The need for Tourism and hospitality industry can never be over-emphasized in the development and development of many nations on the globe. As a result of the progress in technology and globalisation, tourism and hospitality industry help as a vital drivers of job creation as well to be the main source of income for many developed and the less developed countries. Because of the pivotal role of this industry in the creation of riches for nations, several companies as well as international organisations devise effective and cost effective functional management methods in order to maximise their profits.
A key industry that propel tourism and enables tourism and hospitality industry to its present global level is the aviation industry, which not only transfer people from one spot to the other, but ensures that places which were regarded unreachable can be uncovered, thereby creating wealth for organisations as well as enhancing the physical prominence of countries in the category of countries. Virgin Atlantic, the next largest commercial airline in the United Kingdom play an active role in the travel and leisure and hospitality business by ensuring that it provide cost effective and progressive services to its various clients.
As due to eager competition in the aviation industry, Virgin Atlantic is renowned to be one of the pioneers of in-flight entertainment as well presenting a premium overall economy class services for its customers that can not afford to visit on an higher class but still wants to advantage and enjoy some of the privileges of top of the category clients.
The global economical downturn as well as the severe business climate has made it critical for companies to re-evaluate their business models and device strategies to cope with the ever before changing macro and micro environmental factors that have an effect on the company. They are permitted by the evaluation of the business's Power, Weakness, Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) it encounters while operating with regards to their opponents.
Despite the improvement in technology, the three center functions of any organisation i. e. marketing, product and service development, and procedure are well led in order satisfy the ever increasing customer demands. To accomplish these, most organisations align their procedure management strategies to the changes in the external and internal forces that have an effect on their operational model. Kim and Olsen (1993) corroborated this by advocating that a balanced approach must be used to screen the events that occur in the exterior domain and assessing the potential impact on business and device level functions.
Organisations must concentrate on their strengths to be able to deal with the wide range of external factors in creating opportunities for themselves. On these basis, the identification of the external and internal operational management methods are clearly identified as a tool in increasing production, client satisfaction as well as promoting their products with their target audience.
In every research, there are many problems that are identifiable, but for the goal of this research, the next questions need exploration. What functional method can organisation take up? What is the significance of operational management to an company? Should organisations in the hospitality industry adopt similar or different operational management?
The objective of the research can be summarised as follow;
1. To analyse the operation management of Virgin Atlantic in relation to tourism and hospitality.
2. Establish the impact of inside and exterior factors that influences Virgin Atlantic businesses.
3. How company formulate and take up strategy.
4. Figuring out the strengths and weakness of Virgin Atlantic
5. How the company measures service quality and improvement.
6. To proven the best functional management options for productivity and advertising.
The analysis is of great importance because it underlines the understanding of the operation management of Virgin Atlantic which is one of the pioneers in innovation in the tourism and aviation industry. The research highlights the various approaches utilized by Virgin Atlantic in their daily functions and how it has been able to stay a practical and competitive company
Due to time constraint, it had not been possible to do a comparative research of the procedure management of Virgin Atlantic in relation to other organisations in the aviation industry in relation to hospitality management.
Virgin Atlantic is the second largest commercial air line in britain that starts procedure in 1984. It really is headquartered in Crawley near Gatwick air port and had by Sir Richard Branson (51%) and Singapore Airlines (49%). The airline operates between your United Kingdom and North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia from its bases at Gatwick Air port and London Heathrow International airport, using a merged fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-bodied jets (web 1). Almost exclusively among major airlines, it manages no short-haul services whatsoever, with its shortest way being from London to Accra (web 2 2). It provides three classes of travel: Upper, Premium Economy and Market classes which all bears the sign of Virgin's award receiving inflight entertainment and predicated on airlines seeks of provision of ground breaking service at excellent value for money for all those classes of air travellers (web 3).
Virgin Atlantic was conceived as result of an idea from Randolph Fields who wanted to be operating flights from London to the Falklands islands after the Falkland battle. But due to Logistic and functional cost, the Falklands operation was aborted and an alternative arrangement to possess flights working from London to the United States was agreed upon.
