Orange tail of a Cebu Pacific airplane

Cebu Pacific soars to new productivity heights, saving 114,000 hours each year

‘To eradicate any issues and make sure we track toward 100% on-time departures on our first flights of the day, we use Slack to receive real-time updates on how we’re performing and get everyone on the ground to achieve that goal.’

Michael BradyGroup Director for Network Control and Operations, Cebu Pacific Air

Founded in 1996, Cebu Pacific is the Philippines’s largest airline, offering 1.5 million passengers low-cost flights to both domestic and international destinations every year. The airline is receiving our Unlocking Productivity Award – Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for implementing Slack to connect its people, processes and systems in one place and save 114,000 annual hours of productivity.

From pilots and cabin crew to ground staff, check-in employees, baggage handlers and flight operations, it takes 50 to 100 people to get a single Cebu Pacific flight off the ground. Then there’s the crew and flight schedules, gate assignments, live passenger tracking, fuel loading, weather and turbulence to consider – not to mention any unplanned factors, such as an in-flight emergency.

To ensure that each plane takes off on time and as seamlessly as possible, Slack provides a unified collaboration platform so that operations staff across Cebu Pacific can share critical data. Three hours before a flight, a dedicated Slack channel is automatically created with all relevant stakeholders. Pertinent updates from various flight legacy systems are streamed into that channel in real time, including total number of checked-in passengers, crew schedules, weather reports and more. This allows the airline to modernise its workflows while still maximising value from existing investments to airline-specific software, such as those used for aircraft operation, check-in and flight planning.

‘We recently built a geo-fencing sign-in system for our cabin and flight crews using a workflow in Slack, so they can check in for their duty and go straight to their gate, which saves us time,’ says Michael Brady, Cebu Pacific’s group director for network control and operations.

Pilots can also track everything from fuel intake and boarding information without switching contexts. Say a passenger is running late. Because everyone is in a flight-specific Slack channel, it’s easy to track the passenger’s status and pivot accordingly to make the decisions needed to ensure a timely departure. Instead of using walkie-talkies, disparate phone calls, WhatsApp and Viber during emergencies, flight crews know that they can count on Slack. To further expedite processes, they rely on Slack emoji, such as 👀, to show that they’ve seen a request and are working on it.

‘We love to celebrate anniversaries, birthdays and holidays with everyone, and use social Slack channels to connect the entire team and get in the spirit of being one Cebu Pacific family.’

Michael BradyGroup Director for Network Control and Operations, Cebu Pacific

‘Moving forward, we want to use Salesforce Service Cloud for Slack to integrate with tickets so we can move them along quicker and offer more personalised service to our customers,’ says Brady. Cebu Pacific is also working towards using Slack as the default platform for corporate command-and-control crisis management. ‘We want to leverage Slack to bring about timelier communication,’ Brady says. This means that the next time a passenger has a medical emergency mid-flight, or a typhoon hits the Philippines, the ops team can quickly get people together in Slack to find the best, safest solution.

From automating critical operations to creating data-rich flight channels, Cebu Pacific now relies on Slack as its real-time knowledge hub and productivity platform. Because every team has the right information at the right time, they can provide the best possible experience for the Phillipines’s most frequent flyers.