Swot Analysis for Air China

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The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/1463-5771.htm

BIJ 13,1/2

SWOT analysis for Air China performance and its experience with quality A.M. Ahmed
The European Centre for Total Quality Management, University of Bradford School of Management, Bradford, UK


M. Zairi
e-TQM College, Dubai, UAE, and

K.S. Almarri
The European Centre for Total Quality Management, University of Bradford School of Management, Bradford, UK Abstract
Purpose – To report on the lessons learned during the implementation of TQM principles in Air China as a response to the dramatic changes in both international and domestic markets. Design/methodology/approach – This research work is based on analysing secondary case studies in the airline industry to identify best practice and critical success factors of total quality management implementation. The use of SWOT analysis was selected in the case of Air China. Findings – Air China is the largest air carrier in China in terms of traffic volume and company assets. It own most updated fleet and competent repairs and maintenances expertise. It owns good reputation in both international and domestic market, quality service and keeps the number of loyal frequent flyers rapidly increasing. Distracted by domestic operations in term of resources, organizational concentrations and management time, the international business get to be mediocre. China airline industry is growing faster than GDP increase, and the trend will continue in next five years. Air China faces imminent aggressive competition from world leading airlines and price wars triggered by domestic player, when Civil Aviation Administration of China has to deregulate under requirement of WTO agreements. Originality/value – This paper is a case study reporting of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threat analysis technique. The paper provides empirical data to identify those factors that play key role in implementing TQM successfully within the Airlines Industry and in particular Air China. Keywords Total quality management, SWOT analysis, Business performance, Customer satisfaction, Airlines, China Paper type Case study

Benchmarking: An International Journal Vol. 13 No. 1/2, 2006 pp. 160-173 q Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1463-5771 DOI 10.1108/14635770610644655

Introduction The airline industry has undergone significant restructuring in recent years. Airlines, formerly rivals in a highly regulated industry, have become opportunistic seekers of co-operation. In today’s world, mega-carriers and small airlines are working together rather than competing with one another. Forms of co-operation include sub-contracting, code sharing, franchising and the formation of global marketing networks. Such alliances allow firms to focus on their respective core competencies, while drawing the benefits of scale economies. In essence, co-operation among competitors has led to increased competitiveness. This has accelerated the trend of joint marketing, and the

airline has become characterised by the desire to belong to a global network. The tendency has been to strive for a global presence. The transportation industry was traditionally among the most regulated and protected sectors of the economy. For many national flag-carriers, neither competition nor market forces were considerations. Governments set prices, routes, services, etc. More recently, industry structure has changed, reflecting a new operating environment and giving rise to opportunities for joint-marketing alliances. During the past two decades, competitive forces have replaced the government as instruments of regulation. Previously protected airlines found themselves competing in a new environment. Whereas airlines used to operate independently of one another, the industry structure has been shifting, as there has been pressure to collaborate with competitors, in order to become competitive. As early as 1914,...
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