Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Andrea, and I have the pleasure of leading the route planning team at JetBlue. Our mission is to design, implement, and optimise our network strategy with the overarching goal of maximising profitability. Working closely with the broader commercial and operations team, my team and I schedule the airline’s routes and frequencies, launch new markets, guide the company’s order book, and support the development of airline partnerships across the globe.
What are the best and worst parts of the job?
The best part of the job is seeing the positive impact that our network has on customers and crewmembers. The ability to connect people with our flights, especially coupled with affordable fares and excellent service, is unrivalled.
The worst part is the exact opposite, that is having to disrupt customers’ journeys by delivering sub-par travel options, sometimes coupled with operational disruptions and delays/cancellations. Additionally, having to suspend service in a market is never fun, as it personally impacts our crewmembers, who are some of the most passionate in the industry.
What are the biggest challenges and opportunities at the moment?
The biggest challenges that my team faces at the moment are airport access and airspace congestion. There are many valuable geographies where we would like to fly (or fly more) to provide customers with our award-winning product, and they are often constrained by limited resources and/or monopolies. Airspaces also make for a challenging operation, as they impact our ability to deliver on-time flights, and ultimately to grow capacity which keeps fares affordable.
Andrea will be taking part in the 'Game-Changing Aircraft' panel discussion at World Routes 2019. Hear more about JetBlue's international strategy, including why the carrier has ordered 13 Airbus A321XLR aircraft.
The biggest opportunities we see are related to aircraft technology and product evolution. We couldn’t be more excited about taking delivery of aircraft like the A220 or the A321LR, as they truly represent a step-change in economics and performance. They will allow us to profitably and efficiently serve markets that we previously dreamed of.
Cabin interiors are also developing at an exciting rate, and we’re going to see some really disruptive changes happening inside the aircraft. I am sure our competitors feel the same way, and we welcome the competition, as it ultimately benefits consumers and takes the industry to a better place.
Who do you admire most in the industry and why?
I am amazed by the ever-lasting spirit of entrepreneurship in our industry. It’s never just about ideas (everyone has those). It takes a lot of courage, dedication, focus, and patience to start something new in the airlines space, and all over the world there are groups of phenomenal people doing that every year.
We all know things can be improved in the current system/framework, but to be truly disruptive you have to break away from the norm, and face a lot of headwinds before having a (slight) chance of getting off the ground. I admire these people a lot.
What do you get up to outside of work?
I am an active person, and can rarely stay still for more than a day. I enjoy active sports that offer challenges (and some risk) such as rock-climbing, mountain biking, and skiing. When I need to relax, sailing is my medicine. This is all made better when I can enjoy these activities while exploring the world, especially since – as an aviation geek – I enjoy the “getting there” portion of the travel just as much as the destination. There is always a new airplane to fly, a new product to experience, and a new operation to observe.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Scotch. Single malt. From the Islay. Peaty but smooth. Basically, the expensive kind.
What destination is on your bucket list?
I have a passion for Japan, but that’s far away in terms of JetBlue’s capabilities, so I will say Berlin. It’s a vibrant city that I never get tired of spending time in, and I would go back any day.
Favourite Routes event?
I had a great time in Quito last year, but I am even more excited about Milan in 2020. I was born and raised near there, it’s a fun and creative city that I’m sure will be a hit with all attendees.