Servqual in Airlines

Topics: Airline, Indira Gandhi International Airport, Customer service Pages: 43 (14298 words) Published: April 13, 2010
1 RESEARCH PAPER CUSTOMER PERCEPTIONS, EXPECTATIONS AND GAPS IN SERVICE QUALITY: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF CIVIL AVIATION INDUSTRY IN INDIA

BY DR. MOHAMMED NAVED KHAN Senior Lecturer Department of Business Administration Faculty of Management Studies & Research Aligarh Muslim University Aligarh-202002 (UP) INDIA e-mail: mohdnavedkhan@gmail.com Ph: 0091571 2701184(R) Mobile : +919411800860

VIPPAN RAJ DUTT Doctoral Research Scholar (Corresponding author) Faculty of Management Studies and Research Aligarh Muslim University, AMU. Manager (System / Maintenance) NACIL (I) Correspondence Address: Dutt Niwas, 809 Sector 17 A Gurgaon 122001 Haryana – 122001 INDIA e-mail : vrdutt@indianairlines.co.in Ph. (R) 0091 124 2397809 Mobile : +919818207809 &

Dr. S C BANSAL Associate Professor Indian Institute of Management Lucknow – 226 013 (India) e-mail: bansal@iiml.ac.in Ph. 0091 522 2736637

2 CUSTOMER PERCEPTIONS, EXPECTATIONS AND GAPS IN SERVICE QUALITY: AN EMPIRICAL STUDY OF CIVIL AVIATION INDUSTRY IN INDIA

ABSTRACT Civil aviation is a catalyst for economic development and trade in an increasingly globalized world where people and goods are moving farther, faster and cheaper than ever. The Indian civil aviation sector too is presently witnessing a boom with a host of private airlines taking to the skies. Leading players in the Indian aviation industry include Air India, Indian Airlines, Jet Airways, Sahara Airlines, Kingfisher, Spicejet, Paramount, Indigo and Go Air. While the growth rate of the civil aviation sector has slowed down in the mature international markets, it is increasing at a brisk pace in India. This growth is fuelled by the liberalization of the industry, increase in investments, emergence of low cost carriers (LCCs), positive impetus by regulatory authorities and improvement in the standards of living in the region. With the entry of LCCs, the domestic airline industry in India is presently experiencing its second phase of liberalization. The winds of competition have changed the rules of the game. As airfares drop, an increasing number of middle-income travelers are preferring to travel by air. In fact, domestic air travel has grown at the rate of around 38 per cent in the period Jan – July 2007. The pressure to provide better customer services has never been greater. Consequently, the primary purpose of this study was to compare the quality of service on domestic flights of various Indian airlines. The service components considered for the study were expectations and perceptions. The research questions and the derived hypotheses were

3 examined comparing expectations and perceptions and the gap between them. An analysis of demographics like age, gender and level of income for the airlines surveyed was also carried out. The validity of the “classical” five-dimensions of SERVQUAL could not be resolved for service quality in case of domestic airlines. The reliability estimates for SERVQUAL as a unidimensional instrument were found to be higher. The main findings of the study indicated that there were significant differences between expectations and perceptions of service quality on domestic flights. Dimensions of Tangibility (Legacy Support Service, Additional LCC Support Service and Flight) and Reliability were significant drivers of customer service. Passengers expect airlines to ensure safe journey, support in mitigating problems due to critical incidents and of course meet time commitments. The study has an applied bias as the findings of the study can help the airlines, government and regulating agencies in evaluating the level of existing services being offered by the players as also in deciding on the portfolio of services to be made mandatory in the interest of passengers.

JEL classification : M31, L93, N75 Key words: Customer Satisfaction, Airline, Customer Service, SERVQUAL, India, Civil Aviation

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