Robert Crandall Essay

This essay has a total of 768 words and 4 pages.

Robert Crandall

Leadership in Aviation
Robert L. Crandall

American Airlines was under Robert Crandall's leadership from 1980, when he was named
president and later chairman, until he retired in 1998. He possesses characteristics like
intelligence, character, ability, and desire, all of which is needed to get things
accomplished through people. American Airlines was transformed from a small, domestic
carrier to one of the world's leading airlines with the largest jet fleet worldwide.
American led the airline industry in the 1990's in revenues and operating income, and its
parent company, AMR Corporation, was one of the top Fortune 500 companies under Crandall's

Raised in Rhode Island, Robert Lloyd Crandall graduated from his state's university and
the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton Business School. He worked as a regional credit
supervisor for Eastman Kodak and later, headed the computer programming division at
Hallmark Cards. In 1966, he joined TWA (TransWorld Airlines) as assistant treasurer. He
briefly left the airline industry in 1972 to become senior financial officer at
Bloomingdale's Department Stores, but returned the next year when American made him its
senior Vice President of Finance (Robert L. Crandall: Official Biography). From there, Mr.
Crandall advanced to president.

During his 18-year tenure as head of American Airlines, Robert Crandall and his
self-empowered team formulated many of the innovations that helped to revolutionize the
airline industry after deregulation, when many competitors went bankrupt. American was the
first to recognize the value of filling empty seats with discounted tickets now known as
"Super Saver Fares." These tickets offered deep discounts for advance-purchase tickets and
outsold cheap charter competition. He was also quick to see the importance of
restructuring and building a route system around central hub airports to which many
airlines still use today.

To keep American Airlines on top of the industry, one of Crandall's visions was to
accelerate the company's efforts into the rich overseas markets. By tapping into voids
created by Pan Am, Eastern Air, Braniff Int'l and TWA, Mr. Crandall's ambition acquired
promising overseas routes to Asia and Europe, and Latin America.

Perhaps Robert Crandall's greatest contribution to the success of American Airlines was
his vision in propelling the SABRE Group from an internal division of the company to one
of the world's largest, privately owned computer networks. Conceived in 1959, the
Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment served as an internal link between American's
offices and ticket counters to help track reservations. When talks aimed at developing an
industry-wide reservation system, broken down between travel agents and major carriers in
the mid-1970's, Crandall successfully marketed his airline's computer system throughout
the world. "Today, more than 85,500 SABRE terminals are in use at travel agencies in
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