West Jet Case Study

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  • Topic: Turboprop, Toronto Pearson International Airport, WestJet
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  • Published : January 22, 2013
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WestJet Case Study

Current Market Situation
Strengths
The greatest strength of WestJet is their brand image. Through their superior customer service, WestJet has become one of the most trusted brands as well as Canada’s preferred airline. (Anonymous, 2011), (marketing weekly news, 2012) One of the most important strengths of WestJet is their ability to provide low fares to consumers because of their low cost structure. (Yannopoulos, 2011) A key strength for WestJet has been the ability to achieve success through a great corporate culture, and using Strategic hiring, training, and rewarding service oriented employees. They understand the importance of top-down commitment by management. (Karp, 2011), (Ostrower, 2012), (Carr, 2011)

Weaknesses
By only having one size of airplane, WestJet is restricted to number of flight destinations. Consumers may find alternative options such as flying from the United States of America. (Sherlock,2012) Another drawback of having one size of airplanes limits the capacity of flyers. (Karp, 2012)

Opportunities
There will always be a reason for people to fly whether it’s for business or pleasure and they will always look for the lowest possible cost. In fact WestJet is actually seeing fewer empty seats. (The Ottawa Citizen, 2012) Increase international growth by acquiring more Code sharing partners. (Sorensen, 2010), (Transportation Business Journal, 2012) By agreeing with Bombardier to include smaller turboprop airplane WestJet can expand into smaller domestic markets without the risk of having to increase fees. (Ostrower, 2012), (Cameron, 2012), (David, 2012)

Threats
With Air Canada not performing so well, the Canadian government might allow foreign up-starts into the market. (Sorensen, 2012) Surface transportation (automobiles, buses, rail transportation) could take away customers for short-haul trips. A recession might slow the amount of people travelling. (Deveau, 2011) Price of oil could increase fees. (Cameron, 2012), (Deveau, 2011) Bad weather could prevent travel to certain destination.

Market Segments
Target Market| Seasonal Traveler| Business Traveler|
Demographic| Adults 18+| Adults 25+|
Geographic| Urban/Suburban| Urban|
Psychographic| Only fly a couple times in a yearFamily vacations, visit friends and relatives| Fly several times a monthPrimarily for business purposes| Behavioural| Because travel is limited they are willing to research to find the best value for their dollar| Price might not be an issue as some companies might compensate some or all of the cost of the flight|

Issues Analysis

1. WestJet has been in the industry for over 15 years and has built its reputation giving customers great value by offering low fares with exceptional customer service. 2. Face competition from Air Canada and surface transportation services. 3. With only three kinds of airplane, maintenance cost remain low but WestJet can only offer economy class and can only fly to limited destinations. 4. Even though Air Canada is the leader in this market, WestJet is the favorite among flyers because of their superior customer service and added features (i.e. Seatback TVs, Web check-in, more legroom, etc)

Recommended Alternatives
I suggest that WestJet go after the business traveler because this segment spends a lot of money and has a high frequency of flying. However, it should not ignore the seasonal or occasional traveler because this is the segment does contribute to the growth of the company and has helped West Jet reach the level it’s at right now.

Product:
* Air service to 76 destinations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. (PR Newswire Association, 2012) * Increase the size of their aircraft and add other international destinations such as cities in Europe and Asia. (Transportation Business Journal, 2012) * Expand to other domestic markets that have not been reached. (Ostrower, 2012)...
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