MAMMAD RASHIDLIM A RKE TI N G S TR ATE G Y     O F A ZE R BA I JA N         A I R LIN E S   INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMEN T FROM   ...
28/11/2012                                    Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s                                 ...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad Rashidli                        INTRODUCTIONA co...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad RashidliVALUESFlight safety and customer service...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad Rashidli                                  PRODUC...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s            Mammad RashidliDubai, Istanbul, Tehran, Tel-Av...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad Rashidli                                      PL...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s     Mammad Rashidlibuilding of relationships. Direct sale...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad Rashidliaccumulation benefits for passengers tra...
28/11/2012            Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s       Mammad Rashidli                              PROMO...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad RashidliBUSINESS AND TRAVEL MAGAZINESCurrently, ...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s    Mammad Rashidliclass, and free airline ticket. On birt...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad RashidliMARKET PENETRATIONDeveloping new in-flig...
28/11/2012              Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad Rashidli                    PHYSICAL EVIDENCE...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad RashidliWith the implementation and internationa...
28/11/2012           Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad RashidliRENEWED FLEETAccording to Center for Avi...
28/11/2012          Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad Rashidli                           REFERENCES    ...
28/11/2012          Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s   Mammad Rashidli      Azerbaijan Airlines (2012). About t...
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Marketing strategy of AZAL

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Marketing strategy of AZAL

  1. 1. MAMMAD RASHIDLIM A RKE TI N G S TR ATE G Y O F A ZE R BA I JA N A I R LIN E S INDIVIDUAL ASSIGNMEN T FROM MARKETING 1
  2. 2. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad RashidliTable of ContentsINTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................... 3MARKETING FOCUS ............................................................................................................. 3 Mission............................................................................................................................................................... 3 Values ................................................................................................................................................................. 4 Goals and Objectives ...................................................................................................................................... 4PRODUCT ................................................................................................................................ 5 Azerbaijan Airlines........................................................................................................................................... 5 Silk Way Cargo Airlines .................................................................................................................................. 6PLACE ....................................................................................................................................... 7 Internet .............................................................................................................................................................. 7 Corporate Travel Agents ................................................................................................................................ 7 Direct Sales to Corporations .......................................................................................................................... 7PRICE ....................................................................................................................................... 8 Competitors and Partners ............................................................................................................................... 8PROMOTION ........................................................................................................................ 10 Business and Travel Magazines, Outdoor Advertisement ...................................................................... 11 Branding .......................................................................................................................................................... 11 Frequent Flyer Program: AZAL Miles ....................................................................................................... 11PEOPLE .................................................................................................................................. 12PROCESS ................................................................................................................................ 12 Market Penetration ........................................................................................................................................ 13 Market and Product Development ............................................................................................................. 13PHYSICAL EVIDENCE ........................................................................................................ 14 Awards and Reviews...................................................................................................................................... 14 Destinations .................................................................................................................................................... 15 Renewed fleet ................................................................................................................................................. 16CONCLUSION ....................................................................................................................... 16REFERENCES ....................................................................................................................... 17 2
