Rethinking Airline Business Models


Rossy, Julian; Wittmer, Andreas; Linden, Erik

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While some low-cost carriers such as JetBlue offer free WIFI, full-service airlines such as United are reducing their services to the bare bones. Starting from this phenomenon, called «convergence of models», this book rethinks the way business models are perceived. We propose a new customer-centric approach, leaving aside the airline-centric reflection.

We broke down the four generally accepted business models – low-cost, full-service, regional and leisure – into components and patterns, resulting in a skeleton called «Airline Business Model Framework». This new Airline Business Model Framework gives a new perspective on airline business strategies. We propose a new terminology for dominant business models: no-frills, unbundlers, boutique, and connectors.

Successfully tested with more than 130 carriers, the Airline Business Model Framework is a powerful tool for airlines’ employees and aviation professionals to understand their business and compare themselves to competitors.