JetBlue Airways CEO will speak on how the company uses information technology to provide lower fares and better service
JetBlue Airways CEO will speak on how the company uses information technology to provide lower fares and better serviceApril 06, 2001Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
David Neeleman, CEO of JetBlue Airways, will speak on “Information Technology and Its Relationship With JetBlue” at 4 p.m. April 11 in the Regency Room of the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel & Conference Center. A reception will follow. The lecture is sponsored by SU’s School of Information Studies. Launched just a little more than a year ago, JetBlue provides low-fare air service between the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City and major cities in the United States, including Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Los Angeles San Francisco and Salt Lake City; and two upstate New York cities–Buffalo and Rochester. Service to Syracuse is slated to began in May. Neeleman’s lecture will focus on how the strategic use of information technology will transform the airline industry. “JetBlue is applying technology to an industry that is in desperate need of technology but hasn’t used it,” he says. JetBlue is the first airline to be entirely ticketless. Forty percent of its business is booked over the Web. Other strategies include unified reservations and accounting systems and virtual call centers, which, Neeleman says, enable the company to operate at half the cost of a typical airline. Customer service operations are located in Utah. Service representatives are given training, a personal computer, two telephone lines and a two-way pager, and are allowed to work from home. This saves overhead, offers workers flexible hours and no commute, and makes it easier for the company to respond to call center surges. Many of the strategies Neeleman has incorporated into the operation of JetBlue were derived from his first airline, Morris Air, which was based in Salt Lake City. Neeleman operated the airline from 1984 to 1993, when he sold it to Southwest Airlines. Following the sale of Morris Air, Neeleman went on to help launch WestJet, a successful Canadian low-fare carrier, and to develop Open Skies, the e-ticketing system he implemented at Morris Air. Open Skies is an industry-leading touch screen electronic reservations and check-in system. In 1999, Neeleman sold Open Skies to Hewlett-Packard.
JetBlue Airways took to the air on Feb. 11, 2000. It has a fleet of 11 new, environmentally friendly Airbus A320 aircraft, outfitted with all-leather seats equipped with 24-channel satellite televisions that are free of charge to all passengers. Neeleman’s lecture is part of the School of Information Studies Distinguished Lecture Series, made possible by a generous contribution by Allan and Carolyn Ginsberg of Demarest, N.J.