Randolph Fields proposed his idea of flights businesses to Richard Branson at a celebration in Central and he decided to be a spouse in the airline flight business with 25% stake heading to Randolph Areas and 75% to Richard Branson (Web 4). Like all Richard Branson businesses, he approaches the relationship as a endeavor that must succeed within a time or he exits the collaboration. The airline was an instantaneous reach in its first time and it was able to rent more planes in the next and succeeding years. Richard Branson eventually bought out Randolph Fields stake available in 1997 after disagreement over procedures of the air travel.
After its maiden airline flight to Newark in america on its leased Boeing 747 in 1984, the air travel had acquired more aeroplanes to cover different routes and destinations which range from Tokyo, Boston, LA, Rolando etc. Regardless of the obvious success and attractiveness of the air travel, the company faced financial problems in the 1990's because of the tough economy, the Gulf Conflict and the next collapse of International Leisure Group (ILG), there was need to save Virgin Atlantic from collapse and entails the abolition of the Traffic Syndication Rules (TDRs) that was meant to create equal circulation air traffic between Heathrow and Gatwick airports in order assist Gatwick air port to make income.
The TDRs guideline mentioned that airlines that do not operate international plane tickets from Heathrow air port prior to 1977 would not be permitted functions there, but will instead be using Gatwick airport terminal. The abolition of the guideline made it easy for airlines to start operational flights from Heathrow. This consequently paved way for Virgin Atlantic to get started operations at Heathrow airport terminal despite opposition from United kingdom airways who was simply the greatest operator then. As a result of this move, Virgin Atlantic could increase its long-haul flights and survived the recession in the economy.
In order to consolidates its position and broaden its flight procedures, Virgin Group the parent or guardian company of Virgin Atlantic, sold 49% stake of the airline to Singapore airlines in time 2000, while Richard Branson keeps 51% stake of the air travel. This increased the value of the flight 1. 25 billion in that way making it one of the primary private operated flight in world (Web 5).
The movement of Virgin Atlantic operations to Heathrow sign a rivalry between your airline and English Airways. Amongst the rivalry between both airlines was the famous libel fine of 500, 000 and 110, 000 in 1993, that was honored out of court docket to Richard Branson and Virgin Atlantic as well as 3million judge charge against English Airways for its "dirty tricks" advertising campaign on Richard Branson and his air travel (Web 6). Subsequently in June 2006, and British Airways was fined 271 million therefore of an tip-off from Virgin Atlantic after exploration by the US and the British office of fair trading for alleged price-fixing between both airlines (Web 7).
Despite Virgin Atlantic fierce rivalry with English Airways, the air travel do lovers and codeshare agreements with other air travel on the globe namely; South Africa Airways, Air China, Cyprus Airways, Flybe, Gulf Air, Scandinavian Airlines, US Airways, Malaysian Airways etc. in order to spread its reach around the world (Web 8)(Web 9).
Virgin Atlantic has been a pioneer in services and invention in the aviation industry through its introduction various services and technology that are used to tell apart itself from other airlines in the in Industry. It performs three-classes (Economy, Premium Market and Upper Course) of travel in order to appeal to the needs of its individuals. The Economy course is the standard class and it provide among other facilities such as free dishes, beverages and lumbar support for its passengers. The Top quality Economy school provide clients with a wider seat having more lower leg room, main concern boarding as well as individual check in area from the overall economy class people (Web 10).
The Upper Class provide the travellers with first class services which range from larger menu and in-flight pub. It is also equipped with the largest fully equipped flatbed in comparison to any other air travel business class services. Virgin Atlantic airplanes are also prepared with the state of the art In- airfare entertainment system, offering entertainment to all or any its passengers to be able to ensure that they have a memorable time while soaring the airline and keep maintaining their loyalty them.
The goal of any service business corporation is to create goods and services that are of high quality, variety and cheap in order to meet the consumers' needs. This is achieved by ensuring that in depth attention is devoted in the planning and control of day today jogging of the business enterprise, design of products and creating a competent techniques for employees to work. Procedure management covers each one of these essential functions from the very best level management to the immediate control of functions available.
