Many airlines operate with a single-department mentality in planning and execution. Operations and commercial planning do not coordinate, KPIs are addressed in isolation, analytics do not work across functions, and individual teams add their own buffers.
When disruptions occur, airlines have trouble tracking cause and effects — multiple data sources report on different aspects of the issue. Meetings and reports focus on incidents or averages rather than the big picture.
Taking a systemwide point of view leads to limited differentiation and testing among functions and areas of operation. Frontline staff often lack critical information and do not have the ability (or authority) to make on-the-ground decisions.
It’s easy for software to lose pace with growing complexity, especially for companies with multiple hubs in multiple jurisdictions. Outdated IT systems do not provide real intelligence or run optimization algorithms.
Airlines often focus on their investments in fleet and digital innovations in commercial areas. They treat operations as a cost center and do not tap its potential to boost customer and employee satisfaction as well as financial results.