Industry: Airlines
Audience: Executive Leadership Team

The Challenge:

Alaska Airlines a successful airline with 40+ years acquired Virgin Airlines with just 7 years history and yet to demonstrate a positive profit. Although it was portrayed to the public as a merger, it was for all an acquisition.

There were 2 challenges 1) both employees in AS and VX viewed the “merger” as a negative experience. AS was viewed by the VX employees as a stodgy, conservative “old school” airlines and AS employees looked at VX as an unproven upstart. 2) there was a 2 month window to create a turnaround executive leadership training program that not only demonstrated the positive benefits of the merger but also on-boarded executive level employees from VX to the AS story, policies and procedures getting them ready for the public announcement and launching of the merged airlines schedules to the public.

The Solution:

TrainSmart was selected as the sole expertise outside the AS and VX executive level management programs to bring the best of the leadership industry standards to the airline industry. We were selected for our long history demonstrating leadership development and experience in the airline industry.

An initial 3 day training course morphed into a 2 day program bringing together leaders at the executive level in both airlines to assimilate together to recognize the value add of both airlines. Both airlines were awarded kudos in the airline industry for best customer service. AS for its history of 40+ years of customer focus and VX for its forward thinking and flexibility of what airlines can and should be.

TrainSmart was instrumental in the course design as well as providing the tracking and scorecard development to assure compliance to the critical short term timeframe to make this happen for 370 participants at the executive level for both airlines. TrainSmart also used its long established leverage in the learning industry to access best pricing for SWAG and keynote speakers.

“ Many thanks!…. It has been a long time in the making, but we are so excited that the deal has closed! Now onward to LIFT on 2/1-2 and 2/27-28! Thanks for your help in getting us there.”

Jesse Harris
Manager of Learning Design & Technology