ARTICLE IN PRESS Journal of Air Transport Management 9 (2003) 343–351Airline services marketing by domestic and foreign ﬁrms: differences from the customers’ viewpoint Safak Aksoy*, Eda Atilgan, Serkan Akinci Department of Business Administration, Akdeniz University, Antalya, TurkeyAbstract Based on a survey of 1014 passengers of ﬁve European airlines, this paper reveals differences between passengers on the Turkishdomestic airline and those on four foreign airlines on the same ﬂight destinations with respect to demographic proﬁles, behavioralcharacteristics, understanding of airline service dimensions, and satisfaction levels. Differences between the two passenger groupsare highlighted in terms of age, sex, education, occupation, sector afﬁliation, location of domicile, travel purpose, travel frequency,service expectations, and satisfaction levels. It is concluded that the differences in consumer proﬁles and expectations are valuableclues for domestic and foreign airline ﬁrms in understanding their consumers and in designing their marketing strategies.r 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.Keywords: Customer expectations; Services marketing; Domestic vs. Foreign1. Introduction evidence has indicated that success in customer-focused service development requires a deep understanding of Understanding, creating, communicating, and deli- customer needs, expectations, and preferences (Gustaff-vering customer value and satisfaction are at the very son et al., 1999) and that marketing strategies imple-heart of modern marketing practice. The customer, mented by airlines to expand internationally must takerather than marketing, is at the center of modern into account the different expectations and perceptionsbusiness philosophy, and customer service satisfaction is of passengers (Sultan and Simpson, 2000).the primary aim. In service industries such as the airline Demographic characteristics also play a critical role inindustry, the distinctive features of services require that shaping customers’ needs. Marketers take demographicmanagers understand customer needs and expectations, characteristics as one of the major determinants ofand keep promises (Zeithaml and Bitner, 2000). How- consumers’ buying behavior and service expectations.ever, most companies do not recognize the importanceof this approach until driven to it by circumstances(Kotler, 2000). 2. Research design and methodology The terrorists’ attacks on New York of 11 September2001 put immense pressure on airlines in an already The focal points of study are consumer proﬁles,tough market environment (Air Transport Association, consumer expectations, and consumer satisfaction with2003). Operational efﬁciency (Smit, 1997) and good the objectives of:marketing through an understanding of consumers(Driver, 1999) had already been identiﬁed as key factors * noting and comparing the demographic and beha-in the survival and competitive success of air carriers, vioral proﬁles of customers who prefer a domesticand the events of 11 September 2001 have emphasized airline and those who prefer foreign airlines;the importance of these factors. * understanding consumers’ expectations of airline Passengers’ expectations are among the factors services and to relate this to their preferences forinﬂuencing the service decisions of airlines. Empirical foreign or domestic airlines; * identifying the fundamental service dimensions for *Corresponding author. consumers who prefer foreign airlines and those who E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org (S. Aksoy). prefer a domestic airline; and0969-6997/03/$ - see front matter r 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/S0969-6997(03)00034-6
ARTICLE IN PRESS344 S. Aksoy et al. / Journal of Air Transport Management 9 (2003) 343–351* comparing the average satisfaction levels of passen- Table 1 gers ﬂying with foreign airlines and those ﬂying with Selected ﬂight destinations and airlines a domestic airline, and to discriminate among the Route Foreign airlines Domestic airline identiﬁed service dimensions with respect to their Istanbul–London British Airways Turkish Airlines usefulness in predicting the satisfaction levels for each Istanbul–Frankfurt Lufthansa Turkish Airlines group. Istanbul–Amsterdam KLM Turkish Airlines Istanbul–Paris Air France Turkish Airlines The international terminal of the Istanbul AtaturkAirport was chosen as the main data-collection point.The airport is located at the crossroads of Europe and Table 2Asia and served more than 10 million passengers in 2001 Number of respondents by ﬂight destinations and airlines(Tepe-Akfen-Vie