Ownership of many airline companies is shifting from government to private hands
British Airways (BA) is a leader in airline industry which carries more than 27 millions passengers a year. This company obtains strong market position maintaining high standards of performance. It becomes possible because of improvements and innovation strategy provided by the company recent years. BA delivers scheduled passenger services which accounted for approximately 83% of all its operations. It is flying to over 550 destinations, and a fleet of 340 aircraft. "Its mainline fleet also currently includes 7 Concordes, 71 Boeing 747s, 38 Boeing 777s, 21 Boeing 767s, 48 Boeing 757s, 83 Airbus A318/319/320s in service or on order, and 52 Boeing 737s" (British Airways: Short description 2001). As airline industry becomes mature, BA has focused on market share and how it can be gained. Contracting out of services including aircraft handling, ticketing, baggage handling to third parties are the main difference between BA and other companies. The company employs about 65,157 people. The company offers four classes of service: World Traveller (Economy Class) and World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy), Club World (Business Class) and FIRST (First Class) (British Airways: Short description 2001).
Virgin Atlantic is also a UK-based company operatin...
Virgin Atlantic is also a UK-based company operating on the market since 1982. It attracts its customers by exceptional service and standards. It is the second largest UK carrier and the third largest European airline. The marketing strategy applied by Virgin Atlantic is essentially a matching process between the needs and expectations of customers, and the organization's ability and capacity to satisfy them. For this matching process to take place successfully, Virgin Atlantic understands who is the customer and what value is required, and how best to deliver this value on a sustainable basis in line with the organization's overall corporate objectives. The company proposes three classes of service: Economy, Premium Economy and Upper Class. It invested in development of customer service in order to optimize performance and deliver customer satisfaction. (Virgin Atlantic. Students Information Pack. 2006)
Approaches to Marketing
Both companies are dynamically evolving entities operating within a dynamically evolving environment influenced by political changes and economic fluctuations: fuel prices, trade union policies and terrorist attacks. For BA and Virgin Atlantic marketing depends upon effective marketing system. Both companies employ different approaches to marketing and a business philosophy to sustain strong position of the market and compete with each other (Johnson, Scholes, 1998).
BA business philosophy includes reward strategies and insensitive schemes for regular passengers with free flights and services. The main target group of BA under this program is Business Class and First Class passengers. In