Simpli-Flying: Optimizing the Airline Business Model

Hardback
The airline industry is in a state of radical restructuring as its markets and key stakeholders (customers, airline labour and management groups, governments, and the financial community) adjust to the new aviation realities. Airline executives can be forgiven for being overwhelmed by technology proliferation, zestful new paradigm airlines, September 2001, business cycles, Iraq, SARS, and animal diseases. The leadership challenge for all carriers is now to select and execute appropriate business models, thinking both 'inside' and 'outside' the 'box', to turn conventional wisdom upside down to achieve dramatic increases in productivity. Some legacy carriers still need to create an effective strategy for much larger cycles that encompass major discontinuities. Burdened by past decisions, they are forced to fight with one hand tied behind their back to 'convert volume to value', to survive and prosper. Some new airlines have been at the forefront of shaping change, developing a vision of the mass-market, assessing the customer value of their core processes, and using a 'back-to-basics' business approach. Both groups should take a sideways glance at what works in other industries and implement those insights into actions. Some examples featured in this book include: Wal-Mart's virtually real time inventory system; Target's business model based around a unique customer experience; Dell Computers' business model based around direct sales and mass customization; Unilever's organizational structure around value creation and value delivery departments; Shell International's development of scenarios of alternate futures; Harrah's Entertainment's use of information technology to recognize and reward valuable customers; The Warehouse's communication system with its suppliers to produce efficiency at both ends for the common benefit of the customer; Nissan's cross-functional teams; DoCoMo's management of human passion in customers; Nike's innovation resulting in 'industry-transforming' products; Toyota's 'Construction of Cost Competitiveness for the 21st Century'. Written by an experienced airline business strategist and international in scope, this wide-ranging book identifies challenges and problems, presents comprehensive analyses and suggests some solutions. Key features include: a comparison with 14 other business sectors (unique amongst aviation books); examples of airlines who have changed their business models; a detailed study of branding, including mistakes and critical success factors; how to manage risk by transforming supplier relationships; plausible scenarios for the future to prepare for major transformation; the emerging role of passenger management systems to identify, serve, and retain high value passengers. The author identifies the new realities and the obstacles to change, the need to revitalize product development and renew the customer experience. He deals with public policy and the need to revise supplier relationships, especially with aircraft maintenance providers, and looks at successes and failures in other industries. This is rounded off with a clarion call to governments, labour unions, airports, manufacturers, suppliers and above all airline management, to shake off the past, and to address the challenges and opportunities. His approach is to provide impartial analysis and pragmatic insights into vital enablers of change, potential business models, execution strategy, ways to make stakeholders more influential, wisdom from other businesses, and to present scenarios to make busy executives stop and think. The readership includes the broadest cross-section of practitioners in the global airline and related industries, as well as those affected by the industry and seeking a deeper understanding of it. This includes including airlines, government civil aviation departments, the aviation divisions of the financial community (investment banks and leasing companies), aircraft manufacturers and their suppliers, airports, information technology companies, as well as customers and other stakeholders.