Exciting changes are afoot in the Jet Linx Flight Coordination Department, as the group streamlines to deliver better service in line with continued company growth.
The Jet Linx Flight Coordination department reorganized in order to improve efficiency, accountability, and communication. The new approach, which took effect on June 1, 2019, aimed to smooth out operational frictions and improve internal functions. This proactive response to continued growth in the business empowers the Flight Coordination Department to better serve all teams by reducing the likelihood for technical errors – further ensuring a positive overall experience for Jet Card Members and Aircraft Owners.
Instead of rotating duties throughout the day, Flight Coordination team members now specialize in different areas where they will exercise ownership over their respective duties, where in the past, Flight Coordination team members would switch duties about every two hours. This meant that someone might handle Flight Following for two hours, and then switch to Flight Planning, and then switch over to work on International Flights – all in the same shift.
While Flight Following requires a team member to be reactive in solving problems, someone focusing on Flight Planning has to think proactively to find solutions for potential problems in the future. Shifting mindsets from proactive to reactive in such a short time was causing friction. “What I found was that roleswitching during their shifts was resulting in a loss of efficiency,” noted Brian Walker, Jet Linx Director of Flight Coordination. “Between every transition, roughly 30 minutes are lost just due to the switch in mindsets and the transition from one software to another. That system used to work, but as our operation expanded, this change was necessary for us to uphold our high standards of service and safety.”
“When you’re doing Flight Planning and you switch over to Flight Following, you have to wrap your head around a whole different set of problems. You were just looking at weather for one week out, and then you’re dealing with a plane that’s in the air, right now,” Walker further explained.
Corey Hayes, Jet Linx International Operations Manager, believes the new shift will place the company in a class of its own. “Other operators rely heavily on generalists who perform a variety of different services including quoting, customer relations, and operational services,” he explained. “That structure can allow for key details to be forgotten or overlooked. Those details are usually the difference between service excellence and failing to meet expectations for private jet clients.”
Jason Brushaber serves as a Flight Coordination Supervisor and worked with Hayes on a regular basis before the change. “Corey and I had unique positions that required juggling between ‘day of trip’ problems and future problems on an extreme level,” he noted. “The reorganization allowed Corey and I to take a step back from the ‘in the moment operations’ to see the larger picture with clarity and adjust our work accordingly.” Hayes and Brushaber now both lead specialized teams in the department, with Hayes now focusing solely on international trips and Brushaber now leading the day-to-day operations of Flight Planning and Flight Coordination.
Hayes believes the shuffle was simply a byproduct of the company’s commitment to core values. “The inspiration to restructure the Flight Coordination team came straight from the Jet Linx core values, setting the standard of excellence and making seamless personal jet travel happen,” he affirmed. “Restructuring Flight Coordination now offers our local Client Services teams 24/7 access to Flight Control Specialists, Flight Planning Specialists, and International Operations Specialists.”
THE INSPIRATION TO RESTRUCTURE THE FLIGHT COORDINATION TEAM CAME STRAIGHT FROM THE JET LINX CORE VALUES.Corey Hayes
“Our safety standards of excellence will only continue to improve,” Brushaber continued. “Visibility of trip concerns and the continuity of awareness of these concerns have been drastically increased between teams, thus improving the client experience.” In fact, the benefits of this move are now tangible at the National Operations Center. “We physically moved the location of our Flight Planning Team to allow for immediate recognition of what team members are performing what duties. The move allowed for inquiries to be received by the intended team without a third party being involved.”
The International Flight Coordination team offers a needed new focus, as Jet Linx is fielding more and more requests to fly to Asia, Europe, and South America due to an increasing number of Heavy Jets within the nationwide fleet. As the international point person, Hayes is now tasked with tackling unique problems: language barriers, differing international protocols, and potential obstacles in communication.
Walker pointed out that this organizational shift should result in, “…a more controlled operation with distinct departments working on certain aspects of the day’s mission. It will improve our communication, efficiency, and accountability.” An added bonus is that it will reduce future mistakes, “If a problem occurs during a day’s shift, we’ll also know who to ask about it. We can more easily find out where we’re making mistakes, which makes them easier to correct in the future.”
More swift and accurate communication across teams may likely be the greatest outcome from this change. In the past, Client Service Specialists occasionally noted a lag in communication due to the rotational nature of the Flight Coordination Department. Because of the shifting daily roles, Flight Coordination team members were less likely to have immediate access to accurate flight information. “Like our clients, time is our most valued asset,” Hayes noted. “Differentiating our team into specialized groups provided each team member the time they need to ensure every Jet Linx trip operates seamlessly.”
Before the department restructuring, when a Client Service Specialist reached out to the National Operations Center for information, they might have spoken to more than one person to get what they needed. This created concerns about the accuracy of the information that was shared. The new structuring of the department will improve accuracy of all Flight Coordination-related information relayed. “Having the ability to take a step back and strategize our efforts will drastically increase our ability to support our Base teams,” Brushaber pointed out.
Hayes is also convinced that the reshaping of the department will alleviate operational turbulence that happened in the past. “The new Flight Coordination department has been arranged to optimize the use of each team member and their specialized skillsets. In addition, our internal processes are being adjusted to allow for mitigation methods and solutions to be expressed to our clients faster than ever,” he said. Walker added, “All of our employees are still cross-trained to know all roles, but now they are focusing on specific aspects of Flight Coordination. We didn’t change how we do Flight Planning or Flight Following, we just changed the structure and specialized our processes.”
The department will continue using the same proprietary technology that allows Jet Linx to run the safest private aviation services in the world. The recent departmental reorganization remains a direct reflection of the value placed on the well-being of our clients and team.