Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

An investigation of potential brand inconsistencies within airline strategic alliances

By Konstantinos Kalligiannis


The globalisation and deregulation in the air transport industry has resulted in a rapid and massive increase in competition. As a consequence, major airlines around the world have responded by forming strategic global alliances in order to be able to compete effectively on a global basis. Airline brand managers of the airlines participating in these alliances now have the additional responsibility to undertake a task that would have seemed almost impossible a few years before; to promote under a single global brand, very distinctive airline brands. This is further complicated with the subdivision of brand responsibility between increasing numbers of individual airline brand managers with varying degrees of autonomy. Although there have been many studies in identifying different forms of impact that airline alliances have on their members, none of them was in terms of branding. This research investigates the impacts of the individual airline brands of airlines that participate in the global alliances and their alliance brands. In order to achieve this aim, the alliances’ and airlinemembers’ branding was initially analysed to identify branding consistencies within each global alliance. The second step was to carry out a survey of the airlines’ marketing departments to identify the airlines’ points of view on the issue. Finally, a survey of passengers identifies their perspective. By comparing the airlines’ points of view on their alliance branding (alliance branding strategy) with their websites’ marketing (branding strategy implementation) and the passengers’ point of view (branding outcome), shortfalls in the alliance branding processes are identified. Moreover, the SERVQUAL model is modified and applied for the airline passenger survey and by carrying out a factor analysis of the survey results, it is identified that the original five dimensions that the items included in the model are designed to correlate with each other are not applicable in the airline industry, but instead the same items are better correlated into four new factors. The key findings of this research are that airline passengers have different service quality expectations among the airlines participating in the same alliances and that their expectations are influenced by the airline that they fly with most regularly. This results in high quality airlines being negatively affected by their lower quality alliance partners

Publisher: Cranfield University
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

