Airline and Virgin Atlantic Airways

Topics: British Airways, Airline, Virgin Atlantic Airways Pages: 26 (9292 words) Published: January 23, 2010
1. Compare and contrast Virgin Atlantic Airway's strategic development with any other (non-virgin) airline. According to  (1980), firms are under great pressure to have modern plans to be competitive and should have adequate capability to achieve their target market share. Virgin Atlantic Airways is among the most successful business ventures of the Virgin empire owned by Richard Branson. Its strategic development is rooted on the need to surpass competitors while balancing financial resources, increased revenue and maximum productivity. As stated, Virgin Atlantic Airways is a cut-price airline that based its success in serving the lucrative traveler segment of the North Atlantic market by providing outstanding and novel customer service experience. The airline introduced luxury i.e. business travel amenities that are not offered to first-class passengers of other airlines such as state-of-the-art reclining seats, in-flight massages, hair stylists, aromatherapists and motorcycle and limo home pick-up service. Also, a luxury boat service was offered to subjugate London traffic jams. These features among others change the travel experience of customers, may it be from first or economy classes. Virgin Atlantic Airways aims to recreate the mystique of air travel through the amalgamation of one-of-a-kind in-flight luxuries with circus side-show. However, these features are imitated by various industry rivals. The airline is awarded by various institutions for its outstanding customer service. Customer service is undeniably perfected by most Virgin business ventures. By taking in -consideration the requirement to please customers, the airline management is constantly developing innovative plans and features that will further impressed the customers. As innovations play a very crucial role in strategic development of the airline, it is also noted that competition is the prime mechanism that prompts the management to improve and turn its services to excellent quality. Armed with massive publicity and established marketing communications, Virgin Atlantic Airlines continues to compete with major airlines, British Airways in particular. The airline industry is characterized with stiff and rapid competition yet a small airline industry like Virgin Atlantic Airways is tough and maintains its strategic position in the market. Financial challenges are affecting most international airline companies yet the airline persistently manages to survive financial disaster by maintaining a competitive edge in superior service. In 2000, Branson sold a 49 percent stake of the airline to Singapore Airlines for £600 million for the intention to increase financial capability to emerging divisions of Virgin group. While the airline was generating a strong positive cash flow, the transition from profit to loss during 2001-02 placed considerable added pressures on the group. This condition resulted to new management plans to be implemented including the doubling of size of airline’s fleet, hiring of 1,400 new employees, and offering alternatives against major competitors. The enduring success in the strategic management process of Virgin Atlantic Airways is not possible if not for the ingenuity of the concept of their vision as a team. The aims of the whole Virgin business ventures in making a difference in their area of operations are deliberately directed to the top. Thus, they consider organizational planning and decision making as extensive processes. Generally, Virgin uses the forward planning technique, which according to  (1992) provides an opportunity to ask the questions like: where are we? how have we got here? and what are we here to do? This kind of planning helps the management in establishing a set of organizational or functional objectives to provide depth to the mission statement and reflect the diversity of the company’s responsibilities. These describe the objective and the purpose of the whole company. All in all,...
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