Reflective Essay-The top Ten Airlines
The airline industry is a fast growing, dynamic and demanding business and that is why businesses have to develop strategies that will enable them be better performers in the business. When looking at the top ten airlines, I found out that they have invested a lot in their businesses. This coupled with competition has made them even more determined to be on top of the list. The aviation business and industrial performance is kept on check by regulating institutions which who are mainly concerned with the safety of the passengers and addressing environmental issues which are two highly influential matters shape and control the performance of airlines.
I was thrilled by the fact that we did an intensive and extensive research and managed to compile a well researched report on the ‘Top Ten Airlines’ so that we could determine the factors that influence their performance, how they operate and what they do to survive in the business. The top ten airlines as report by Euromonitor International (2008) in order of highest returns were: Air France-KLM Group, AMR Corp, Deutsche Lufthansa, Delta Airlines, UAL Corp, British Airways, JAL Group, US Airways Group, Continental Airlines, and Southwest Airlines.
Some of the airlines succeeded because they dedicated themselves to improving the quality of the services for example, Lufthansa thrive due to its high-quality customer service and operational reliability and punctuality; in addition, it made open-skies agreements that gave it a competitive advantage (Euromonitor International, 2008). Between 2006 and 2007, the Air France-KLM Group remained ahead of the competition because it was able to increase its market range and through merging in 2004, it was able to cut down on costs (Euromonitor International-Air-France-KLM, 2008). Despite weakening of the US economy and spiralling fuel prices, Southwest Airlines had also managed to maintain sustained profitability (Euromonitor International-Southwest-Airlines, 2009).
The revenues and profits accruing in the aviation industry are increasing. This is because the low-cost carriers (LCCs) have made it possible for many people to use fly at cheaper costs. I found out that aside from the benefits got, operations in the aviation industry are not always smooth sailing because they have to deal with internal and external industrial problems. “They need to constantly come up with ways that will reduce their costs especially when there is economic recession, they need to improve technologies so that they can have a higher platform of competing and they need to solve conflicts within the industry (George, 2009).” Apart from that, they also have to measure themselves against other modes of transportation which are rail, road and sea.
Recommendations to the problems include: developing travel infrastructures including the building of new airports so as to tap on the growing market, forming an alliance with the suppliers as this relationship will enhance growth and the continued use of LCCs.
Despite the aviation industry being faced by many challenges, top airlines have managed to cope with the challenges as air sales are continuing to grow. So investors need to keep an eye on this sector. One thing I have known is that everyone is a potential customer in the airline business and that there is no challenge that does not have a way out.
Euromonitor International-Air-France-KLM (2008) ‘Air France-KLM Group SA – Travel and Tourism – World’, Global Market Information Database [Online]. Available at: http://www.euromonitor.com/GMID/default.asp [Accessed: 3rd March 2009].
Euromonitor International (2008) ‘Air-World’, Global Market Information Database [Online]. Available at: http://www.euromonitor.com/GMID/default.asp [Accessed: 24th February 2009].
Euromonitor International-Southwest-Airlines (2009) ‘Southwest Airlines Co- Travel and Tourism – World’, Global Market Information Database [Online]. Available at: http://www.euromonitor.com/GMID/default.asp [Accessed: 3rd March 2009].George,
Fred (2009) Increasing Resale Value: What Really Counts? Business & Commercial Aviation, Jan 2009, Vol. 104, Issue 1, p. 44-47.