Suggested articles


  1. (1992). (Bureau of Transport and Communications Economics)
  2. (1980). A cognitive model of the antecedents and consequences of satisfaction decisions”. doi
  3. (1985). A conceptual model of service quality and its implications for future research”. doi
  4. (1993). A conceptual model of service quality and service satisfaction: compatible goals, different concepts”. Cited in
  5. (1993). A dynamic process model of service quality: from expectations to behavioural intentions”. doi
  6. (1991). A longitudinal analysis of the impact of service changes on customer attitude”. doi
  7. (1959). A New Way to Determine Buying Decisions”. doi
  8. (1979). A Paradigm for Developing Better Measures of Marketing Constructs”. doi
  9. (1981). A performance evaluation of commuter airlines: The passenger’s view.
  10. (1983). A service quality model of air travel demand: An empirical study”. doi
  11. (1995). A Stakeholder Approach to the Segmentation of the Short Haul Business Air Travel Market. Doctor of Philosophy Thesis,
  12. (2002). A survey analysis of service quality for domestic airlines”. doi
  13. (1992). Adapting the SERVQUAL scale to hospital services: an empirical investigation”. doi
  14. (1997). Advertising Works 9, Henley on Thames:
  15. (1990). Airline Marketing & Management. Third edition,
  16. (2006). Airline Strategic Alliances and Branding. Unpublished MSc thesis,
  17. (1999). Airlines alliances: Consumer and policy issues”.
  18. (1998). Alliance Advantage: The Art of Creating Value through Partnership”. doi
  19. (1970). An attitudinal model of brand loyalty: conceptual underpinnings and instrumentation research”. Paper presented at the
  20. (2000). An empirical analysis of global airline alliances: Cases in North Atlantic markets”.
  21. (1993). An empirical assessment of the SERQUAL scale and the relationship between service quality and satisfaction”.
  22. (1992). An empirical assessment of the SERVQUAL scale”. doi
  23. (1992). An empirical investigation of passenger diversity, airline service quality, and passenger satisfaction,
  24. (1997). An examination of the nature of trust in buyer-seller relationships”. doi
  25. (1976). An Experiment in Brand Choice”. doi
  26. (1982). An investigation into the determinants of customer satisfaction”. doi
  27. (1999). An investigation of potential brand conflict between Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Express, Thesis,
  28. (1992). Another model of service quality: a model of causes and effects of service quality tested on a case within the restaurant industry”.
  29. (1998). Are we too loyal to our concept of loyalty?”.
  30. (1994). Assessing Service Quality as an Effective Management Tool: The Case of the Airline Industry”.
  31. (1998). Assessment of the relationship between productivity and performance quality in the U.S. domestic airline industry”. doi
  32. (2004). Brand Associations as a Design Driver. Doctoral Thesis,
  33. (1993). Brand Equity is OK”.
  34. (2006). Brand Experience and the Web”. Digital Web,
  35. (1978). Brand Loyalty Measurement and Management, doi
  36. (2004). Brand Royalty: How the World’s Top 100 Brands Thrive & Survive. Kogan Page: London and Sterling. doi
  37. (2000). Branding and positioning”. Chapter 12 in Cranfield School of Management
  38. (1993). Branding in Action: cases and strategies for profitable brand management. McGraw-Hill, Marketing for Professionals Series,
  39. (1999). Brands between the balance sheet”.
  40. (2002). Building, Leading and Managing Strategic Alliances: How to work Effectively and Profitably with Partner Companies.
  41. (1994). Challenges and opportunities facing brand management: An introduction to the special issue”. doi
  42. (1998). Changing Planes: A Strategic Management Perpspective on an industry in Transition, Volume 1: Situation Analysis,
  43. (1998). Climbing the commitment ladder: The impact on consumer commitment of disconfirmation of service expectations”. doi
  44. (1996). Commuter Airlines.
  45. (1980). Competition fares and fences perspective of the air traveller”. doi
  46. (1993). Conceptualizing, measuring and managing customerbased brand equity”. doi
  47. (1972). Consumer Loyalty for Private Food Brands”.
  48. (1991). Consumer perceptions of hybrid (binational) products”. doi
  49. (1998). Consumers and their brands: Developing relationship theory in consumer research”. doi
  50. (1998). Consumers Behaviour and Marketing Action.
  51. (1993). Consumers expectations and the measurement of perceived service quality”. doi
  52. (2003). Corporate brands: What are they? What of them?”. doi
  53. (2001). Corporate identity, corporate branding and corporate marketing-Seeing through the fog”. doi
  54. (1986). Corporate Odd Couples”.
  55. (1997). Corporate Strategy, doi
  56. (1998). Criteria to Assess Brand Success”. doi
  57. (1996). critique, research agenda”. doi
  58. (2000). Cultivating service brand equity”. doi
  59. (2001). Customer loyalty solutions”.
  60. (1994). Customer loyalty: Toward an integrated conceptual framework”. doi
  61. (2000). Customer/Brand Loyalty in an Interactive Marketplace”.
  62. (1997). Decline and variability in brand loyalty”. doi
  63. (1998). Defining a ‘brand’: Beyond the literature with experts’ interpretations”. doi
  64. (2002). Design loyaltybuilding programs for packaged goods brands”. doi
