How to maintain Cathay Pacific Airline’s Leadership position within Airlines Industry?
5.1 Participant observation
Participant observation is a useful method of data collection since it allows the researcher to capture non-verbal information such as feelings towards a given aspect among those involved in the particular activity as shown by (Kawulich para 5 and Angrosino 680). For instance, it will be useful since it will enable the Cathay, Pacific airlines customer to express the degree of satisfaction they get from the airlines services as they interact with the airlines staff. This method is valuable since it helps increase the validity of the study as the researcher get a chance to observe and get an explicit knowledge of the study context (Whyte 60). The participant observation method helps to identify and manage relationships with the respondents. The researcher gets the insight on people relationship, their priorities, and culture (Schensul, Jean and Margaret 354). The more the researcher participates in the observation, the more the data he/she will obtain. The researcher makes those being studied aware of the reason for his/her presence and observes more than participating. The researcher will observe the following aspects of Cathay Pacific Airlines. The type of seat and it comfort, the kind of services the cabin crew offers to the customer, how the food and beverages are being served and of what quality (Barbot, Álvaro and Elena 272). The researcher will also observe the entertainment in-flight, the quality of ground services, and the value for money customers get when they pay for other services.
5.2 Industry research and analysis
Industry research and analysis is an activity in a research study that requires identifying the environment the business is placed, by identifying the competitors, the kind of alternative products and those similar to yours, in comparison with what you offer and any competitive advantage in the market industry as indicated by (Glaister and Richard Falshaw 111). A SWOT and PREST analysis can be used where the acronym SWOT standards for strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats. PEST standards for political, economic, social, and technological aspects of the industry (Ha and Ken. 117)The main competitors that will be used in the analysis are Singapore Airlines Limited, China Eastern Airlines Corporation Limited, and China Southern Airlines Co., Ltd. The research will use Singapore airline in its comparison since they were both established almost same dates it would be significant to know why one is performing better than the other.
In this section, the research will explore the strength of the competitor that makes them in a better position to remain afloat in the industry (Hill and Roy 50). For instance, Singapore Airlines Limited is owned by the Singaporean government in collaboration with the Temasek Holdings which owns more than 55% of the airline making the holding the largest shareholder (Doganis 40, Lacar 246, and Doganis 67) ). It strength in the industry is drawn from the premium products that it offers, which are well known in the Asian region. It was among the early adopter of the low-cost carrier that is among the structural improvement sweeping across the aviation industry that is a multi-brand approach, it remains to be the big Asian airline across Europe, Australia, and New Zealand Schefczyk 300 and (Mak and Frank 63). It weakness include its subsidiary Tiger air that failed to implement the strategy of the low-cost carrier, making it a minor contributor in the Singapore Airlines Limited (Lacar 236). The opportunity includes it the consistent growth of 2percent per year since the beginning of the 21st century as shown in Turner, (Sheelah, and Peter 205 and Park, 358). The threat includes it the geographical location that hinders it from serving non-stop and on long range carriers to North America as compare to North Asian airlines like those from Philippine (Pearce 22).
The government has a share in the airline; this is a positive aspect since the airline carries the country’s flag and in nations that it has embassy it gets another government support making it a competitive advantage over other private owned airlines (Ha and Ken 114). The economic analysis as it operates nationally and internationally include the high fuel cost, but the burden was placed on the customers who make them disadvantaged (Cook Graham and Adrian 160). On the social ground, Singapore Airlines Limited has chosen to invest heavily on low-cost carriers since most people are choosing this kind of air transport and have subsequently made the airline invest in tiger air despite being less profitable (“Singapore Airlines SWOT…..” Para 8). On technological analysis, this is a major marketing strategy. Singapore Airlines are Limited is among the first airlines to implement the headsets, the recliner seat, and entertainment system in its planes.
5.3 Response and results
The above SWOT and PEST analysis of the industry by selecting Singapore Airlines Limited, as one of Cathay Pacific Airlines competitors is a clear representation of the industry outlook. In 2014 ranking by a European based firm the Singapore, the airline was ranked the first among Asian airlines operating Asia-Europe region (“PEST and SWOT……” para 4-5). While Cathay Pacific Airlines was the fourth. This shows it has conquered the international market. Cathay Pacific Airlines serve 200 destinations in 60 countries while Singapore airline serves 61 destinations in 35 countries (“Cathay Pacific Airways……” para 6). While Singapore is cutting back from it services in North America and utilizing more of the low-cost carrier strategy Cathay, Pacific airlines are offering its customers a variety of classes in it carrier to travel in while strengthening its services across five continents. It’s a growing company but with the expansion of services its management becomes weak. The fuel prices have stricken it negatively considering the common terrorist threats and attacks it was facing (Oum, and Chunyan 410).
The SWOT and PEST analysis have been used to study the industry by focusing on a particular key competitor, with high-performance in some sector. This can be used to improve the kind of services and strategies delivered and used respectively. For instance, since Singapore is geographically disadvantaged to fly to North America efficiently, Cathay Pacific airlines can invest more in this area. It can also embrace the low-cost, long-range carrier since most travelers currently prefer these services. This strategy can embrace alongside the current offer of various traveling classes in their carriers.
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