  3. 3. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad Rashidli INTRODUCTIONA comprehensive 7P description plan for Azerbaijan Airlines particularlyfocuses on its services, product differentiation, and price and customersegments to ensure airline’s survival and quality status on the availableservices provided by two main competitors – Aeroflot and Turkish Airlines.The objective of this individual assignment is to asses marketing informationabout Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL). The task undertaken begins withmarketing focus, overview of the company, its products, competitors andpartners, services and advertisements. This information is being written inorder to better understand where Azerbaijan Airlines should focus itsmarketing campaign and how it should differentiate its product. Inconclusion, the assignment will be finalized with an overall summary of thecompany situation and its future marketing activities. MARKETING FOCUSAzerbaijan Airlines strategicmarketing plan for the future isfocusing on promote as the mostfavorable airline in the local,ex-Soviet and European marketby capacitating its brand nameand creating better attention ofthe airline website and itsproducts amongst thecommunities and businesses.MISSIONThe mission of Azerbaijan Airlines is to become a leading air carrier withregional network coverage, thanks to its high quality of flight safety,reliability, flight controlling, service quality and competitiveness whilemaintaining its identity of the flag carrier of the Republic of Azerbaijan. 3
  4. 4. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad RashidliVALUESFlight safety and customer service are two crucial values that it is impossiblenot to mention; thanks to the high quality service Azerbaijan Airlinesmaintains its identity of being national flag carrier. Providing cheaper ticketsthan competitors without any compromises and maintaining this process inregular basis is another important value that Azerbaijan Airlines tries tomaintain. Having achieved great success in ranging from marketing, sales,customer service, and ground operations, Azerbaijan Airlines took its placeamong the giants of the ex-Soviet Republics aviation sector. Having highquality and safety leads Azerbaijan Airlines to increase in passengernumbers.GOALS AND OBJECTIVESOne of the main goals of Azerbaijan Airlines is to become most favoredcarrier on inland and international flights for both leisure and businesspassengers. Linking other major cities in Europe and Asia betweenAzerbaijan through hub Baku is another main goal of the company.Stating about the main objectives, Azerbaijan Airlines mostly concentrateson budget maximization. It includes increase revenue from flights and inbusiness segment in order to keep financial status high, aid to future growthof company, and last but not least, to secure its product in world aviationmarket. 4
  5. 5. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad Rashidli PRODUCTSince beginning of functionality,Azerbaijan Airlines providescomfortable economy and businessclass travel for their passengers toevery destination from hub Baku.Constantly, Azerbaijan Airlinesimproves its economy and businessclass to the highest level possible, togain the leadership in competitionwith its major competitors.Azerbaijan’s national flag carrier offer several services and broad benefitsthat differentiate it from other airlines; such as space between seats,comfortable seats, and in-flight services by providing authentic gestures. Forexample in flight magazines contain information about Azerbaijan and mealservices to the existing economy and business class passengers.Airline’s innovative and qualitative approach must be seen and positionedon the target market as it meet the needs of both leisure and businesstravelers. According to Central Asian Cellular Forum, from the year of 2012Azerbaijan Airlines signed contract with “Nar Mobile” to provide in-flightcommunication system. By the availability of this feature passengers canmake in-flight calls, send SMS, and surf on the internet using “Nar Mobile”network. (http://3gca.org/nar-mobile-enables-in-flight-phone-calls-on-azerbaijan-airlines/, 2012)AZERBAIJAN AIRLINESAfter the fall of Soviet Union Azerbaijani state announced to set up its ownairline being independent from Aeroflot, the long-time provider of airservices for the Soviet Republics. Being member of International AirTransport Association, Azerbaijan Airlines has been founded on 7th of April1992. Its main base is Heydar Aliyev International Airport.(http://www.azal.az)In November 1994, Azerbaijan Airlines started to broaden its destinations.Following this expansion Azerbaijan Airlines added several major cities like 5
