Emerging passenger preferences in an era of global deregulation : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Aviation at Massey University

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Massey University
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This thesis draws on insights and practices of the complex nature and workings of the aviation and airline industry respectively. This is followed by an assessment on the effects global deregulation has had on the industry, airlines and their passengers. The impact weak demand for air travel resulting directly from a sluggish economy, the outbreak of war, terrorism and world health scares is also investigated. The thesis then moves into an examination of airline passengers and how airlines attempt to categorise them. In particular it gives a perspective into the new nature of leisure and business passengers. Different airline business models are also discussed through an in-depth analysis of the organisational frameworks by which they operate. Increased levels of competition throughout the industry have reinforced the need for airlines to develop their business model to the characteristics of their target market to achieve differentiation and competitive advantages. The core issue surrounding this thesis is then discussed and focuses on exactly what passenger preferences are for different products and service amenities. The importance of discovering these preferences has become vital with airlines budgets at an all time low finding the satisfaction that matters while keeping the customer profitability satisfied has become that much greater. This involves looking at the value placed in the various products and services and subsequently the cost involved to the airline. The combination of these products and services are then examined and the trade off's passengers make when choosing between alternative airlines. This helps airlines add or remove any product discrepancies to ensure passengers remain attracted, satisfied and loyal all while remaining competitive and profitable. The thesis then details passenger complaints and service recovery along with other strategies implemented by airlines to keep their passenger loyal. This is proving to become an increasingly difficult task to achieve as both leisure and business passengers appear to switch between brands to the one offering the best deal at that point of time. The final topic of discussion relates to the future impact of budget carriers dedicated solely to the long haul market and the popularity of the new generation Airbus A380 among airlines and their passengers.
Airlines, Customer services, Consumers' preferences