Operations management matching to Nigel Slack et al. (2010) is thought as the activity of managing the resources which produce and deliver products and services. This system of management pertains to the function of any corporation responsible for the look, planning and control of resources for the provision of goods and services (David R. B and Paul L. F, 2010).
Source: Functions Management, 6th edition, Nigel Slack et al (2010, p. 25)
The record of Businesses management can be traced to different jobs in the development of human history from the structure of Egyptian pyramid to the building of the Great Wall structure of China and the industrial revolution that started in Great britain in the 18th century. Before the industrial revolution, creation of goods and services are made through tailor made products. But as machines were developed, there was a rise in the factory system thereby leading to the specialty area of labour as proclaimed by Adam Smith in 1776 in 'The Wealth of Countries' which focus on the benefit for breaking down production activities to smaller parts and designated to individual staff member through the production process. This ensures an increase in the development of goods and services through field of expertise as opposed to the cottage system of creation for specific needs of the consumer.
By the mid 19 century, most cottage industries were being replaced by factories which broadened to urban labor force with effective communication therefore paving way for the great productivity explosion of the 20 century (David R. B and Paul L. F, 2010).
A number of techniques were later created during this time period among which is the clinical management principle produced by Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915) (Taylor, 1911), that was used for the creation manufacturing plant Ford Rouge seed in which mechanized assembly lines, specialized labour, mass production and interchangeable parts were highlighted. But with the major studies in the relationship between output production and human inspiration by Maslow (1943) and Herzberg (1966), the fact of creating a social and a technological system for manufacture processes.
The growth in the Asian economic in conjunction with new manufacturing operations such as Just-in-Time (JIT) process and Lean Businesses in the 1960's brings a new point of view to quality and design management therefore making businesses to improve on their product delivery. Wickham. S (1985) and Terry (1985) also emphasized this in their studies by realizing that the view that techniques and systems are not the most crucial part of operation management but taking a more balanced proper view of management operations. As a result business competitiveness will depend not only on low level, limited impact system of procedure but on a broader management operational view (David R. B and Paul L. F, 2010).
The operation of every business is affected by several inner and exterior factors which determine the progress and survival of any business organisation. These factors can analysed by looking at the surroundings when a business operates usually called Environmental Scanning or Macro environment. Macro environment identifies the clients, market segments, industries and competitors which a business interact with during their business operations. These factors are beyond your control of an organisation and indirectly influence its activities.
Kroon (1995) defined environmental scanning as 'the analysis and interpretation of the politics, economic, sociable and technological incidents and developments which influence a small business, an industry or perhaps a total market'. Predicated on this explanation, Macro environment can be analysed by six factors or segmentation called PESTEL which is Political. Economical, Sociable, Technological and Environmental and Legal factors. These are in frequent change and organizations must establish strategies to meet up with the changes. Holloway (2004) explained that macro business environment is subject to continuous changes and for the business to endure, it must learn to adapt to these changes.
The Political and Legal factors such as authorities policies and legislations have an effect on the method of operation of every business. This factor can encompass politics stability and favourable legislations such as duty concessions which encourage and promote the procedure of business. Since Virgin Atlantic operate plane tickets to different countries from the United Kingdom, the political environment in which it works play quite a distance in the identifying its success. The political decision of abolishing the Traffic Syndication Rules allows the airline to extend its operation plane tickets and increase revenue for the company. Furthermore, countries of high political instability in Africa and Asia have a negative impact on the airline because the tourism potential reduces consequently of less people flying to these countries.
The Economical factors are significant in determining the operation management of Virgin Atlantic in the hospitality industry. The factors such as inflation rate, recession, spending ability, deflation determine the role of Virgin Atlantic in the hospitality industry. The recent recession as well as the euro zone turmoil has deeply affected the tourism and hospitality industry with less people travelling on holidays scheduled to job cuts and, high inflation rate and redundancies have lead a reduction of plane tickets of Virgin Atlantic in so doing affecting its earnings.