  6. 6. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad RashidliDubai, Istanbul, Tehran, Tel-Aviv, London, and St. Petersburg to its routemap. (http://www.azal.az)An information from Center of Aviation says, Azerbaijan Airlines isAzerbaijan’s leading carrier with about a 43% share of capacity in thecountry’s international market. The flag carrier accounts for 46% ofinternational capacity (seats) at Baku, according to Innovata data.(http://centreforaviation.com/)In 2008, Azerbaijan Airlines has kept its position ranked as one of thefastest-growing airlines in terms of capacity and traffic growth. Whenconsidering the economical crisis affecting many European Carriers andleading them to decrease their operations; Azerbaijan Airlines did not facewith heavy consequences. Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport international capacity by carrier (seats per week) Source: CAPA – Centre for Aviation & InnovataSILKWAY AIRLINESSilk Way Airlines is a cargo airline based in Baku, Azerbaijan. It is headoffice and flight operations are in Heydar Aliyev International Airport. Thecompany was founded in 2001 and offers cargo services linking Europe toAsia. Airline’s name refers to Silk Road which is a trading route betweentwo continents. 6
  7. 7. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad Rashidli PLACEAzerbaijan Airline uses a Multi-level marketing strategy to make sales. ThisMulti-level marketing strategy contains direct sales and indirect salesthrough the internet and corporate travel agencies.INTERNETUsing internet sales inorder to attract leisureand business travelers,Azerbaijan Airlinesselected its one of thebest strategy.With renewed websiteAZAL tries to attractmore people and itwill allow direct salesfrom website.This way of salesallows cheap andefficient distribution costs. New designed website allows customers tointeract with operator directly through internet. As other airlines do,customers also can make reservations for their flights and online purchasingpayment. In addition, website also shows detailed information on offers.CORPORATE TRAVEL AGENTSAzerbaijan Airlines offers to its customers a distribution channel to maketheir reservation. It is another advantageous point.DIRECT SALES TO CORPORATIONSIn order to gain attention and attract corporations, Azerbaijan Airlinescontacts the travel departments of corporations and businesses to agree onnew contract. To realize this, airline manages a team that will deal with the 7
  8. 8. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad Rashidlibuilding of relationships. Direct sales to corporations’ policy will helpAzerbaijan Airlines to greatly differentiate itself and underline the benefitsof its product compared to competitors. PRICEThe main goal of Azerbaijan Airlines is to maintain price leadership byoffering lower flight prices to its travelers. While maintaining leadership,pricing helps AZAL to achieve its financial goals, for example makingprofit. Following table shows the price difference in AZN (AzerbaijaniManat) and in Euro between Turkish and Azerbaijan Airlines on Baku-Istanbul-Baku flights: AIRLINE DATE PRICE DIFFERENCE 200 AZN 01/02/2013 197 EUR 77 AZN 10/02/2013 277 AZN 75 EUR 274 EURInformation source: (http://azal.az/, 2012)(http://www.turkishairlines.com/en-tr/, 2012)Based on this table, passengers travelling to Istanbul would be willing to buyAzerbaijan Airlines ticket. Having lower prices, AZAL doesn’t act assubstitute for absence of product quality, and it can be viewed consistentwith other competitors in aviation market. Some ways of promotion mayaffect the price, however to maintain regular price, AZAL will not supportany extensive marketing promotion campaigns as it costs high amount ofmoney; i.e. T.V. ads.COMPETITORS AND PARTNERSRecently, Azerbaijan Airlines started to operate to Istanbul’s second airport,Sabiha Gokcen. Signing code-share agreement with Turkish LCC PegasusAirlines, which is based in Sabiha Gokcen, made this project to come true.This agreement between two airlines involved reciprocal mileage 8
  9. 9. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad Rashidliaccumulation benefits for passengers travelling on both of the airlines.Having less LLC penetration with 2%, Pegasus Airlines doesn’t operate toAzerbaijan. Like most other Central Asian countries, Pegasus is unable tolaunch services to Azerbaijan due to bilateral restrictions. But Pegasus iswilling to forge partnerships with local carriers such as Azerbaijan Airlinesto access new markets.The AZAL - Pegasus partnership will bring beneficial financial results toboth companies in both local Baku - Istanbul market and great Baku -Europe market as Pegasus cover large European network offers connectionsfrom Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW). In this case, thispartnership will allow efficient competition between Turkish Airlines.As the largest foreign carrier in Azerbaijan, Turkish Airlines is now wellpositioned to carry a large share of traffic between Azerbaijan and Europe,particularly markets which are not served non-stop by any carrier.While being outside of the European Union, Azerbaijan signed a horizontalagreement with the EU in Jul-2009 which removed nationality restrictionswithin the existing 19 bilateral air services agreements it had with EUMember States. Under the agreement, any Azerbaijan or EU carrier canoperate services between any EU Member State and Azerbaijan if there is anexisting bilateral air services agreement.(http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/azerbaijan-airlines-expands-network-as-azerbaijan-aims-to-raise-tourism-profile-75963, 2012)Partnership agreement provides individual airlines to handle passengers withtickets purchased from partner airlines and register these passengers andtheir belongings once. Under these circumstances, passengers buying ticketsfrom Azerbaijan Airlines may also travel with partner airlines and viceversa. This opportunity provided helps passengers to travel easily. Followingairlines are the major partners of Azerbaijan Airlines:(http://azal.az/en/company-partners/, 2012) 9
