Flying millions of passengers each year to destinations across Asia, North America, Oceania, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom, Philippine Airlines recently received a four-star rating for product quality and staff service by international air transport rating organization SKYTRAX. This achievement has been the result of a concerted two-year effort by every one of the company’s 8,000 full-time workers, including more than 1,000 pilots and 2,700 cabin crew members.
“Our four-star certification is also a challenge set before all of us in Philippine Airlines,” says President and COO Jaime J. Bautista. “We have to sustain all our gains and constantly keep improving.” With this goal of constant improvement in mind, the company has taken a hard look at its existing systems in need of an upgrade. A prime candidate for improvement was the scheduling and shift-exchanging system for cabin crew members, which was paper-based and relied exclusively on couriers to hand-deliver printed schedule changes to employees.
The associated delays meant that only 10 to 15 documents could be sent out per courier, per day, which sometimes caused notification times to run afoul of local and international regulations. Crew members could then decline their assigned schedule changes, leaving the airline to ask for volunteers to fill vacant shifts.
The outdated system also required employees to visit the head office on their days off to file for scheduling exchanges. This resulted in crowded office conditions and drastically reduced downtime for cabin crew members. The airline needed a modern solution capable of more secure and efficient communication with employees, whether they were in-flight or enjoying their time off. Due to union regulations, the solution would also have to be voluntary rather than compulsory for employees. Therefore, any solution deployed would need to attract employees purely through its advantages over existing systems. For Philippine Airlines, that solution was Microsoft Kaizala.