Co., 2000). The domestic airline Foreign airlines n Domestic airline nstudied was Turkish Airlines while Air France, BritishAirways, Lufthansa, and KLM were the foreign carriers. British Airways 129 Turkish Airlines 173London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and Paris were selected Lufthansa 150 Turkish Airlines 156 KLM 65 Turkish Airlines 90as the target routes for both the foreign airlines and the Air France 125 Turkish Airlines 126domestic airline because travel to these destinationstakes approximately the same time—about 3 h from Total 469 545Istanbul—and, therefore, requires similar service levels.The target destinations and airlines were summarized in Grand total 1014Table 1. A self-completion questionnaire was designed tocollect information from the passengers of each airline domestic airline groups were then tested for eachon their demographic, attitudinal, and behavioral category. Signiﬁcant differences (po0.05) are markedpatterns.1 The survey forms were prepared in English, with an asterisk.French, German, and Turkish to increase communica- The data suggest that passengers traveling withtion, convenience, and the response rate. The forms foreign airlines were more likely to be male, older, andconsisted of three sections. The ﬁrst aimed to capture to have higher educational levels, as compared withinformation on respondents’ frequency and patterns of passengers on the domestic airline. Foreign airlines wereair travel. The second consisted of 39 statements preferred by managers (28%), whereas self-employedcovering the service expectations and satisfaction of people (14.5%), workers (12.4%), and students (11.4%)airline passengers. The ﬁnal section focused on passen- preferred the domestic airline. Passengers on foreigngers’ demographic proﬁles—age, sex, occupation, loca- airlines used air transport largely for business purposestion of domicile, and so on. (55.2%), whereas domestic airline travelers were more The questionnaires were handed to passengers waiting likely to use air transport for visits (24.9%) andat the boarding gates and business lounges of the education (11.3%). Travelers on foreign airlines traveledtargeted airlines and ﬂights. Upon completion, the more frequently than those on domestic airlines.forms were collected in the same manner. Overall, a The data were further analyzed to explain the possibletotal of 1350 questionnaires was distributed and 1014 relationships between the demographic and behavioralusable responses were collected, producing a 75.1% characteristics in both groups. Chi-squared test resultsresponse rate (Table 2). showed signiﬁcant relationships between these variables for both groups (Tables 4 and 5). Female passengers were generally younger (45.9% for foreign airlines and3. Findings 55.9% for domestic airline) and less-frequent ﬂyers (21.7% and 11.7%, respectively) than male passengers.3.1. Customer proﬁles Females traveled largely for family, friend, or relative visits (61% and 30.3%, respectively). Respondents were classiﬁed according to their sex, Male ﬂyers that preferred foreign airlines were largelyage, education, occupation, sector, location of domicile, traveling for business purposes (85%), although nottravel purpose, and travel frequency (Table 3). Differ- necessarily on business class, whereas only 43.9% ofences between the proportions of the foreign and male ﬂyers who preferred the domestic airline were 1 traveling for business reasons. For data collection within the terminal, permissions were obtainedfrom the Istanbul Governorship, the Airport Police Authority, Tepe- To analyze the direction and strength of the relation-Akfen-Vie Co. (as the international terminal operator), and the ship between age and travel frequency, Kendall’s tau-crespective airlines. test was used. The low value (À0.146) for the test
ARTICLE IN PRESS S. Aksoy et al. / Journal of Air Transport Management 9 (2003) 343–351 345Table 3Passenger proﬁles by foreign and domestic airlines (%) Foreign airlines Domestic airline Signiﬁcance of the differenceSex Male 70.5 61.9 0.004Ã Female 29.5 38.1 0.000ÃAge o20 1.5 4.1 0.014Ã 20–30 28.5 35.0 0.031Ã 31–40 27.7 27.5 0.964 41–50 22.0 16.8 0.041Ã 51–60 15.0 10.9 0.059 >60 5.2 5.7 0.765Education Primary school 2.0 9.0 0.000Ã Secondary school 4.1 10.2 0.000Ã High school or equivalent 23.3 25.8 0.362 University 43.4 38.9 0.163 Masters 20.7 10.6 0.000Ã Doctorate and above 6.5 5.5 0.490Occupation Manager 28.0 14.1 0.000Ã Self employed/own business 9.8 14.5 0.023Ã Worker 6.9 12.4 0.004Ã Student 6.9 11.4 0.016Ã Engineer 8 6.7 0.418 Academic/teacher 4.8 5.9 0.441 Professional (doctor etc.) 7.4 5.1 0.144 Salesman 6.5 6.5 0.981 Other 21.7 23.4 0.423Sector Manufacturing 18.8 12.3 0.006Ã Health care 10.7 6.3 0.013Ã Education/research 7.0 8.7 0.337 Construction/building 5.3 8.7 0.037Ã Banking/ﬁnance/insurance 5.7 5.0 0.657 Information technology 6.3 5.6 0.649 Retailing 6.1 4.8 0.384 Public sector 3.5 5.2 0.187 Tourism 4.6 4.2 0.786 Mass media/press 2.6 2.4 0.839 Other 48.2 36.8 0.015ÃLocation of the domicile EU 56.5 73.3 0.000Ã Other European countries 4.0 0.6 0.001Ã USA 6.8 1.6 0.000Ã Japan 0.9 0.4 0.350 Asia 1.9 1.4 0.472 Turkey 24.4 19.3 0.057 Other 5.5 3.4 0.112Travel purpose Business 55.2 33.4 0.000Ã Visit 15.2 24.9 0.000Ã Vacation 18.8 21.2 0.350 Education 7.3 11.3 0.032Ã Other 3.5 9.3 0.000ÃTravel frequency Couple of times a month 21.1 8.0 0.000Ã Once a month 19.5 10.3 0.000Ã Once in three months 25.5 25.1 0.900 Once in six months 17.3 25.5 0.002Ã Once a year 12.0 21.4 0.000Ã Fewer than once a year 4.7 9.6 0.003ÃNote: Ãindicates a signiﬁcant difference between the foreign and domestic group proportions at po0.05 levels.
ARTICLE IN PRESS346 S. Aksoy et al. / Journal of Air Transport Management 9 (2003) 343–351Table 4 group, nine factors explained 60.9% of the totalSigniﬁcance of relationships between variables (foreign airlines) variance, whereas eight factors accounted for 59.1% of Age Sex Education Travel freq. total variance in domestic airline travelers. Tables 6 and 7 list the factors in the order in which they wereAge extracted from the data.Sex 0.000ÃEducation 0.089 0.833 The nine factors that emerged for foreign airlines wereTravel frequency 0.001Ã 0.000Ã 0.176 food and beverage services, personnel, cabin features,Travel purpose 0.000Ã 0.000Ã 0.000Ã 0.000Ã Internet services, in-ﬂight activities, country of originNote: Ãindicates a signiﬁcant dependence between the two variables at and promotion, punctuality, speed, and aircraft (Tablepo0:05 levels. 6). For domestic airlines, the eight factors were cabin and personnel, country of origin and promotion, food and beverage services, in-ﬂight activities, InternetTable 5 services, punctuality and speed, free alcoholic drinks,Signiﬁcance of relationships between variables (domestic airline) and price (Table 7). Age Sex Education Travel freq. Although there is some overlap in the results, differences between the expectations of the two groupsAgeSex 0.000Ã can be discerned. Expectations of foreign airlineEducation 0.000Ã 0.313 passengers, unlike those of domestic airline passengers,Travel frequency 0.193 0.010Ã 0.000Ã form several distinct service categories with littleTravel purpose 0.000Ã 0.000Ã 0.000Ã 0.000Ã confusion between various service attributes. ForNote: Ãindicates a signiﬁcant dependence between the two variables at example, cabin features and personnel emerged aspo0.05 levels. different service categories for foreign airline passengers, whereas domestic airline passengers amalgamated these two dimensions into a single category. In fact, peoplestatistic indicated that the relationship between age and and physical environment are two different dimensionstravel frequency was negative and fairly weak. This in services marketing, and the former can directlycould be interpreted as indicating that increasing age inﬂuence customer satisfaction by performing the roleleads to a decrease in frequency of airline travel for both of marketers. Zeithaml and Bitner (2000) emphasizedforeign and domestic airline passengers. Frequent that frontline employees and those supporting themﬂyers—once or twice a month—were found to travel from behind the scenes represent the people element offor business purposes (84.7% of foreign airline passen- the services marketing mix and are critical to the successgers compared with 64.9% of domestic airline passen- of any service organization. Physical environment cangers). Whereas the majority of travelers for vacation be divided into ambient conditions, space/function,(54.1% compared with 50.5%, respectively) and educa- signs, signals, and artifacts. In the airline servicestion (69.7% compared with 63.8%, respectively) had industry, cabin features are the most critical elementsﬂown within the last 3 and 6 months. in the physical environment, involving such attributes as Passengers traveling for business reasons and having temperature, air quality, comfort of the seats, andat least a university degree (79.5% of foreign airline cleanliness.passengers and 79.1% of domestic airline passengers) The variety, quality, timeliness, and the amount of thedominated in the 31–40 and 41–50 age groups. In food served during the ﬂight were an important servicecontrast, younger (under 30 years of age) and less- dimension for both foreign and domestic airlineeducated ﬂyers (high school and below) tended to travel passengers.for vacations and visits. As a result of rapid developments in information technology and the consumers’ adoption of Internet3.2. Service expectations and underlying dimensions services, the web and e-commerce have revolutionized the way in which services are delivered to customers and To probe the service expectations of airline passen- have changed the traditional relationship betweengers, the respondents were asked to rate the importance customers and service providers. The beneﬁts ofof 39 service attributes on a seven-point Likert scale electronic channels for services marketing are consistentranging from ‘not important at all’ (1) to ‘very delivery for standardized services, low cost, customerimportant’ (7). A separate factor analysis was applied convenience, wide distribution, customer choice, abilityto each group of passengers. The principal components to customize, and quick customer feedback. In themethod, using varimax rotation, reduced the 39 airline services industry, the use of the Internet by ﬁrmsvariables to nine factors for foreign airlines passengers to communicate information is related both to hardand to eight factors for the domestic passengers, with information—in the form of schedules and the avail-eigenvalues greater than 1.0. In the foreign airlines ability of fare information—and to softer general
ARTICLE IN PRESS S. Aksoy et al. / Journal of Air Transport Management 9 (2003) 343–351 347Table 6Factors underlying service expectations of foreign airline passengersFactor Factor interpretation (% variance explained) Loading Service attributeF1 Food and beverage services 0.766 Amount of the food served during ﬂight (9.69%) 0.676 Variety of food served during ﬂight 0.653 Timeliness of food and drink service 0.625 Quality of food served 0.583 Free alcoholic drinksF2 Personnel 0.721 Cabin crew’s credibility (9.22%) 0.658 Physical appearance of cabin crew (tidiness etc.) 0.639 Close attention by cabin crew 0.610 Cabin crew’s ability to answer questions 0.475 Cabin crew’s ability to speak foreign languagesF3 Cabin features 0.694 Cabin temperature (8.63%) 0.690 Cabin ventilation 0.615 Comfort of the seats 0.601 Continuous innovation and improvements in services 0.572 Convenience in making reservation/booking 0.496 Cabin cleanliness 0.459 Attractive ticket faresF4 Internet services 0.798 Adequacy and amount of information on airline’s website (7.86%) 0.772 Ticket purchase opportunity via Internet 0.751 Availability of airline website on InternetF5 In-ﬂight activities 0.689 Various music options during ﬂight (6.88%) 0.635 Visual ﬂight information in the cabin (speed, altitude etc.) 0.610 Films and broadcasts during ﬂight 0.599 Telephone call option during ﬂightF6 Country of origin and promotion 0.786 Country of origin of the airline (6.28%) 0.756 Being my national airline 0.505 Attractiveness of advertisements of the airlineF7 Punctuality 0.798 On-time luggage delivery on arrival (4.82%) 0.685 On-time departures and arrivalsF8 Speed 0.804 Direct service to destination (4.55%) 0.756 Frequent ﬂights to destinationF9 Aircraft 0.822 New models of aircraft (2.95%)information about the service provider company supplies (Alamdari, 1999). Although the present(Driver, 1999). In the present study, Internet services research was conducted on short-haul ﬂights, in-ﬂightcovering such functions as ticket purchasing and entertainment activities emerged as a distinct serviceinformation search by customers were found to be an dimension for both foreign and domestic airlineimportant part of the whole service expectation package passengers, in particular, expectations of telephone callfor both groups of passengers. option, ﬁlms and broadcasts, visual ﬂight information, The use of sophisticated video and audio systems as and various music options.in-ﬂight entertainment systems (IFEs) has become an National loyalty plays a key role in selecting an airlineimportant differentiating tool for airlines in the past (Bruning, 1997). Airlines differ in the way in which theydecade. There is a wide range of IFEs available, conduct their marketing communication and the extentparticularly on long-haul ﬂights. These systems include to which they use advertising and other elements of thevideo-on-demand, air map display, exterior view cam- promotion mix. The factor analyses in the results of theeras, gambling, computer games, destination informa- present study have gathered such items as ‘being mytion, ﬁnancial services, shopping catalogues, music national airline’, ‘country of origin of the airline’,channels, telephone, facsimile, and in-seat power ‘attractiveness of advertisements of the airline’, and
