America West Base Case

By David F. Carr  |  Posted 2004-01-16 Print this article Print

Poor on-time performance was crippling America West. Then the airline dumped its failing hardware.

America West Base Case

Headquarters: 111 W. Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe, AZ 85281

Phone Number: (480) 693-0800

Business: Discount airline with hubs in Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Chief Information Officer: Joe Beery

Financials in 2002: $2 billion, with a net loss of $387.9 million.

Challenge: Improve reliability and cut information-systems costs, as part of an effort to improve the airline's on-time performance.

Baseline Goals:

  • Reduce, and eventually eliminate, flight delays attributed to technology, which averaged about 100 per month three years ago.

  • Drive down cost per available seat mile (CASM). It went from 8.20 cents at the end of 2002 to 7.57 cents as of September 2003.

  • Match Southwest Airlines' third-quarter CASM of 7.51 cents.

  • Return to profitability, following 10 consecutive quarters of losses since the end of 2000. America West earned $2.02 per share in the second quarter of 2003.

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    David F. Carr David F. Carr is the Technology Editor for Baseline Magazine, a Ziff Davis publication focused on information technology and its management, with an emphasis on measurable, bottom-line results. He wrote two of Baseline's cover stories focused on the role of technology in disaster recovery, one focused on the response to the tsunami in Indonesia and another on the City of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.David has been the author or co-author of many Baseline Case Dissections on corporate technology successes and failures (such as the role of Kmart's inept supply chain implementation in its decline versus Wal-Mart or the successful use of technology to create new market opportunities for office furniture maker Herman Miller). He has also written about the FAA's halting attempts to modernize air traffic control, and in 2003 he traveled to Sierra Leone and Liberia to report on the role of technology in United Nations peacekeeping.David joined Baseline prior to the launch of the magazine in 2001 and helped define popular elements of the magazine such as Gotcha!, which offers cautionary tales about technology pitfalls and how to avoid them.

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