Already on a stellar path to growth, easyJet set itself an unprecedented challenge to boost profits ahead of flotation by adding one extra flight a day. Its aim was to reduce plane turnover time on the ground from 50 to 25 minutes, in just 3 short months. ?What If!’s expertise in creative problem solving was called upon to get this across the line.
Setting up camp in a port-a-cabin at Luton Airport, the joint ?What If!-easyJet team put the turnover process under a microscope by engaging with every team involved, from the cleaning and catering agencies to the frontline staff.
EasyJet’s weakness had been its complexity. There was a need for close-communication between all parties in order to cut down inefficiencies. For example: “Why should the fuellers wait until the plane is disembarked to speak to the pilot in person about fuel requirements?”. Answer: “They shouldn’t, give them headsets”. Quick wins like collecting rubbish in the air rather than on the ground saved valuable pockets of time which soon added up to 25 minutes.
New turnaround efficiencies contributed significantly to easyJet’s series of victories. Not only did it catapult through its public flotation, raising $195m, but the 20% increase in aircraft utilization also meant margins gained over $40m.
Our learnings lived on through comprehensive videos of the process, which helped members of the turnover realise how each role fits into the bigger picture. A 6-week daily training course was also implemented to ensure cross-functional teams worked as one.