ARTICLE IN PRESS348 S. Aksoy et al. / Journal of Air Transport Management 9 (2003) 343–351Table 7Factors underlying service expectations of domestic airline passengersFactor Factor interpretation (% variance explained) Loading Service attributeF1 Cabin features and personnel (30.67%) 0.779 Cabin ventilation 0.647 Cabin temperature 0.621 Convenience in making reservation/booking 0.616 Continuous innovation and improvements in services 0.544 Comfort of the seats 0.495 Cabin crew’s ability to answer questions 0.491 Keeping you informed about all types of ﬂight information 0.485 Cabin cleanliness 0.482 Cabin crew’s credibilityF2 Country of origin and promotion (6.41%) 0.781 Being my national airline 0.751 Country of origin of the airline 0.532 Attractiveness of advertisements of the airline 0.522 Variety of duty free goods sold during ﬂight 0.515 Special offers for frequent ﬂiers (discounts, free ticket, etc.) 0.459 Visual attractiveness of the service material (ticket, etc.)F3 Food and beverage services (5.00%) 0.728 Variety of food served during ﬂight 0.677 Quality of food served 0.656 Amount of food served during ﬂight 0.653 Timeliness of food and drink serviceF4 In-ﬂight activities (4.47%) 0.754 Films and broadcasts during ﬂight 0.720 Various music options during ﬂight 0.555 Visual ﬂight information in the cabin (speed, altitude etc.) 0.498 Telephone call option during ﬂightF5 Internet services (3.71%) 0.794 Ticket purchase opportunity via Internet 0.780 Adequacy and amount of information on airline’s website 0.759 Availability of airline website on InternetF6 Punctuality and speed (3.23%) 0.729 On-time departures and arrivals 0.658 On-time luggage delivery on arrival 0.592 Speed in check-in services 0.469 Direct service to destinationF7 Free alcoholic beverages (2.96%) 0.750 Free alcoholic drinks 0.475 Cabin crew’s ability to speak foreign languagesF8 Price (2.68%) 0.686 Attractive ticket faressome other promotional attributes—highlighting an- comfort and timeliness, Rhoades et al. (1998) on on-other dimension labeled as country of origin (of both the time performance and fares, and Chang and Yeh (2002)airline and the passenger) and promotion, reinforcing on on-board comfort, airline employees, reliability, andthe points raised by Bruning. convenience of service. The results also give support to Punctuality and speed showed little difference be- the argument that service quality expectations varytween foreign and domestic airline passengers. Price, between different consumer groups, such as by differenthowever, was an important service component for nationalities. In the context of airline services, fordomestic airline passengers, and had a signiﬁcantly example, Sultan and Simpson (2000) have detectedhigher mean value than that for foreign airline signiﬁcant differences between the service qualitypassengers. Aircraft, which was expressed by ‘new expectations of US and European passenger groups. Inmodels of aircraft’, appeared as a separate dimension addition to such broad corroboration, the present studyfor foreign airline passengers, which can, perhaps, be provides empirical evidence that signiﬁcant differencesrelated to higher security needs. exist not only between the mean values of service These service dimensions corroborate the ﬁndings of expectations of passengers on foreign and domesticYoung et al. (1994) on in-ﬂight comfort, operations, and airlines, but also between the underlying dimensionsefﬁciency, Waikar and Nichols (1997) on relative of their expectations. Reviewing the results of the
ARTICLE IN PRESS S. Aksoy et al. / Journal of Air Transport Management 9 (2003) 343–351 349two-factor analyses and based on the clustering of the Finally, female passengers traveling by foreign airlinesservice attributes, it is concluded that passengers on gave more emphasis to punctuality than did males.foreign airlines have a much clearer expectation of In the domestic airline group, expectations on priceairline services than do passengers on the domestic were signiﬁcantly affected by occupation and sex.carrier. Although the passengers of the domestic airline Managers had lower expectations on attractive ticketshowed higher expectations than the other group, their fares than did other occupational categories, and maleconsciousness of service dimensions has displayed a passengers were more price-sensitive than females.rather blurred pattern. This might be attributed to their Passenger