Aviation (Airline and airport operations management)


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Operations management are the practices that are conducted by the business organization in order to increase their efficiency. Through this, they will be able to convert their raw material into finished goods so that overall profits can be achieved. Companies will be able to manage their costs and revenues (Deshpande and Arıkan, 2012). The present report is based on Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited which perform their operations in the airline industry. The below-mentioned report is based on the nature of operations management and their process. Along with this, the way an airline industry can use these practices in order to attract a number of customers towards their services is discussed here.


Identifying the Nature of Operations Management

Operations management is the process that deals with the manufacturing process of goods and services so that customers will be able to get quality services. Through this, the airline industry will be able to improve their services and add value. Bennell, Mesgarpour and Potts, 2011 says that operations management is a transformation process that converts all the inputs into outputs so that overall performance of enterprise can be improved.

operations management

Illustration 1: Operation Management, 2017

From the above mentioned figure, it has been analysed that basic inputs are raw material, labour, capital and so on. The second phase of this process is transformation that transforms all these inputs into final products so that customers will be able to fulfil their demands. At this stage, they are using many techniques and approaches such as inventory control, operations planning, material planning and their control (Gillen, 2011). Some of the functions are followed by operational manager in Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited and these are:

Designing: Operations management deals with the designs of products such as their features, quality as well as design. Manager has to develop products and services as per the needs of their customers so that overall satisfaction can be increased among them.

Planning: This plays an important role in the decision-making process. Through this planning, firms will be able to deal with the environmental changes (Starkie, 2012). For example, when demands are get increased in the market through an appropriate planning they will be able to increase their supply and overall revenues can be generated.

Managing: The manager has to improve relationship among all the members of organization so that overall performance management can be improved. Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited can provide training to all the workers in order to enhance their core competencies.

Coordinating: Coordination among all the members is necessary as through this company will be able to improve their growth in the market (Sodhi, Son and Tang, 2012). Along with this, proper coordination among staff members and manager is also important for the firm.

Analysing the Processes of Operations Management

Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited can use the processes of operations management so that they will be able to add values in the output. The analysis of process is an important function of organization. By the same, airline industry will be able to attain competitiveness in the market than any other market players. Curi, Gitto and Mancuso, 2011 says that through this, company can understands the whole process and their relations with each other. The analysis can be done through the following steps:

Know the current process: This is the first step in analysing the process as through this, airline industry will be able to know about their current process. For example, workers of the company have less knowledge in designing the products and services.

The process is used by organization so that they can reduce their cost or increase profits. Along with this, more innovative products can be made by using the modern technology and they will be able to create a strong base of customers (Daft and Albers, 2012).

When a new process is used by the firm then the manager should establish clear goals and objectives so that all staff members will be able to understand that what they have to do. For this, they can prepare documentation.

Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited can take feedback from stakeholders who get affected due to the new process of operations management. Company can change their process as per the need of stakeholders so that overall performance can be improved (Mollenkopf, Frankel and Russo, 2011).

At last, if any changes occur in the business environment then operational manager can include those changes in the process so that high revenue can be generated.

As per the viewpoints of Wu, 2012, he said that airline industry should focus on 4 v's so that their overall growth can be improved. These elements are volume, variety, variation and visibility. Organization uses these variables in order to perform operations management in an efficient manner. These are:

Volume: This is related to the products of the company that how many products are made in order to fulfil the demands of the customers (Gil and Tether, 2011). This can affect the performance of the company. Through this, enterprise will be able to manage their overall business activities. For example, Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited can manufacture their products and offer a wide range of services to their customers at low cost.

Variety: This is related to all the services that are offered by airline industry to their customers. All employees should have skills and technical knowledge so that they will be able to cope up with the different processes (Teperi and Leppänen, 2012). Along with this, high variety processes are more complex than low variety procedure and so, operational manager has to manage the activities accordingly.

Variation: There are constant changes that take place in the business environment. This is the reason; manager has to manage all variations by identifying the needs of customers on continuous basis. Along with this, there are some processes that don't need any extra safety and so, overall performance can be improved by using the same (Budd, Ison and Ryley, 2011).

Visibility: It is related to the processes that how customers will be able to get the services from airline industry. For example, some processes are their that are directly imposed on consumers so through this the customers will be able to know about the services of the organisation.

