Innovation the Airline Industry Is a Service Essay

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The airline industry is a service industry, but one where several firms have been able to innovate their service offering. Such innovations have been to create viable low-cost carriers (RyanAir, EasyJet, Air Asia) while other innovations have led to the creation of high-service airlines (Emirates, Qatar, Singapore). In either case the process of innovation has been roughly the same for all of these companies. The first component of the map is searching. All of these companies searched for niches that were either not being served at all (such as price-focused customers in Europe and Asia) or were not being served effectively (passengers traveling on routes between Europe and Asia).

Of the six airlines mentioned above, only Singapore is a legacy carrier. The others have entered their markets in the few couple of decades, and brought with them a number of critical service innovations. After identifying a core market whose needs were not being met, these airlines acquired the knowledge resources of how to run an airline. Experienced airline executives were brought in to these firms with the objective of applying their knowledge of the industry to the problems that had been identified as the premise of the new company.

The next step was problem solving. This is the most complicated part of the innovation process. Suppliers are a critical partner in the innovation process so they are introduced at this stage of the innovation. In particular aircraft suppliers need to work with the airlines to meet their needs. For budget carriers, their business model requires leased aircraft, typically all of the same type. The premium carriers typically own their aircraft, and they often want them designed to proprietary seat configurations. The newest aircraft possible are desired for these carriers. There is a similar two-way dialogue with other suppliers as well, such as airports and food suppliers, in order to ensure that the structure of…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited:

Phong, G. (2011). Building on strong. IATA -- Airlines International. Retrieved November 5, 2012 from

Tidd, J. And Bessant, J. (2009). Managing Innovation: Integrating Technological, Market and Organizational Change 4th Ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.

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