Furthermore, deregulation of the air travel industry has generated an avenue for Virgin Atlantic to reduce to reduce air travel fares. Although financially distressed airlines have minimize fares to boost operational revenue, Virgin Atlantic functions different incentives for his or her customers such as discount for senior citizens in the society as well as group holidaymakers in order to stay ahead of their challengers.
Social and Environmental factors play a great role in the travel and leisure and hospitality market sectors because the population demands the services that are rendered by the airline industry. Virgin Atlantic strive in is staff recruitment to hire people that value the customers and provide their best for the customers by getting their specific personalities to work whilst having fun at exactly the same time (Virginatlantic. com, 2011). Subsequently, as part of its corporate interpersonal responsibilities, Virgin Atlantic allows trained domestic pets that accompanied disable people on its flights as well as providing assistance to unaccompanied children to visit. In addition, it offers its customers complementary limousine grab and offer in-flight beauty treatment for its business economy passengers.
The determination of Virgin Atlantic to lessen its environmental effects of its operations was highly lauded by the federal government for introducing biofuel in to a few of its aircrafts to be able to lessen emissions to the surroundings. It has additionally introduces recycling programme on board of all its plane as well company's office in order to reduce the amount of waste generated and be a mindful and cost effective organisation(Virginatlantic. com, 2011).
Technological factors are essential in the provision of highly effective and accident free operation in the hospitality industry. Virgin Atlantic Airways thinks in the role of technology in enhancing services and ensuring that safety of its staffs and passengers. It has been able to accomplish this by making certain it acquires new technological advanced aircrafts in order to improve the procedure management and safeness of the flight. Since flying is an highly dangerous operation if effective investigations are not carried on airplanes, Virgin Atlantic have designers that are highly trained have been exploring to improve safety and security of airlines. They also introduce technologies in-flight entertainment to entertain the people while waiting for entrance as well while venturing on their flights.
The micro research factors effect the procedure of any business organisation. These factors directly affect the operation of a business and can change to be able to align with organisation perspective and goals. The micro financial factors that impact the operations of Virgin Atlantic in the hospitality business are; Customers, Suppliers, Employees, Challengers and Shareholders.
The customers are the main contributor to the success of any business because they donate to the revenue in which the business operation has been run. Virgin Atlantic take utmost good care in providing a second to known service for its numerous customers, predicated on the original school of thought of Richard Branson, which is "to own best possible service to its clients while delivering the perfect value. People also respect Virgin Atlantic as a distinctive, fun-loving and highly progressive brand and the one that is admired because of its friendliness, intellect and integrity" (Virginatlantic. com, 2011).
It also make an effort to wthhold the patronage of most its customers by working frequent flyer bonuses like the flying club where points accumulated from previous plane tickets can be redeem later for free flights in the company. The benefits of in-flights entertainments on all is flights is also a ploy to make traveling experience with Virgin Atlantic a memorable one.
The Virgin Atlantic employees are the property of the organisation that task the beliefs and culture of the organisation to the outside world. As a result of their importance to the goals and eye-sight of Virgin Atlantic, serious emphases are positioned in the recruitment of staffs that care about customers and bring their specific personalities to work in the company. It provide benefits because of its customers in form of staffs flight discount, excellent retirement gain as well nearly as good health care entitlement while working for the business.
The main suppliers to Virgin Atlantic airlines are Airbus and Boeing; plane manufacturers. They play a substantial role in the operation of the air travel by providing reliable and state of the arts airplanes the company. There are other companies that donate to the successful procedure of the flight such as Fuel companies that supply petrol for the procedure of the airplanes, international airports staffs that management the successful removing and landing of the airplanes, IT companies such as Del, IBM, CSC etc, offering the hardware and software for the administrative activities of the business. Virgin Atlantic must work harmoniously with each one of these companies in order to have successful procedure management.
