British Airways, an Airline Case Study

The British Airways is considered to be the flag carrier airline of the United Kingdom based at Waterside close to its major hub, the London Heathrow Airport. The BA is considered to be the largest airline in the UK on basis of fleet size, flights and destinations.

BA was formed in the Year 1974 by combining two large London based airlines, the BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation) and BEA (British European Airways Corporation), and two other small regional airlines. 13 years later the company was privatized and the company acquired other airlines to combine the growing fleet.

Case Objectives
• To give a broad overview of the airline industry.
• To understand how a loss making unit can be turned around.
• To appreciate the importance of efficient operations in the airline industry.
• To gain insights into how a service company can build its brand.
• To understand the issues involved in the globalization of an airline, in particular government regulations.
• To understand how airlines use strategic alliances to expand their network.
• To appreciate the importance of people in the service industry.

• Brand name, British Airways is well known worldwide as one of the 7 leading airlines that fly across the six inhabited continents and providing for more than 160 destinations
• Partnerships and Alliances, BA is a partner with major airlines in the world, and it also acquired Iberian airline and now dominate most of the regions and have the second best revenues after delta and American airlines
• Fleet size and destinations, the British Airways covers most of the globe giving options for short and long distance flights for their customers with a large pool of connecting flights and more than three hubs to choose from.
• Long service History, BA comes back to the early 1990s from various airlines that served in the United Kingdom, which were merged all together under the British flag.
• Not quality approved airline, the BA although with its reputation lacks the fundamentals of qualities that other airlines serve, maybe the reason for that is that BA is still maintaining the old standards they have without improving them to handle the needs of the traveler of today.
• Poor baggage delivery, this could be due to the un integrated systems of baggage handling that the BA follows where many complains about lost baggage have been filed with regards to passengers flying BA.
• Aging fleet, many of the aircrafts operated by BA are rather old, some of them go all the way back to the 1980s of the last centuries which is not economic in operations.
• Lack of innovation and change, many airlines have emerged who provide far more better services in terms of value for money and travelers comfort, while as we see with BA change only occurs once a decade at the most.

• Competitors market exit, due to the recent terrorist attacks around the world many airlines are withdrawing from the markets, and the global crisis have affected them greatly where only the strong ones were able to survive.
• Emerging of new markets, the growing of the population around the world, and the opening of the Trans Atlantic routs have helped the airline to succeed in targeting new customers around the world.
• High demand for flights, there is an increased demand for air travel which is never met, especially for well reputated airlines that care for the safety of its operations.
• Competition, everyday new airlines emerge, and the need for more cheaper tickets due to the global crises have risen too, therefore many airlines who provide economic airfare are pulling out the customers from other airlines, in the year 2008, easy jet took the leading customer pool from BA due to the cheap flights they offer.
• Environmental Awareness, the old fleet that BA operates on is way obsolete in terms of the environment, therefore customers who prefer to go green usually opt for airlines that respect the environment more
• Global Economic Crisis, the crisis have affected everyone in the world, BA had to let go of thousands of their employees to reduce the operating costs, plus that, customers are seeking cheaper flights to meet their needs during such crisis.

British Airways has to step into the 21st Century by updating everything in the system, starting with upgrading their fleet and buying newer aircrafts to meet the economic and environmental demands of the customers, and becoming more cost efficient in order to reduce the airfare prices.
The Services should be improved to reach the levels of other airlines which are competing in terms of providing the most luxurious and comfortable cabins for the travelers.

Becoming more economic is the key requirement in this century because the need for air travel is constant and increasing, while the customers are looking for the cheapest offers around but with maintaining the safety as well.

As for the opportunities, I think that BA should better use its well known name and flag and produce better services that attract the growing customers’ pool, as there is an increase in the demand for air travel with markets widening, and customers opting for easy means of travel in safe, economic and environmentally friendly means.

In order to overcome the BA weaknesses, a strategy has to be made, where the fleet has to be upgraded fully to meet all the requirements that passengers usually opt for, cheaper flights, faster, and environmentally safe. BA has to work more on its ground staff, where baggage handling should be monitored more closely to find solutions for the baggage complaints. BA should also follow the latest airline updates in means of services and cabins, where there should be an improvement where the traveler can sense that their favorite airline is being up to date and making sure that the needs of the modern traveler are met.


wikipedia. (2009). Wikipedia. In British Airways. Retrieved December11,2009 , from
British Airways. (2009). British Airways. In BA. Retrieved December9,2009, from American airlines but might help in ideas imp imp imp