  65. (2000). Developing Strategic Alliances. doi
  66. (2000). Differentiate or Die: Survival in our Era of Killer Competition. John Willey and Sons: United States of America. doi
  67. (1995). Dimensions of an attribute”.
  68. (2002). Dispensing with loyalty”.
  69. (1995). Does an absence of brand equity generalise across product class”. doi
  70. (1989). Effects of country-of-origin and product attribute information on product evaluation: An information processing perspective”. doi
  71. (1995). Empirical developments in the measurement of involvement, brand loyalty and their structural relationships in grocery markets”. doi
  72. (1984). Establishing a measure of airline preference for business and non-business travellers”.
  73. (1994). Evaluating service quality and productivity in the regional airline industry”.
  74. (1994). Expanding Horizons, Civil Aviation in Europe: an Action Programme for the Future,
  75. (1987). Expectations and norms in models of consumer satisfaction”. doi
  76. (1994). Expectations as a comparison standard in measuring service quality: an assessment of a reassessment”. doi
  77. (1993). Expectations, performance evaluation and consumers’ perceptions of quality”. doi
  78. (1995). Feeling the heat”.
  79. (1998). Fighting the illusion of brand loyalty”. Direct Marketing,
  80. (2002). Food Labelling,
  81. (1998). Football, It’s Values, Finances and Reputation”.
  82. (2000). Gaining a competitive advantage through airline alliances”. doi
  83. (2000). Globalisation and Strategic Alliances: The Case of the Airline Industry. Pergamon.Branding Inconsistencies within the Airline Alliances Cranfield University doi
  84. (2003). GO: an airline adventure. Time
  85. (2004). Hats are not enough – bringing a brand to life through brand values”. Thai-American Business,
  86. (1942). How to measure brand loyalty”.
  87. (1991). Identifying service gaps in commercial air travel: The first step toward quality improvement”.
  88. (1984). Image variables in Multi-attribute product evaluations: country of origin effects”. doi
  89. (1993). Improving the Measurement of Service Quality”. doi
  90. (1988). In Services, what’s in a name?”.
  91. Inconsistencies within the Airline Alliances Cranfield University
  92. (1982). Inconsistencies within the Airline Alliances Cranfield University 189 - Gronroos,
  93. (2002). Incorporating business unit managers’ perspectives in corporate-branding strategy decision making”. doi
  94. (2002). Innovative loyalty & relationship marketing”.
  95. (1999). Integrated Branding: Becoming Branddriven through Company-wide Action,
  96. (1996). Intelligent Business Alliances.
  97. (1969). Interfaces of a product manager”. doi
  98. (1999). International airline alliances”.
  99. (2000). International service variants: airline passenger expectations and perceptions of service quality”. doi
  100. (1991). Involvement, cognitive structures and brand loyalty: The empirical foundations for a unifying theory”. Cranfield University,
  101. (1999). L’Oreal the beauty of Global Branding”,
  102. (1991). Managing Brand Equity: Capitalising on the Value of a Brand Name. doi
  103. (1994). Managing brand portfolios: how the leaders do it”.
  104. (1991). Managing Services Marketing: Text and Readings. 2 nd edition,
  105. (2004). Managing Strategic Airline Alliances. doi
  106. (1997). Managing Strategic Airline Alliances. Ashgate,
  107. (2002). Managing the multiple identities of the corporation”. doi
  108. (2001). Marketing Briefs, doi
  109. (2002). Marketing Communications: Contexts, Strategies and Applications, Third Edition,
  110. (2001). Marketing Low Cost Airlines to Business Travellers”. doi
  111. (1981). Measurement and Evaluation of Satisfaction Process in Retail Settings”.
  112. (2001). Measuring and managing service quality: integrating customer expectations”. doi
  113. (1995). Measuring customer-based brand equity”. doi
  114. (1991). Measuring Service Quality in the Travel and Tourism Industry”. doi
  115. (1992). Measuring service quality: a reexamination and extension”. doi
  116. (2001). Media: Stay loyal and get a holiday: Brand loyalty has slumped by 25% in the past years as canny consumers faced with a greater choice pick and choose where to spend their money. Julia Day looks at how some marketing departments are coping”.
  117. (2001). Media: Stay loyal and get a holiday: Brand loyalty has slumped by 25% in the past years as canny consumers faced with a greater choice pick and choose where to spend their money. Julia Day looks at how some marketing departments are coping”. The Guardian,
  118. (1991). Met expectations and turnover in direct selling”. doi
  119. (1992). Modelling loss aversion and reference dependence effects on brand choice”. Working Paper, doi
  120. (1992). Modelling the impact of service quality of profitability: a review”. Cited in
  121. (1999). Multinational Strategic Alliances, doi
  122. (1973). Multivariate analysis of brand loyalty for major household appliances”. doi
  123. (2001). No Logo, doi
  124. (1993). No need for the brand equity crutch”.
  125. (1986). Norm theory: comparing reality to its alternatives”. doi
  126. (1985). Perceived Quality in Consumer Decision Making: An Integrated Theoretical Perspective”.
  127. (1994). Perception paradox: Airline service quality issues”.
