United Kingdom and India share a very vibrant relationship with each other and share same global vision and democratic values. Trade and Tourism ties between both the countries are on increase and this supported by thousands of people who travel between these two countries every year for business, family visits , study and tourism .In fact India is home to the Uk's largest visa operation , that too twice as big as they have anywhere in the world .(FCO.gov.uk)
The Airline industry is the one which has witnessed heavy deregulation and liberalization in the past three decades .There was a dramatic impact of liberalization on air services between UK and India since it inception in 2004 and till October 2006, the number of direct flights between India and the UK has more than tripled from 34 to 112 services per week, provided by a combination of pre-existing carriers Like Air India, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic offering more flights and the arrival of new carriers in the market like Jet Airways. Passengers have benefited from more frequent services , with increased competition and capacity leading to significant reductions in fares for both leisure and business passengers (CAA.co,uk ).In 2008 a total of 2143714 passengers flew from and to uk to india ( Caa.co.uk)
With this huge number of passengers flying between these two countries I would like to find the consumer buying behaviour of passengers travelling between UK and India, what's the deciding factor when they take a flight is it the service quality of a particular airline or the price of the tickets or the brand loyalty attached to the airline that governs there thinking . As with increased competition all the airlines try to place themselves asn the best one to fly with , they try to match the prices and the services quality offered by one another .
For my initial research i will be collecting data from both secondary and primary resources like
- A comprehensive study of the airlines operating between India and UK and how have they evolved since liberalization.
- Collecting data from Uk Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of india on the Uk and Indian Market in order to have a comprehensive analysis of the market size and market share of the key players.
- Browsing all the airlines websites and see how they target their potential customers in this highly competitive routes. I.e. on price or service , what's their main target area .how much were they charging before and how much price are they charging now for the tickets
- Storing key findings from the journals, magazines, newspapers and publications like Flight International and Journal of Air Transport Management.
- Crtically analyzing the current market activities to understand the future of India and Uk air services and its impact on the industry.
To undertake the research i will be using both qualitative and quantitative approach .
- Qualitative Research - In this I will be conducting a 2 focus group of about 7 to 8 people . This Will help me in getting the insights of the mindsets of air travellers who travel between uk and india . This will also give me a more richer and a detailed knowledge of the sector , it will also highlight the dynamic of attitudes by showing how respondents may change their opinion in response to the information provided by the other members. All the relevant information i will get from my focus groups will help me in getting my quantitative research .
- Quantitative Research - In the quantitative research i will be focussing on questionnaires. These self administered questionnaires will be used for descriptive research. I will be getting the questionnaires filled up personally by selecting a sample size of around 100 people who travel between India and uk. I will be also posting my questionnaires online through the online travel portals and travel forums.
With all the data collected and properly analysed i will be able to see what are the prime factors that initiate ones decisions to choose a particular airlines, will it be the price of the ticket , brand loyalty towards the airlines or the service quality that triggers the fliers decision .
Literature Review -
Through initial research , it seems that there has been a few number of literatures that focus on consumer buying behaviour , but not all much in particular to airline passengers behaviour in context to the three variables price , brand loyalty and service quality . but there are few publications in government organisations like Britain's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and India's (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) which gives us a hindsight of the aviation industries in their respective countries. few academic research can be found in the publications of the airlines that fly between uk and india and aviation journals also have articles written on this subject.
In examining the literature, few key issues will be addressed like
- The nature of the airlines industry in two countries.
- The rules and regulations which currently govern both the sectors.
- Concepts of the market structure for example monopoly, oligopoly.
- Consumer behaviour in airlines.
- Long term strategies of the airlines which all depends on the governments of the two countries
The Study of consumer behaviour gives us analysis of how individuals make a decision to spend their available sources. It includes the study of what they buy, why they buy it , when they buy it , where they buy it , how often they buy it (Schiffman,Kanuk 1997).
I have also looked at the buyer behaviour model called the Stimlus Reponse Model of buyer behaviour (Middleton,1995) which reflects the consumers attitude while buying a product. There are three components called as input , process and output in which we can see how a consumer behaves while making a decision , when using a product and his post decision behaviour.
Have also looked at various articles on brand loyalty of airlines passengers , service quality aspects and how the price mechanism works in airline ticketing.
For the dissertation we have around 75 days so I am Planning to do my research in the following pattern
- 15 June till 25 June (10 days) - Literature Review
- 26 june till 30 June ( 5 days ) - Focus Groups
- 1 July till 5 July (5 days ) - Framing my questionnaires
- 6 July till 20 July ( 15 days ) - Getting All the responses from questionnaires
- 21July till 31 July (10 days) - Analyse all the data collected
- 1 Aug till 10 Aug ( 10 days) - Drafting my report finding.
- 11 Aug till 20 Aug ( 10 days) - Amalgamate literature and my findings
- 21 Aug till 22 Aug ( 2 days ) - Revise draft and format for submission
- 23 Aug till 26 Aug ( 4 days ) - Submit to supervisor and await feedback
- 27 Aug Till 28 Aug ( 2 days) - Go throught the document once again finally
- 1 Sep - Final Subbmission
Hence i with all my resecrh findings i will be able to answer my question that
- The Civil aviation authority uk website accessed on 24 feb 1010 http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=14&pagetype=65&appid=7&newstype=n&mode=detail&nid=1375
- The uk india Foreiegn office website accesed on 24 feb 2010 http://ukinindia.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=News&id=2067123
- The passenger figures between uk and india http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/80/airport_data/2008Annual/Table_12_1_Intl_Air_Pax_Route_Analysis_2008.pdf