Azul Airlines

By Jonathan Levav, Russell Siegelman, Justin Randoplh
2013 | Case No. E475 | Length 22 pgs.
The case profiles the protagonist, David Neeleman, a serial “airline” entrepreneur (previous founder and CEO of the US Airline, JetBlue), as he develops the concept for Azul Airlines International – a low-cost, customer service-centric Brazilian airline. In particular, it is a case that reflects on if, when, and how to launch a product. The case is chronological, and begins with a biography of Neeleman, a description of his founding role at JetBlue, and his personal interest in both air transportation and Brazil. The case then discusses the viability of his vision for a new, low-cost, customer service-centric airline and provides an overview of Brazil’s airline industry and the industry’s competitive landscape. The case then discusses where to potentially base the airline’s hub and which aircraft model to adopt, using quantitative analysis on market size, competition, and demand.

Learning Objective

• To require students to consider the activities necessary to go from product concept to creation, including competitive landscaping, market sizing and appropriate market segmenting. • To urge students to reflect on the translatability of a business model from one geography to another. • To require students to review a spreadsheet that is rich in data and conduct quantitative analysis so as to determine an appropriate “hub” for an airline to choose and an appropriate aircraft model given cost structure nuances. • To illustrate an example of a company and founder that formulated an initial, multi-faceted vision that was executed in practice remarkably similar to that envisioned.
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