Since the airline industry is a highly competitive industry different air travel devise methods and campaigns to lure customers with their airlines. The key rival of Virgin Atlantic in britain is British Airways. There have been several legal as well industrial disputes between both airlines in order to attract customers from one another. Since the reduction in government influence on the aviation industry in the United Kingdom, there were strong completions between airlines to provide services that are better than its rivals. The key services provided by Virgin Atlantic which identify it from competitors are innovative technology as well cheap and affordable airfare tickets in relation to its competitors.
The shareholders of any business organisation are the ones offering the capital for the operation of the business. Because of this fact, their fascination with ensuring that the business runs successfully in order to generate profit is very important. Virgin Atlantic is had by Richard Branson (51%) and Singapore Airlines (49%) which form a worldwide partnership and increase their operation capital for effective operation and to continue to be completive in the air travel industry.
All businesses must determine and assess their positions in terms of where they are at the present and where desire to be in future. In order to do this, the SWOT Examination is carried out whish concentrate on the company's Advantages, Weaknesses, Opportunities as well as Threat it faces in relation to its procedure and survival.
The advantages of any company are toe positive advantages so it possess with regards to other organisations. The talents of Virgin Atlantic are;
Innovative and extensive services: Virgin Atlantic has progressive and detailed customer services which are made to meet the increasing needs of their customers. The business's passenger services device arranges check-in facilities, baggage handling, meal catering, and in-flight entertainment. In addition, it provide work in association with special assistance team device to provide customers with special travel needs such as ability to move aids, special dishes, health camps at departures and arrivals (Datamonitor, 2011).
Association with Singapore Air travel: Virgin Atlantic association with Singapore airlines has been highly beneficial to the clients of both airlines which allow them to book their flights through both companies. This relationship also allows virgin Atlantic to tap into the highly rewarding Asian countries thereby increasing revenue for the company as well as better services for the staffs and customers.
Small Size: The clear small size of Virgin Atlantic in relation to other big players in the aviation industry helps it be difficult to remain competitive rather in the aviation industry. British Airways and Air France performs plane tickets to about 300 and 244 locations on earth in comparison to Virgin Atlantic that functions to just 30 vacation spots on the globe. Virgin Atlantic also 38 aircrafts set alongside the United kingdom airways and Air France with 238 and 558 respectively which also limit their competitiveness.
Price Fixing Allegations: ANY OFFICE for fair Trading (OFT) found Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific guilty of price fixing allegations after a three-year investigation. These were fixing the purchase price for flights between London to Hong Kong route and were likely to face a severe penalty around 250 million. Allegations of the type of character can significantly dent brand image and make customers to reduce faith in the business for providing competitive price for its services.
Increase in the Global Freight sector: The International Air Move Relationship (IATA) forecasted that aviation will take care of 38 million tonnes of air cargo in 2014, up 12. 5 million tonnes from the 26 million tonnes taken in 2009 2009. International freight quantities are anticipated to increase at a CAGR of 8. 2% over the forecast period (Data screen, 2011). Because of this promising forecast from IATA, which most of the activities occurring in the Asia pacific routes, Virgin Atlantic will advantage significantly through its association with Singapore Flight.
Positive prospect of the Flight market: As a result of the Olympics coming up in the United Kingdom next season, Virgin Atlantic will profit hugely in the transportation of tourist as well as other participant to the United Kingdom for the games. This will improve the revenue for the business therefore of the visible position it performs in britain aviation industry.
Price Discounting from Competitors: The ever increasing discount costs in the local market by close competition a such as BMI, Ryan Air, British Airways, Air France etc. , has made it increasingly difficult designed for Virgin Atlantic to obtain stable pricing framework thereby making it extremely difficult for the domestic operations to be profitable. Therefore, the upsurge in how big is airlines route system have significantly raise the competition between airlines thereby affecting the profitability as well as impacting on the operation's.
