The struggle for competitive advantage in the airline industry
The aim of this thesis is to examine the way in which civil airlines exploit their resources in order to gain and sustain competitive advantage. This is done within the framework of the resource-basedv iew, rather than using the market basedv iew, thought without of cause presuming to test that paradigm. The first chapter offers a fairly detailed account of the airline industry. This is felt to be necessary to render the thesis accessible to readers who may not be industry experts. The second chapter examines the literature on and overall merits of the resource based and market based view, reformulates the research objectives and outlines the methodology, primarily the use of data published in specialist sources, supported by personal industry knowledge. The subsequent chapters develop the thesis with regard to cross airlines ownership stakes and occasional merger and acquisition, the leverage exercised by bigger airlines at airports, and the issue of strategic alliances. The findings that emerge from this exercise are that in a sense checked via a series of interviews with key informants, and some qualifications to the resource based view are offered before proceeding to a summary statement of the conclusion.