This paper is the first part in preparing a comprehensive case analysis for U.S. Airways. How this particular company could possibly take advantage of some external opportunities, along with a strategy that could address some possible threats will be discussed. A competitive Profile Matrix will be constructed and will include some major competitors of U.S. Airways along with a few success factors that may be critical for this company to succeed. Finally, an External Factor Evaluation Matrix will be constructed from the PESTEL framework to help summarize and evaluate the current business situation of U.S. Airways while assessing opportunities and threats the company may be facing.
All-American Airways began in 1939 as the first airmail service, changing names several times – due to buy outs and mergers – until February 27, 1979 when US Airways was born (Going Green, 2012). They filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in August 2002 and without halting operations they not only turned things around and pulled themselves out of bankruptcy in 2003 (Gallagher, 2003), they also reported a net profit of $240 million in 2010. The Dallas Ft. Worth (DFW) airport is currently the third busiest airport in the world (Fegan, 2012) and fly’s to more than 200 locations worldwide – 210 to be exact.
U.S. Airways does not have an official mission statement – at least not known to the public. However, their Dallas Fort Worth Airport’s mission reads: DFW International Airport will provide our customers outstanding facilities and services, expanding global access and economic benefits to those we serve (Fegan, 2012). This company has come a long way since its beginning and has proven high levels of corporate responsibility pertaining to the environment, its employees and communities. Existing objectives and strategies
One aspect of U.S. Airways’ objectives is to maintain a high level of corporate responsibility by protecting and preserving the environment, and conserving natural resources. The strategy in which this is accomplished is through waste reduction. Since 2006 all maintenance reports and machinery checks have been done electronically. This
allows them to recycle on average thirty tons of paper annually in the maintenance department alone (Going Green, 2012). US Airways sends their aluminum, waste oils, scrap metals and other materials from ground and equipment maintenance to recycling centers. Over 5,200 gallons of oil was recycled for aircraft maintenance in 2010 for the Phoenix location alone. Their objective is to help minimize the negative impact on the environment and help preserve the earth. They also give back to the community; this is done in a wide variety of ways. In 2007 they partnered with Honor Flight – a not for profit organization whose sole purpose is to honor veterans for their commitment, service, and sacrifice – and fly veterans to Washington, D.C. free of charge (US Airways, 2012). Other objectives for US Airways are to minimize cancellations and costs, maximize on-time arrival performance, and reserve passenger connections. Creating customer satisfaction, delivering operational excellence, fostering employee engagement, and remaining cost competitive are also on the list of objectives to be accomplished (Fegan, 2012). They continuously provide training, education, and the opportunity for career development. They also strive to make sure the workforce is healthy, inclusive, engaged and diverse through the implementation of programs such as, health and wellness, comprehensive communication, and Total Rewards programs. Strategy for an external opportunity / potential threat
New technology is one external opportunity that U.S. Airways can take advantage of. Strategies implementing the Internet for making reservations and
answering questions will help boost sales and limit customer service calls. Adding technological accessories such as complete work stations, satellite radios, and more televisions will give them a greater competitive advantage and help attract more customers (Info Refuge, 2012). One potential threat U.S. Airways faces is the rising fuel and oil costs. They limit the use of fuel by using just one engine to taxi the runway. They’ve also replaced their Boeing 737’s with Airbus A320’s and A321’s thereby reducing fuel burn 15 to 20 percent. U.S. Airways has also introduced eight new shuttle busses for transporting passengers on concourses, which reduces fuel by about 75 percent compared to the diesel-powered busses (US Airways, 2012).
U.S. Airways goes above and beyond what’s expected of them from employees, customers, and the community. Not only are they taking great strides in preserving the environment and showing a high degree a corporate responsibility by giving back to their community and to the veterans of war. This company values its employees and takes their concerns and comments to heart through surveys, and offers many different programs from health and wellness to furthering their educations, and offering career advancements.
Using new technology and other opportunities afforded to them and by playing on the strengths the company has to offer, means that other airlines need to step up their game if they want to remain competitive. The amount of flights and the locations to which they fly, along with their competitive cost of tickets and other amenities puts U.S. Airlines at the top of customers’ preferred list.
Despite the unfortunate turn of events in 2002 which led to bankruptcy, U.S. Airways managed to circumvent any further losses and pulled themselves out of debt by 2003 and reported an astounding 240 million in net profits for 2010. This company has proven that they can handle the competition and still end up on top.
Gallagher, D. J. (2003, October). Revenue and Contract Compliance Audit. Denver, CO: Department of Aviation. Retrieved from http://www.denvergov.org/Portals/3/documents/123101-US_AIRWAYS-2003.pdf Going Green. (2012, July). Retrieved from US Airways: http://www.usairways.com/en-US/aboutus/pressroom/gogreen/green.html Fegan, J. P. (2012). Strategic Plan. Retrieved from DWF Airport: http://www.dfwairport.com/cs/groups/public/documents/webasset/p1_008161.pdf Info Refuge. (2012). Retrieved from US Airways EFE Matrix: http://www.inforefuge.com/us-airways-efe-matrix Info Refuge. (2012). Retrieved from US Airways SWOT Analysis: http://www.inforefuge.com/us-airways-swot-analysis Scatigna, L. (2011, August 3). Big Name Companies Not Doing Well. Retrieved from The Financial Physician: http://www.thefinancialphysician.com/blog/2011/08/big-name-companies-not-doing-well/ usairways.com. (2012). Retrieved from US Airways – Past and Present: http://www.usairways.com/en-US/aboutus/pressroom/history.html