Natural Disaster: The Volcanic eruption of Mount Eyjafjallaj¶kul this year 2010, created an enormous dent in the operation of Virgin Atlantic. The ash from the volcanic eruption disrupts air travel operations across Europe, with trip being grounded several European countries such as United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark and other Scandinavian countries. It had been believed that airlines during this time period lost hundreds of millions of pounds scheduled to plane tickets cancellation induced by the volcanic ash. This example severely affected the operation management of Virgin Atlantic profit.
European Union (European union) Regulation: In 2005, an EU regulation came into impact for compensating passengers with valid ticket but which were rejected boarding an aircraft irrespective of the situation. This regulation also imposes fixed compensation to travellers for cancelled plane tickets unless of course the airline can confirm that such cancellation is caused by incredible circumstances, such as weather, air-traffic control delays or basic safety issues (Datamonitor, 2011). Consequently, this law helps it be to the prerogative of the airlines to provide dishes, drinks, and accommodation as well as telephone calls for customers if delayed overnight. The entire expenditures created by this legislation made impacted on the operational success of airlines where Virgin Atlantic were one of the casualties.
Jet Energy Cost: Because the airline operation be based upon the jet fuel, the instability the fuel prices has significantly influenced the businesses of Virgin Atlantic. The volatile price of aircraft fuel exacerbated by the politics uprising in the Middle East has impacted on the profitability of margin of Virgin Atlantic in its operations as result of high cost of shopping for the fuel for the aircrafts.
After the SWOT analyses of Virgin Atlantic, it is vital to take a deeper look into the current goal of the business in relation to its future plans. The current objective of any corporation must align using its perspective which is reflected in the organisation's quest statement. The mission assertion of Virgin Atlantic is "To grow a profitable airline, that people wish to fly and where people want to work" (Virginatlantic. com, 2012).
As result of this affirmation, the procedure management of the company was designed to cater for the needs of its customers by providing the best service while providing it in the perfect values. In addition, it means that its workers not only work for the organisation but derive substantial satisfaction, fun and sense of well-being throughout their services to the clients.
Furthermore, in-line with socially and corporate responsibility of Virgin Atlantic, created an array of environmental initiative that are meant to decrease the amount of waste generated in the business. These initiatives will involve the recycling of most waste materials such as plastic glasses, vending cups, paperwork aluminum cans that are gathered and recycled to be able to improve money for the many charity organisations the company supports.
Virgin Atlantic is also a path blazer in the know-how by volunteering one of its Boeings 747 for the test of bio-fuels in operating airlines with the hope of reducing the dependency of airlines on plane fuel. As a result of the initiative, the company intends to make use of biofuels made up of algae as a part health supplement to the jet gasoline in its airfare operations (Flight in first biofuel flight, 2008).
The future purpose of Virgin Atlantic is to get ways in order to be competitive in britain aviation following the tie-up arrangement between Uk Airways and American Airlines (Sir Richard Branson starts strategic overview of Virgin Atlantic, 2011). Because of this, the company appointed Goldman Sachs to guide them about the way from Air France-KLM and Delta Air Lines in order to re-align its business for future obstacles (Virgin Atlantic Airways, 2011).
According to Baines et. al (2008), online marketing strategy serves as the basic plan and template where an organisation commences its procedures in order to attain its goals. The substance of marketing and communication objectives of any organisation allows it to differentiate its products and services from other related organisations. Marketing and communication strategy enables Virgin Atlantic to analyse its opportunities and target customers which it believe that are highly relevant to short and permanent goals as well as the aims of the organisation. These strategies are achieved through various marketing combination i. e. the price, product, place and advertising which are being used to talk to their goal customers about the kind of ground breaking products which it includes.
Virgin Atlantic offers impressive as well affordable products in order to ensure that their customers' patronage is guaranteed. These are done by implementing several strategies in the short, medium and permanent objectives of the organisation. There are large runs of marketing and communication strategies utilized by the organisation by means of advertising through the periodicals, press and other offers in order increase awareness of the virgin brand and encourage customers to patronize the brand.
