Deregulation of the American airline industry happened quickly and abruptly, especially compared to the deregulation of European airlines (Wada 49). Competition for passengers became fierce, and numerous airlines who began the 1980s did not survive (Pan Am, Air Cal and Eastern, for example). As a result of this competition, marketing efforts became intense. It was no longer enough for airlines to convey the message that they could transport passengers from point A to point B. Instead, they had to demonstrate that they could do it economically, safely and on time. The 1980s were a time of consolidation; the early 1990s have seen a marked decrease in yields and loads, and the airline industry is now developing creative programs to increase its profitability. This research considers the overall airline industry and its key success factors, and considers what the airline industry could do to better serve the Hawaiian market.
Technology Related Key Success Factors
Airline reservation systems are directly associated with the airline's ability to conduct business. Reservations for airlines are made principally through one of two methods: customers either call individual carriers directly to make their reservations, or they use a travel agent. Customers who call directly receive information for that particular airline only; one of the benefits of using a travel agent is that the agent can provide the customer with schedules and fares which most closely match the customer's needs and without the customer having to call each carrier individually. Airlines pay agents a commission based on the number of passengers booked on the airline.
American Airlines introduced the Sabre reservation system which is designed to give travel agents access to all carriers, not just American. The Sabre lists the flight schedules for all major domestic and international carriers with the result that travel agents are able to process information m...