demographics did not have any signiﬁcantinclination to expect ‘much of everything’ without a effect on expectations regarding punctuality and speed,complete understanding of airline service features. free alcoholic drinks, and cabin and personnel. How- ever, Internet facilities were signiﬁcantly affected by age and educational level. Domestic airline passengers who3.3. Service dimensions by customer demographics were younger and more educated had higher expecta- tions on this dimension. The analysis for the country of Demographic characteristics play a critical role in origin and promotion dimension yielded similar ﬁndingsshaping customers’ needs. Marketers take demographic to those of foreign airlines passengers. The expectationscharacteristics as one of the major determinants of of workers were signiﬁcantly lower than those ofconsumers’ buying behaviour. In this research, possible managers, professionals, and engineers. Primary- andinﬂuences on airline passengers’ service expectations high-school graduates gave more importance to countryby their demographic characteristics were searched. of origin, and they valued promotions more than didANOVA procedures and other post hoc tests Bonferroni passengers of university status and above. Food andand Scheffe analyses were employed between the beverage service expectations increased with lowerindependent variable (demographics) and the dependent education levels. Regarding the in-ﬂight activities, malesvariables (factor scores for the service dimensions). (compared with females), middle-aged passengers In the foreign airlines group, age was found to have a (compared with those aged 60 and above), and high-signiﬁcant effect on passengers’ expectations regarding school graduates (compared with university graduates)cabin features. Passengers of 61 years and over had expressed higher expectations.higher expectations than those aged 31–40 and thoseaged 41–50 in terms of temperature, ventilation, 3.4. Satisfaction level and discrimination by servicecleanliness, and comfort of the seats. Sex was another dimensionsvariable that signiﬁcantly inﬂuenced passengers’ expec-tations of cabin features, with females having higher As consumers’ satisfaction is located at the center ofexpectations than males. The variation in passengers’ modern marketing thinking, marketing-oriented ﬁrmsexpectations on cabin features with respect to occupa- continuously seek ways of keeping their customerstional levels was also found to be signiﬁcant. Personnel satisﬁed. Air travel industry is no exception in this senseand speed did not differ by passengers’ demographics. and it is generally anticipated that airline ﬁrms will be There was a clear age group distinction in terms of in- rewarded with renewed patronage as long as theyﬂight activities. The 20–30 age group was found to have succeed in delivering value and satisfy their passengers.higher expectations than those aged 41–50 and those Passengers’ satisfaction based on their experiences withaged 51–60. Other variables inﬂuencing in-ﬂight activ- the respective airlines in this research was probed using aities were occupational levels (especially, managers as seven-point scale ranging from (1) ‘not satisﬁed at all’ tocompared with students) and educational levels. A (7) ‘very satisﬁed’. Mean values and standard deviationsdecrease in educational levels was seen to lead to for the overall satisfaction levels of foreign and domestichigher expectations in music options and ﬁlms and airline passengers were calculated and the statisticalbroadcasts during the ﬂight. Males had lower expecta- signiﬁcance of the difference between the two groupstions than females (sig.=0.03). Expectations on aircraft was tested (Table 8).differed by sex only, with male passengers showing Overall satisfaction levels of the two groups displayedhigher expectations than females. Country of origin and similar patterns, and no signiﬁcant statistical differencepromotion dimension varied across the occupational was detected. This could be interpreted to mean thatcategories with workers displaying higher expectations airlines are serving their customers’ needs, but there isthan academics. Expectations on food and beverage still some potential for augmenting their offers to delightservices differed by age and education (sig.=0.005 customers.and 0.002, respectively). There were clear distinctions To identify key service dimensions, discriminantbetween the age categories regarding Internet facilities analysis was conducted to determine which, if any, ofand punctuality, with the expectations of younger the nine service dimensions for foreign airline passengerspassengers being higher than those of older passengers. and of the eight service dimensions for domestic airline