The strategy of the organisation involves of the use of several press such as periodicals, TV, e-mail and posters to be able familiarize and raise knowing of their new products and services. The Virgin Atlantic website was designed to facilitate effective communication for its customers and use theirs preferences to design products and services that are customized designed for their needs. The company also offers vast range of incentives such as discount seat tickets through the low sales conditions as well offering family vacations and other sociable events to be able to assist the business in achieving their brief, medium and long term objectives.
The goal of setting up every company is good for the generation of income. In order to survive the ever before competitive business environment, income generation may be accomplished through marketing, advertising and other incentives in order to construct the loyalty of the customers and improve a purchasing romance. Brand loyalty relating to Hudson Horizon blog (2012) explained a customer will choose a specific product over another cheaper or better quality product of your rival competitor because of their commitment to a brandname.
Virgin Atlantic was established to provide a high quality rests services by services at a lesser competitive price and offering perks such as in-flights entertainment, massages, manicures, limousines chauffeur services etc in order to hold on to its customers' commitment to its brand. Brand devotion is not an feature that be obtained in few days or trades, but it should be a long lasting legacy that should be built in the mind of customers by investing in more cutting edge technology and improvements which will distinguish the business from its competitors.
It is a well-known reality Virgin Atlantic pride itself in offering long-haul high quality and price competitive flights to the United States, European countries, Asia and the Caribbean countries, it should endeavor to reach farther and operates flights to more Africa countries where its services and patronage can be liked thereby increasing income generation for the company
Furthermore, Virgin Atlantic should also diversify its services by re-strategising and offering more short-haul plane tickets within the United Kingdom instead of the long-haul flights where the company presently operates. This can invariably improve the income era of the company and create competition among other short haul flights airlines to boost their services and provide more choice for their dedicated customers.
Consequently, Virgin Atlantic should also try to increase their contribution in the sponsorship of sporting events such as sports and other sports in order to increase their open public relation profile which will definitely boost the patronage of the admirers that go to these various happenings as well as boost the knowing of the Virgin Atlantic brand.
Finally, the focus on detail where Richard Branson is known for can be enhanced if the company can ensure so it recruits more hospital pros who can boost the profile of the services that has been rendered by the business and create ground breaking but cost effective services to the various customers that patronize the business.
The importance of customer service in virtually any business can never be over emphasized if the company is to remain relevant in the ever competitive aviation industry. The global economic recession has made the competition among air travel companies very brutal because of the reduction in global aviation patronage. Because of this, many organizations now attempt massive marketing and advertising activities about their services in other to remain relevant in the industry. Customers' targets and satisfaction degree of each one of these companies has been elevated due to all these factors therefore making certain companies that can exceed the advertised services retain and entice more customers while people that have less sufficient customers will lose out.
Virgin Atlantic in-line with the ethos of growing a profitable air travel in which people love to work and soar, strive in providing high level of customer support to its customers. They operate a highly efficient problems system for his or her customers where all issues are treated seriously with subsequent reviews to the client. Flights cancellation credited to unavoidable circumstances are cared for with the utmost efficiency by conversing with their customers on information on how to lay claim refund, rebook their flights and other assistance which can make less demanding for the customers. Furthermore, the problem of lost or damage baggage that normally take place in the aviation industry are cared for with urgent and effective manner to be able to relief the strain of these customers.
Consequently, when most companies in britain are outsourcing their customer support division to China and India in order to save money, Virgin Atlantic are not following this style but stay and increase their foundation in towns such as Swansea (BBC Information, 2010) to be able to keep the high level of service it makes and creating more careers along the way.
As a result of these high focused customer support process, Virgin Atlantic has received numerous compliments using their customers for heading the excess mile in providing a world school customer support from the idea they reserve their flights to the idea they finally arrived as their destinations. In the of poll of 24, 000 people conducted by the institute of customer support in '09 2009, Virgin Atlantic arrived ahead of English Airways and the Eurotunnel because of its quality of customer support (Penny, 2009).
After the analysis of the of Virgin Atlantic present customer service, there are recommendations that I think if applied will improve the present standard of the company's customer service. A few of these recommendations include increasing the grade of food on its airfare which has in most case experienced criticisms from customers leading to their displeasure which can undermine all the nice customer service approach being performed by the business.
