Short Term Capacity at JetBlue

Most discussion of operations strategy at airlines focuses on very long-lived capital investments (airplanes) and network decisions (hub-and-spoke, etc). In the Chicago Tribune today, however, the AP describes how recent snowstorms snarled JetBlue’s network, and provided a rare example of utilization today that affect capacity decisions tomorrow:

The airline had scheduled 600 flights for Presidents Day, even more than the 550 to 575 flights on a normal Monday. Of those, 139 flights have been canceled, JetBlue announced late Saturday night.

JetBlue Airways Corp. spokesman Sebastian White said headway was being made on Sunday, but that the cancellations on Monday were needed to make sure all flight crews had gotten the legally mandated amount of rest before taking to the skies again.

JetBlue had to act decisively or this capacity crunch could persist for days or weeks. What other industries feature this type of interplay between capacity and utilization?

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