  10. 10. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad Rashidli PROMOTIONAzerbaijan Airlines promotional strategy is to keep target customer in mind.The flag carrier is not going to spend time and money on ineffectiveadvertisements such as advertisements on Television channels. Other typesof promotional strategies in order to maintain the company name is toincrease sales promotion, participating in business trade shows, promotingthe airlines directly to the target audiences. One of the major promotioncampaigns of Azerbaijan Airlines is promotion its product on social websiteslike Facebook and Twitter.The picture on theright shows theofficial page ofAzerbaijan Airlineswith 5430 fans.105 people aretalking about thispage. Picture on the left illustrates airlines official Twitter page. It has 322 followers. 10
  11. 11. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad RashidliBUSINESS AND TRAVEL MAGAZINESCurrently, Azerbaijan Airlines is not highly concentrated on advertisementson magazines and billboards. Important part of the marketing strategy isgoing to be focused on advertising with leading corporate and travelmagazines. Azerbaijan Airlines plans to advertise on billboards andunderground posters as well.BRANDINGRapidly growing fleet and new innovations show to its customersthrough high quality, the airline implements solutions of growth anddevelopment. Based on these values Azerbaijan Airlines will getsuccess and takes steps forward to become global airline and brand namerecognition. Azerbaijan Airlines tries to keep its brand image in the region with its logo and unique slogan “We are created for you” which has been used in advertisements for quite some time. Azerbaijan isn’t investing on promotions. It tries to keep brand image by showing high quality of service and by making special offers.Azerbaijan Airlines is trying to keep its brand image by sponsoringAZAL Professional Football Club.FREQUENT FLYER PROGRAM: AZAL MILESAzerbaijan Airlines provides with an opportunityof enjoying the bonuses and benefits on its flightsto its customers. Flying with Azerbaijan Airlines,points will be added corresponding to distance ofjourney. Members earning certain number ofpoints will get free baggage allowance (economyclass 1 piece 23kg, business class 1 piece 32 kg),free upgrade from economy “Y” to business “C” 11
  12. 12. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad Rashidliclass, and free airline ticket. On birthdays and public holidays of theRepublic of Azerbaijan, the Participant using Gold and Silver cards shallreceive additional points.(http://www.azal.az/en/azal-miles-view/19/, 2012) PEOPLEThe most important “P” in Azerbaijan Airlines is People. Main services likeselection, training, and motivation of employees are provided by people. Inproviding service, flight hostesses at Azerbaijan Airlines come in contact.However cockpit crews are the employees who contribute to the serviceproduct but do not come in direct contact with customers. Air hostesses inAzerbaijan Airlines posses a pleasing personality with polite servicehandling. The front line staff at Azerbaijan Airlines plays a core role toguarantee that the service is delivered to the passengers and customers aswarranted. This issue increases some amount of reliability and influencesresponsibility of the crew which is expected from customers. Main goal offront line staff is to show empathy to customers by listening, adaptation andbeing flexible. After achieving targets employees get several kinds ofbonuses. PROCESSAzerbaijan Airlines process services emphasize involvement of front linestaff, travel agency offices, tour operator offices, and other services thathelps to reach users easier. The process starts from reservation untilconfirmation of seats. The reservation is possible from all system in theworld. Customers get assistance about booking by giving their details. NEW TERMINALAirport facilities like baggage handling, flight informationand etc. are organized in a way that customer feelcomfortable themselves. This helps to deliver high qualityservice.Providing high quality of in-flight services like mealservice, entertainment, newspapers and magazines, and convenience enablesthe travelers to have a pleasant journey.All these procedures are followed to deliver quality service. 12
  13. 13. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad RashidliMARKET PENETRATIONDeveloping new in-flight services is major action that can differentiateAzerbaijan Airlines from others. Arranging different in-flight product, suchas hospitality, catering can attract more travelers to travel with AzerbaijanAirlines. Communication system like in-flight entertainment and plannedfuture project of in-flight communication is a major advantage of AzerbaijanAirlines.MARKET AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENTAzerbaijan Airlines has great opportunities to expand its routes to connectmajor cities of European and Asian countries.Product development focuses on renewing fleet and creating new longflights from Baku. 13
  14. 14. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad Rashidli PHYSICAL EVIDENCEEnvironment of service delivery and the place where the service industryand customer interact is called physical evidence. Comfortable seating andin-flight food and entertainment at Azerbaijan Airlines, can be mentioned asphysical evidence.Azerbaijan Airlines mostly uses Boeing and Airbus commercial aircrafts.The seats are comfortable and have enough leg space.Construction of new Heydar Aliyev International Airport terminal willincrease the number of parking planes and passengers, enhanced with goodinterior.AWARDS AND REVIEWSAccording to world leading airline rater SKYTRAX, Azerbaijan Airlinesis marked as three stars airline.B767-300Business ClassEconomy ClassB757, A320/319, ATR72Business ClassEconomy ClassThe average rating from 6 reviews is 7/10.(http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/azerbaijan.htm, 2012)The IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) program is aninternationally recognized and accepted evaluation systemdesigned to assess the operational management and controlsystems of an airline. IOSAs quality audit principles aredesigned to conduct audits in a standardized manner.Benefits 14