Consequently, the business should ensure that working out and development of its staffs should be well organized and a continuing activity to become able to meet the ever before changing needs and requirements of its numerous customers. By doing this, staffs and management will be able to identify the changes in their customer behaviour in order to align their services towards these changes.
Virgin Atlantic also needs to ensure that they use a market segmentation with their customers to be able to understand their ever changing needs. This can be done by following a review of the customers' behavourial needs which can then be used in working out and development of their staffs.
The allocation of limited available resources to accomplish maximum goals and gain in virtually any business, includes the making of choices and placing priorities how the resources will be allocated among several rivalling needs of the business. A significant tool of attaining this is through the Cost Gain Analysis (CBA). CBA is a method used in assessing the monetary social cost and benefits associated with a capital investment over a particular time frame (Geoff Riley, 2006). This system talks about the value of benefits derive from a project in comparison to the project total cost.
Cost benefit evaluation is seen to be used by Virgin Atlantic in the deployment of a new gasoline management system which is targeted to save lots of 20m and 92, 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per time in energy efficient savings (CIO, 2012). The Energy management system is being introduced in line with the "Change in the Air" sustainability programme that is directed in lowering carbon feet prints as well as delivering a significant cost benefit in fuel consumption which is high. The machine collects 300 components of data in the procedure of each airfare and monitors the utilization of petrol in the entrance, delays, pilot techniques and holding style on all flights (Computerworld, 2012).
Virgin Atlantic estimates that following the deployment of the system, it hopes to save lots of 1. 4 tonnes of energy per flight, which invariably leads to a saving of 3. 15 tonnes of carbon dioxide per each tonne of gasoline used in its operation. This now compatible 4. 41 tonnes preserved per flight and if multiplied by the 21, 000 flights the organization runs in yearly, then 92, 610 tonnes of CO2 will be kept through the machine (Computerworld, 2012).
This system will go quite a distance in gas efficiency and carbon reduction in the environment in doing so highlighting the value of the carbon friendly initiatives being completed by the business.
The continued lifetime of any organization depends on the current strategy adopted in order to improve the quality of its services and the near future goals and aspiration of the organization.
Virgin Atlantic current practices involve the adoption of a strategy in differentiating its products and services from its competition by concentrating on impressive technology and services which signifies the hallmark of its operation. On the list of services being proposed by Virgin Atlantic requires the launch of in-flight entertainment system across all classes of people, consumption of mobile and SMS technology on its plane tickets and the provision of free flights that can be exchanged for the gathered miles from their flying club users.
Consequently, Virgin Atlantic has initiated a advertising worthy of $25million for impressive ideas that can be used to lessen the greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (Ivy thesis, 2011). Because of this initiative and other strategies to stay competitive and battle the climate changes issues from now till 2020, Virgin Atlantic has drawn out plans such as investing in energy efficient plane that can reduce emissions by 30% by the 2020. In addition, it intend to remove unneeded weight on-board airplane and recycle at least 50% of its throw away from 2012.
Furthermore, the provision of high quality fair-trade tea and caffeine on all its aeroplanes are also made obligatory from 2013 in order to ensure the farmers in under-developed countries are well compensated for their perspiration and ensure that sound degree of all aircraft are significant reduce before 2020 ( Ivy thesis, 2011).
Finally, since commercial cultural responsibility is area of the ethos of Virgin Atlantic, Richard Branson has guaranteed to invest future earnings from the research of bio-fuels and its development into the propagation of successful in expense effective aviation industry in the third world.
Virgin Atlantic as an innovative innovator in the aviation industry aims to stay competitive by delivering high quality service to its numerous customers by utilizing affordable strategies as well progressive solutions in its operations. It is very important that Virgin Atlantic seek more strategic alliance with other providers on the market because key competence is insufficient operating delivery and sustaining competitive benefit. By becoming a member of one of the three big alliances (One world, Sky team and Star Alliance) where its competition are members, it can decrease the cost in its value chain activities.