Analyse Management Approaches to Operations Management

According to the Bertsimas, Lulli, and Odoni, 2011, Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited can use some of the management approach such as modern and system approach so that all activities can be managed in an efficient manner. A system approach is based on the external factors because it is a part of the system. This model is developed so that all the inputs can be converted into output by using some of the managerial functions such as planning, controlling, organisation and staffing. Through this approach, the firm will be able to interact with the external environment. As per the view point of Graham, 2013, the manager of the airline industry have to put all the inputs such as capital, raw material, labour into the transformation process in an efficient and effective manner so that quality services can be improved. Here, the job of the manager is to use the management functions such as planning, organizing and so on. Through this overall performance can be improved and the aviation industry will be able to improve their growth in the market. An effective communication process should be use by the manager so that coordination among all the workers can be improved. It has been critically analysed by the Fu, Homsombat and Oum, 2011 that if changes are take place in the environment than it will affect the business operations.

The manager can also use modern management theory in the operational management. Through this, the company will be able to solve the complex problems and they will be able to increase their profits. It has been criticised by the Gupta, Malik and Jung, 2012 that this only focuses on the mathematical models rather human who are an important factor of the enterprise.

Apply Operations Management to Gaining Customers and Competing

Cruz and Marques, 2011 says that the manager can use operations management in order to improve the overall performance of the business organization. Through this, the company will be able to provide the quality services to the people so that they can fulfil their demands and needs. The airline industry will be able to improve the designs of the products, supply chain as well as through this their process design can be improved. Graham, 2013 stated that through an effective operations management Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited can reduce their cost of the raw material and cost of the labour (Idris and Hansman, 2011). When cost get minimized then profits can be increased and due to this they will be able to sustain their competitive advantage in the market. When competitiveness can be achieved then the brand position can be enhanced and along with this they will be able to attract number of customers towards their services. Further, the firm can understand the trends in the market so that overall performance can be improved in an efficient manner.

Few more sample on Airline Management-


From the above-mentioned report it has been concluded that all business activities can be managed through the process of operations management. In order to perform differently than other rival firm, the airline industry can use the elements such as volume, variety, visibility and variation. Further, Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited can use the managerial approaches such as system and modern theories. Through this, the manager can improve the overall performance of the industry. 


  • Bennell, J.A., Mesgarpour, M. and Potts, C.N., 2011. Airport runway scheduling. 4OR: A Quarterly Journal of Operations Research. 9(2). pp.115-138.
  • Bertsimas, D., Lulli, G. and Odoni, A., 2011. An integer optimization approach to large-scale air traffic flow management. Operations research. 59(1). pp.211-227.
  • Budd, T., Ison, S. and Ryley, T., 2011. Airport surface access in the UK: A management perspective. Research in Transportation Business & Management. 1(1). pp.109-117.
  • Cruz, C.O. and Marques, R.C., 2011. Contribution to the study of PPP arrangements in airport development, management and operation. Transport Policy. 18(2). pp.392-400.
  • Curi, C., Gitto, S. and Mancuso, P., 2011. New evidence on the efficiency of Italian airports: a bootstrapped DEA analysis. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. 45(2). pp.84-93.
  • Daft, J. and Albers, S., 2012. A profitability analysis of low-cost long-haul flight operations. Journal of Air Transport Management. 19. pp.49-54.
  • Deshpande, V. and Arıkan, M., 2012. The impact of airline flight schedules on flight delays. Manufacturing & Service Operations Management. 14(3). pp.423-440.
  • Fu, X., Homsombat, W. and Oum, T.H., 2011. Airport-airline vertical relationships, their effects and regulatory policy implications. Journal of Air Transport Management. 17(6). pp.347-353.
  • Gil, N. and Tether, B.S., 2011. Project risk management and design flexibility: Analysing a case and conditions of complementarity. Research Policy. 40(3). pp.415-428.
  • Gillen, D., 2011. The evolution of airport ownership and governance. Journal of Air Transport Management. 17(1). pp.3-13.
  • Graham, A., 2013. Managing Airports 4th edition: An international perspective. Routledge.
  • Graham, A., 2013. Understanding the low cost carrier and airport relationship: A critical analysis of the salient issues. Tourism Management. 36. pp.66-76.
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