Major European Airline - Airport Ground Operations Efficiency Programme
Nyras was asked by the Chief Operating Officer of a European airline to develop a major change programme to drive cost efficiency and increase capacity in home-based ground operations and across its network, in preparation for a major gateway through its main airport base from Europe to North America.
The aim of the two-year change programme was to:
- Reduce the high cost of turnaround.
- Dramatically improve minimum connection times.
- Implement new working practices and processes.
- Reduce operational headcount.
- Work with the airport to deliver new infrastructure.
It was essential that all work was completed within a two-year time frame to allow for a significant fleet and capacity expansion of the long-haul business. If the changes could not be delivered, then the strategy would have to be re-designed.
We conducted an initial diagnostic to identify the issues in ground operations and then designed a change programme to enable management to understand the challenges involved in delivering the modifications. It was essential that this change programme was driven through the line, so we provided a combination of interim managers and consultancy support to develop projects and then implement them accordingly.
The key attributes of the approach have been:
- Planning and preparation to ensure success.
- Programme structure mixed with flexibility to re-prioritise when needed.
- Momentum, building on ‘quick wins’ to invest in equipment to drive deeper change.
- Securing strong leadership provided by the Chief Operating Officer.
- Deploying experienced interim managers to lead by example.
- Benchmarking with best practice to set the change agenda.
The project delivered remarkable results within the required time frame. Based on the success of the ground operation change programme, the airline has now committed to a 30% capacity and fleet increase at its main base with a reduced headcount.
The key achievements of the project included:
- Shorter and more efficient turnaround times.
- Turnaround team sizes reduced by 30%.
- New ways of working introduced across the operation.
- Improved airfield efficiency and introduction of airport collaborative decision making (ACDM).
- Establishment of a Gateway Control Centre.
- New pier of nine contact stands up and running in twelve months.
- New value model introduced with ongoing head count reduction.
- Automated check-in and baggage check.
- New baggage processes to speed up transfer times.