Service crew

JetBlue announces measures to optimize its service ahead of the summer season

The American airline JetBlue has announced a series of measures and investments aimed at strengthening its service during the next summer season, which is expected to reach record figures.

The airline’s plan includes reducing the flight schedule during the summer period, focusing on hiring and training new employees, efforts to reduce wait times and the number of calls incoming customers, proactive aircraft maintenance work and the preparation of facilities and infrastructure.

“We want customers who love the JetBlue experience to feel confident that we’re bringing it to them this summer,” said Joanna Geraghty, president and COO of JetBlue. “The investments we are making will help reduce delays and cancellations during the busiest travel period,” she added.

The airline’s plan will bring greater flexibility to its schedules and facilitate the availability of crews in the face of unforeseen situations, such as those reported in recent months following COVID-19 infections and weather events. JetBlue says its facilities and technology “are equipped to handle increased demand.”

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This is especially important at its home base, New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). There, JetBlue is growing nearly 50%, thanks to the so-called “Northeast Alliance,” its cooperative agreement with American Airlines to boost its offers from Boston and the Big Apple.

JetBlue is planning a record summer: it will operate around 190 daily flights from its home base.

Reduced schedule

Despite the high demand expected by all US carriers, JetBlue is taking steps to reduce its flight schedule to increase reliability. The new schedule will add more time to guard against operational contingencies and reduce pressure on human resources, both crew and ground staff.

The airline initially planned to increase its capacity this year by 11% to 15% compared to 2019. According to the new plan, the increase will not exceed 5%. The most important change will concern the summer schedule, which will be reduced by more than 10% compared to the initial plan. Between 10% and 15% fewer aircraft will be used compared to 2019.

According to Geraghty, adopting a more conservative growth approach will allow them to “bring resilience to the operation”.

Despite the reduction, JetBlue will continue to grow significantly at New York’s three main airports (John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark): it will operate approximately 300 flights per day, approximately 100 more than in 2019.

Recruitment and training of staff to support planning

The recent increase in operating volumes has put pressure on the staff resources of many airlines. JetBlue was no exception. However, it plans to hire 5,000 new New York-based crew members and bolster its recently expanded training center in Orlando, Florida. In addition, the company has increased the number of pilots assigned to the training and certification processes.

Respond to customer call volume and wait times

Recent operational outages have resulted in a record number of calls, with the associated increase in wait time. Since last fall, JeBlue has hired more than 1,100 new employees in the sector. The company plans to hire employees and have the largest customer service team in its history by next summer.

It is also working on the self-service capabilities of its virtual channels and other communication channels.

Finally, JetBlue also strives to preemptively cancel flights on days when inclement weather is forecast or if it anticipates delays due to air traffic control management issues due to traffic jams or shortages. of staff. The aim is to suspend operations well in advance, whenever the situation allows, to give passengers more time to adjust their plans and reschedule their itineraries.

Reduce disruption due to maintenance changes

The airline will reserve planes strategically. The reduced schedule will add time to facilitate the progress of planned maintenance programs. Additionally, the company purchased parts and tooling in advance to mitigate potential delays.

See also: JetBlue inaugurates flights to Milwaukee and Kansas City from New York and Boston