  15. 15. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad RashidliWith the implementation and international acceptance of IOSA, airlines andregulators achieve the following benefits:A reduction of costs and audit resource requirements for airlines andregulatorsContinuous updating of standards to reflect regulatory revisions and theevolution of best practices within the industryA quality audit program under the continuing stewardship of IATAAccredited audit organizations with formally trained and qualified auditorsAccredited training organizations with structured auditor training coursesA structured audit methodology, including standardized checklistsElimination of audit redundancy through mutual acceptance of audit reportsDevelopment of auditor training courses for the airline industry(http://www.azal.az/en/company-view/100/, 2012)DESTINATIONSAzerbaijan Airlines have 23+6 destinations. Airline tries to increase itsdestinations. All of the destinations are direct flights, where 23 of them areoperated by Azerbaijan Airlines and 6 by code share agreement. ROME 15
  16. 16. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad RashidliRENEWED FLEETAccording to Center for Aviation, Azerbaijan Airlines operates a widelyvaried fleet with six aircraft types and two new aircraft types on order,though it only currently operates just over 20 aircraft. The airline operatesthree A319s, seven A320s, two A340, two ATR 42-500s, four ATR 72-500s,four Boeing 757-200s, two 767-300Fs, and two 767-300ER. The airline alsooperates one VIP A319 and 767-300ER on behalf of the AzerbaijanGovernment. The airline ceased operating Soviet-era aircraft in late 2010,and now operates an entirely Western-built fleet.Azerbaijan Airlines ordered 4 Embraer 170 and 2 Embraer 190. AzerbaijanAirlines’ other two aircraft orders are for the 787-8, which it expects toreceive in 2014. The carrier aims to use its 787s to launch services to the US.(http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/azerbaijan-airlines-expands-network-as-azerbaijan-aims-to-raise-tourism-profile-75963, 2012) CONCLUSIONIn conclusion, Azerbaijan Airlines needs to maintain and develop new ideason servicing well both leisure and business market. Reservations will bedone in easier way by making accessible website. For leisure marketAZAL’s marketing strategy will be addressed via media sources and providemore direct sales. The one of the core issues in this paper is to highlightmarketing objectives and draw attention of business class and economy classtravelers in comparison with competitors. Outdoor billboards and posters onbuses and underground can be mentioned as most effective media. Asimpact of internet to our modern world increases, social websites would beadvantageous to keep and develop brand awareness and to use as advertisingtool. Considering these actions, Azerbaijan Airlines can achieve its goal aswell as maintain its place in aviation sector. 16
  17. 17. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad Rashidli REFERENCES Azerbaijan Airlines official website (2012). About us. Available at: http://www.azal.az/en/company/ (Accessed: 16 November 2012) Central Asian Cellular Forum (2012). Nar Mobile enables in-flight phone calls on Azerbaijan Airlines. Available at: http://3gca.org/nar- mobile-enables-in-flight-phone-calls-on-azerbaijan-airlines/ (Accessed: 17 November 2012) Centre for Aviation (2012). Azerbaijan Airlines expands network as Azerbaijan aims to raise tourism profile. Available at: http://centreforaviation.com/analysis/azerbaijan-airlines-expands- network-as-azerbaijan-aims-to-raise-tourism-profile-75963 (Accessed: 17 November 2012) Skytrax (2012). Azerbaijan Airlines Passenger reviews and customer trip reports. Available at: http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/azerbaijan.htm (Accessed: 19 November 2012) Silk Way Airlines (2012). About us. Available at: http://www.silkway-airlines.com/ (Accessed: 20 November 2012) Azerbaijan Airlines Booking (2012). Buy ticket. Available at: https://booking.sita.aero/asp/asp/azal;locale=en (Accessed: 22 November 2012) Turkish Airlines Booking (2012). Flight ticket. Available at: https://online.turkishairlines.com/internet- booking/availabilityInt.tk;jsessionid=YcBJQQvTGs3n1HsNfMLr9c7 h4rD82vVL82XQL1SttMRhywRXHYM2!-430413108 (Accessed: 22 November 2012) Azerbaijan Airlines (2012). Partners. Available at: http://azal.az/en/company-partners/ (Accessed: 24 November 2012) 17
  18. 18. 28/11/2012 Marketing Strategy of AZAL – Analyzing 7P’s Mammad Rashidli Azerbaijan Airlines (2012). About the program. Available at: http://www.azal.az/en/azal-miles-view/19/ (Accessed: 26 November 2012) Azerbaijan Airlines (2012). Certified by IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). Available at: http://www.azal.az/en/company-view/100/ (Accessed: 28 November 2012) Azerbaijan Airlines (2012). Flights map. Available at: http://www.azal.az/en/company-view/9/ (Accessed: 29 November 2012) Shaw S. (2004). Airline Marketing and Management. 5th edition. UK: Ashgate Publishing Ltd. Doganis R. (2006). The Airline Business. 2nd edition. USA: Routledge Publishing. Doganis R. (2009). Flying off course – Airline economics and marketing. 4th edition. USA: HarperCollins Academic. 18

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