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Commercial Airlines can be divided into categories that describe their key operational characteristics. These include Low Cost, Regional, Full Service and Charter Carriers.

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Introduction Commercial Airlines can be divided into categories that describe their key operational characteristics. These include Low Cost, Regional, Full Service and Charter Carriers. Low Cost Carriers - Easyjet This type of airline maintains a low cost base by offering a minimal service in exchange for low fares. Such airlines have a small workforce and may contract external companies for aircraft maintenance and ground handling. Sales are made via internet and telephone thereby eliminating travel agent commission and the cost of ticket production, distribution and reconciliation. Instead a code is issued to the customer and then requested upon checking in. Low cost airlines may undertake extensive marketing to stand out amongst the competition. Low cost carriers operate frequent and scheduled short haul services where aircraft utilisation is intensive due to short turn around times. An example low cost airline is Easyjet that was founded by Stelios Haji-Loannou. The company employs less than 3500 staff and operate 67 Boeing 737 and 5 Airbus 319 aircraft. ...read more.


The company is based at Pembrey Airport in Wales and has a call centre in Swansea. Full Service Carriers - Virgin Atlantic This type of airline offers traditional services enhanced by a range of in flight and ground services such as specialist classes and services. These include entertainment lounges and in flight meals that are customer focused and create a high cost base. Such airlines operate a large fleet of aircraft mainly from Hub airports, with many frequent and scheduled flights to a range of destinations. They may provide integrated medium and long haul services that involve connection flights between Hub and Spoke airports. Long haul feeding connections. Full Service airlines may position aircraft at an airport overnight in order to serve the early morning business traffic. Most sales are conducted via travel agents and tour operators and involve tickets. An example full service airline is Virgin Atlantic which was founded by Sir Richard Branson in 1984. ...read more.


The airline offers in flight meals and entertainment such as videos, music and newspapers. Analysis and Conclusion Low cost airlines are similar to charter airlines in that they both serve short stay leisure markets and operate their aircraft intensively. However low cost airlines offer seat only services with minimal extras whereas charter airlines are associated with tour operators and offer packages that include flights and accommodation with in flight entertainment. Regional airlines are similar to full service airlines because they both offer scheduled services that focus on the business market. However regional airlines operate short haul routes with fairly minimal services whereas full service airlines operate a range of medium to long haul services with specialist entertainment services. Although airlines can sorted into the above categories, each airline is unique and although there may be patterns, many airlines show characteristics that overlap these categories. It is also important to note that air travel is still a very young business in which airlines are constantly changing, which can make defining these categories difficult. ...read more.

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