  128. (1984). Positioning the Service Organisation in the Marketplace. Services Marketing,
  129. (1984). Product Management. Homewood, IL: Dow JonesIrwin. Cited
  130. (1998). Quality evaluation of domestic airline industry using modified Taguchi loss function with different weight and target values”. doi
  131. (1979). Quality is Free,
  132. (1983). Quality is more than making a good product”.
  133. (1998). Quantitative Methods”. Lecture Document,
  134. (1994). Reassessment of expectations as a comparison standard in measuring service quality: Implications for future research”. doi
  135. (1923). Relation of Consumers Buying Habits to Marketing Methods”.
  136. (1992). Relationships between providers and users of market research: The dynamics of trust within and between organisations”, doi
  137. (1993). Research Note: More on Improving Service Quality Measurement”. doi
  138. (1986). Retail Businesses are Service Businesses”. doi
  139. (2002). Royal Aeronautical Society, London.Branding Inconsistencies within the Airline Alliances Cranfield
  140. (1983). Script-based evaluations of satisfaction with services”. Emerging Perspectives in Services Marketing. Cited
  141. (1993). Service quality and customer loyalty in the commercial airline industry”. doi
  142. (1993). Service quality attributes and choice behaviour”. doi
  143. (1993). Service quality in the airline industry: Are carriers getting an unbiased evaluation from consumers?”. doi
  144. (1993). Service quality measurement”. doi
  145. (1994). SERVPERF versus SERVQUAL: reconciling performance-based and perceptions minus expectations measurement of service quality”. doi
  146. (1988). SERVQUAL: a multiple-item scale for measuring consumer perceptions of quality”.
  147. (1988). SERVQUAL: A Multiple-Item Scale for Measuring Consumer Perceptions of Service Quality”.
  148. (1996). SERVQUAL: review, critique, research agenda”. doi
  149. (1988). Strategic Alliances and Partner Asymmetries”.
  150. (1990). Strategies for reducing perceptions of quality risk in services”. doi
  151. (1979). The anatomy of a stock-out”.
  152. (1994). The attributes of customer service in the airline industry, doi
  153. (2000). The brand relationship spectrum: the key to the brand architecture challenge”. doi
  154. (1994). The calculus of service quality customer satisfaction: theoretical and empirical differentiation and integration”. Cited in doi
  155. (2001). The chain of effects from brand trust and brand affect to brand performance: The role of brand loyalty”. doi
  156. (1992). The changing role of marketing in corporation”. doi
  157. (1975). The changing role of the product manager in consumer good companies”. doi
  158. (1994). The commitment-trust theory of relationship marketing”. doi
  159. (1992). The cost-constrained global airline industry environment: What is quality?”.
  160. (1968). The Development of Brand Loyalty: An Experimental Study”. doi
  161. (1964). The Development of Brand Loyalty”. doi
  162. (1989). The effect of a market orientation on business profitability”.
  163. (2004). The effect of airline service quality on passengers’ behavioural intensions: a Korean case study”. doi
  164. (1991). The Existence and Use of Benefit Segments in the Irish Sea Ferry Market, C.N.A.A. PhD, Polytechnic South West,
  165. (2004). The Impact of Airline Alliances on partners’ traffic, Doctorate Thesis,
  166. (1992). The importance of customer satisfaction in explaining brand and dealer loyalty”. doi
  167. (1996). The Loyalty Effect: The Hidden Force Behind Growth, Profits and Lasting Values. doi
  168. (1983). The Marketing Aspects of Service Quality”. Emerging Perspectives on
  169. (2001). The moderating role of commitment on the spillover effect of marketing communications”. doi
  170. (1995). The network paradigm and the marketing organisation: developing a new management agenda”. doi
  171. (2004). The Oneworld alliance Brand: A Preliminary Inquiry”. Working Paper No 04/39,
  172. (2001). The paradox of loyalty”. Brandchannel.comBranding Inconsistencies within the Airline Alliances Cranfield University
  173. (2000). The price of loyalty: Do you really know if your loyalty program is working?”. The McKinsey Quarterly,
  174. (1977). The Quest for Global Quality: A Manifestation of Total Quality Management by Singapore Airlines. Singapore:
  175. (2001). The question of coherency in corporate branding-over time and across stakeholders”. doi
  176. (1991). The role of expectations and attribute importance in the measurement of service quality”.
  177. (2000). Ties that bind: brands consumers and businesses”. In
  178. (1993). Toward athird phase in service quality research: challenges and future directions”. Cited in
  179. (2002). Towards an Integrated Approach to Branding: An Empirical Study”. Corporate Communications: doi
  180. (1991). Understanding and assessing service quality in health maintenance organisations”. doi
  181. (1995). Understanding brand equity for successful brand extension”. doi
  182. (1999). What branding Strategies and Techniques should an airline alliance adopt in order to ensure airline alliance branding success? Unpublished MSc Thesis,
  183. (1999). Whence consumer loyalty?”. doi
  184. (1995). Why satisfied customers defect”. doi
  185. (1990). Zero defections: quality comes to services”. Harvard Business Review,

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.