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Internal Risk Assessment - Jetblue Airways

Essay by   •  March 6, 2012  •  Case Study  •  1,241 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,072 Views

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Internal Risk Assessment

JetBlue Airways Corporation began as the brainchild of founder David Neeleman and in February 2000 began operations at New York's JFK International Airport. Neeleman transformed the airline industry over the past decade by providing low-cost airline travel while at the same time providing industry best customer service ratings and providing industry-first amenities like live television to every seat on the plan and improving passenger leg room. In an industry that has been witness to government bailouts to the tune of over $18 billion after the 9/11 terrorist attacks ("History of Government Bailouts", 2009), JetBlue continues to generate revenue. The focus of this paper is two-fold. The firm's strengths and weaknesses will be discussed as it pertains to marketing, human resources, management, research and development, finance, and other applicable areas and an analysis of how internal organizational dynamics influence strategic business continuity will also be given.

One of JetBlue's strengths is in its marketing. In 2007, JetBlue decided that it would take to social media and utilize its network to market them. The @JetBlue Twitter feed fields customer complaints, answers questions, has a cheap deals feed, and is followed by over 1.6 million people (Daley, 2011, p. 50). The company also decided to engage in advertising using "Monster Media" technology at Boston, Los Angeles, and New York airports. This technology utilizes billboards that respond when customers walk by them, through the use of motion sensors, and the billboard will seemingly 'come alive' and deliver a series of call-outs explaining JetBlue's service. One of the lines is "Room. With a View. The most legroom in coach and free DIRECTV(R)." Another is "Our standards beat their extras. Unlimited brand-name snacks and soft drinks." ("Jetblue Launches New Advertising And Marketing Campaign: You Above All(tm)", 2010).

Another strength that has helped propel JetBlue from startup to the seventh largest airline in the United States is its Human Resources. Founder David Neeleman was asked about his employees in a 2004 article that asked him about his business model and competitive advantage. According to the article and in response to the first question regarding his company's business model, (Neeleman & Ford, 2004, p. 140) Neeleman responded 'We rely on our people as a kind of fundamental way we do our business. So, you know, there will be some things that competitors can do that will resemble JetBlue, but on the other hand, I think it's going to be very difficult for anyone to duplicate us completely.' Building on that first question Neeleman went on to say, when asked if he thinks his competitive advantage is his people, 'Yes, it is. It definitely is. You can have great TV on your flight, but if when you get to the airport you have big long lines and you're treated disrespectfully or your flight's late or your bag's not there or your bag comes out really late, it doesn't matter how much TV you had on the the flight. It all kind of goes together, and it is the people that make it happen.'

JetBlue's human resources includes its management, another strength. JetBlue has been profitable in six of its first ten years of existence. In 2009, it earned $58 million compared with industry losses of $2.5 billion (Flint, 2010). These figures are no fluke, as founder David Neeleman explained in an interview. He stated "We really focus on people who like people, who like to deal with people. Then our managers and our directors and all of our leadership are held to a very high standard as to how they treat the other crew members in the company." He went on to say "...we think happy people on the job relates to happy customers. We know that if they're happy, if they like to be at work, if they trust the company, then

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