airline industry together with the founder. The founder is the executive leader of the company. The other arm of governance is the Board of Directors, which is a ten-member team. These are either employees or independent directors, who form the majority. This board has the experts in various fields, and they form the committees that ensure specific functions are effectively managed. These two arms are the policy makers of the company.
The effectiveness of these mechanisms is that the policy making process is not left only to the airline experts. The inclusion of independent directors ensures that when strategies and policies are being made, all the areas are closely monitored, and thus, the effects of any activity can be predicted and proper actions can be taken to control or avoid any unpleasant outcome. This also helps to provide legal interpretation and expert guidance to the company in matters of production and regulations, thus ensuring a compliance. In this regard, it is recommendable for the company to include more experts in the executive so as to help in guidance and decision making at that highest level (Mathew, 2007).
Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
The aim of the founding of JetBlue was to bring the humanity back to air travel. The company has been successful not only in areas directly related to air travels, but also in the service to the community. The involvement in charitable partnership and volunteer experiences is seen in the company's support to the community service, youth and education, as well as environmental sustainability (L?ber, 2012). For example, in education, the company has a project called "Soar with Reading" that helps inspire children through reading and imagination. It is focused on the middle income neighborhoods of America. The company also encourages its employees and crewmembers to actively take part in the community service. In what they call the "From Blue to You" initiative, the employees participate in charity programs and are rewarded for it. The company is also in partnership with Carbonfund.org to offset carbon emission in America. The efforts put in place led to the recognition of JetBlue with the "People and Planet Award" in 2011. The company encourages environmental sustainability among its employees and in the community through tree planting programs in the "One Thing That's Green" initiative. A charitable partnership with organizations, such as American Red Cross, confirms the company's commitment to the humanity service (Peterson, 2006).
The impact of these programs and others directed to the community is to ensure that there is a positive image of the company among members of the public. A positive image created by the service is long standing and will help in maintaining the client base. This also helps in the legal-ethical compliance of the requirement to pay back to the community. This compliance reduces conflicts with the authority and, thus, helps the company to operate in an environment free from lawsuits and litigations.
JetBlue is a young airline company, which has grown tremendously within a short time. The secrets of this success is based on the management practices of the company, which make it relevant to the public and help build a positive image. This helps to maintain their own customers and through them to acquire more. The acquisition of a broader customer base enhances competitive advantage and increases the revenue. The company is also involved in various life-changing projects in the community, which helps them to get a good reputation. Strategies that have been put in place to enhance competitiveness and business position are many and diverse. However, the company is still challenged by the advent of new airlines, which are offering similar services (United States, 1991). This means that the management must maintain the aggressiveness and innovativeness to sustain what they have started.