How Is Valoujet Successful

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ValuJet began operations in 1993 by offering flights out of Atlanta to various Florida cities such as Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando. After going public after its first year of operations, ValuJet became the fastest airline to generate a profit in American aviation history by generating $21 million. Despite these early successes at a rapid pace, ValuJet’s unprecedented rise within the airline industry came at a price as their fleet consisted of used Boeing airliners, many of them averaging 26 years in age. In order to maintain their reputation as a low-cost leader in the airline industry, ValuJet’s business practices were primarily concentrated towards enticing customers with inexpensive airfare by assuming that their sole need was getting …show more content…
Flight attendants then noticed a fire beginning to spread throughout the passenger cabin, but were unable to warn the pilots due to a broken intercom system and their attempts to stop the rising smoke. Despite the pilots’ attempts to alert air traffic for permission to land at a nearby airport, the plane took a nosedive into an Everglades conservation area which killed all 105 passengers and crew onboard. After almost a year of investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board determined the cause of the incident was due to the illegal storage of chemical oxygen generators without their safety caps, which caused the fire to spread throughout the aircraft. Upon further analysis, sources also determined that ValuJet failed to supervise its maintenance contractor Sabre Tech who failed to certify that the aircraft was in accordance with FAA standards. In regards to this, a pre-flight audit revealed that the oxygen canisters were improperly labelled as empty which led the inspector to assume that they were safe to take on board. According to an FAA article on this “inspection”, “(i)t is important to note that oxygen generators are hazardous material whether they have been expended or not, … and as previously stated, ValuJet was not authorized to carry hazardous material on their airplanes.” (Federal Aviation …show more content…
Despite their now smaller fleet complying with FAA standards, ValuJet lost $55 million in sales as consumers no longer wished to fly on an airline with a notorious reputation. After almost a year of lost sales and bad publicity, ValuJet merged with smaller airline Airways Corporation, which was purchased by AirTran in 1997 before being eventually purchased by Southwest Airlines in 2014. To remove all traces of ValuJet’s infamous past, the company retired the ValuJet name and brand identity and folded their assets with AirTran out of respect for those affected by the tragedy. As part of this transformation process, ValuJet adopted many of AirTran’s existing business practices by replacing its aging fleet with brand-new Boeing models, placing greater price distinction between business and economy class and retraining their staff. In 1999, SabreTech mechanic Mauro Valenzuela was indicted on 110 counts of manslaughter and third degree murder for failing to remove the oxygen canisters from the cargo hatch, but pleaded no contest and SabreTech was asked to make a large donation to a local charity. While today’s airliners no longer follow ValuJet’s slick techniques to attract customers on price alone, this incident serves as a powerful reminder of how the most minute details can play the most significant impact in determining the customer’s

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