ARTICLE IN PRESS350 S. Aksoy et al. / Journal of Air Transport Management 9 (2003) 343–351Table 8 Table 10Overall satisfaction levels of foreign and domestic airline passengers Structure matrix regarding domestic airline passengers Foreign Domestic Structure matrix Function airlines (%) airline (%) 1 2 Very satisﬁed 15.1 14.7 Price 0.661Ã 0.410 Satisﬁed 52.3 50.9 Punctuality and speed À0.406Ã À0.133 Somewhat satisﬁed 18.3 19.0 Internet services 0.393Ã À0.240 Neither satisﬁed nor dissatisﬁed 6.9 5.7 Free alcoholic beverages 0.335Ã À0.293 Somewhat dissatisﬁed 4.0 3.1 Cabin features and personnel À0.249 0.521Ã Dissatisﬁed 1.9 2.8 Country of origin and promotion À0.097 0.277Ã Not satisﬁed at all 1.6 3.8 Food and beverage services À0.115 0.273Ã In-ﬂight activities À0.022 0.171ÃMean 5.56 5.45Standard deviation 1.21 1.39 Note: Numbers are pooled within-groups correlations between discriminating variables and standardized canonical discriminantt-value (and probability) for the 1.174 (0.241) functions. Ãindicates that the respective variable is signiﬁcant at po0.05 level. difference passengers into three satisfaction groups. Price, punctu-Table 9 ality and speed, Internet services, and free alcoholicStructure matrix regarding foreign airline passengers beverages had the highest discriminatory power for theStructure matrix Function domestic airline group. 1 2Cabin features 0.596Ã À0.138Personnel 0.504Ã À0.101 4. ConclusionsSpeed À0.373Ã À0.070In-ﬂight activities À0.246Ã À0.046Aircraft 0.189Ã 0.058 Shrinking demand, intense competition in deregulatedCountry of origin and promotion 0.059 0.806Ã markets, and rising costs have put a heavy burden onFood and beverage services À0.218 0.397Ã airline ﬁrms, particularly in the past few years.Internet services 0.115 0.352ÃPunctuality 0.069 0.098Ã Kandampully and Duddy (1999) have pointed out that creating superior value for customers requires a detailedNote: Numbers are pooled within-groups correlations between understanding of the customer’s entire needs anddiscriminating variables and standardized canonical discriminant expectations, not only as it is today but also as itfunctions.Ãindicates that the respective variable is signiﬁcant at po0.05 level. evolves over time. They further add that a ﬁrm’s competitive advantage is established by its ability to satisfy customers’ present and future needs. The primarypassengers predicted satisfaction to a statistically purpose of this paper has been to look at the proﬁlessigniﬁcant degree. For discriminant analysis, the factor and service expectations of airline customers of domesticscores of the previously deﬁned factors were taken as the and foreign carriers, and to provide valuable clues forexploratory variables, and the dependent variable improved services.consisted of the airline passengers’ overall rating of the The ﬁndings based on data collected from ﬁveexperience, which was collapsed into a three-group European airlines demonstrate that signiﬁcant differ-measure of satisfaction (satisﬁed, undecided, dissatis- ences exist between the foreign and domestic airlineﬁed). The results of the two multiple discriminant passenger groups on the same ﬂight destinations withanalyses are shown for foreign and domestic airlines in respect to their demographic proﬁles, behavioral char-Tables 9 and 10. acteristics, and understanding of airline service dimen- The analyses yielded two discriminant functions for sions. Compared with those on domestic airlines,each airline group. The ﬁrst function for each group was foreign airline passengers were found to be older, betterfound to be statistically signiﬁcant (beyond 0.05) in educated, more frequent travelers, and more interna-terms of Wilk’s l: The order of entry into discriminant tionally oriented. These customers were traveling gen-analysis was used to determine the relative importance erally for business purposes and held managerialof the factors in discriminating the three satisfaction positions. Signiﬁcant relationships were also detectedgroups from each other. The results show that cabin for foreign airline passengers as between age and sex,features, personnel, speed, in-ﬂight activities, and air- travel purpose, and travel frequency; between sex andcraft were the ﬁve variables having the highest travel purpose and travel frequency; and betweendiscriminatory power in classifying the foreign airline education and travel purpose. Similar relationships
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