Delta and The Future of The Airline Industry Essay

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IV. The Future of the Airline Industry
The Airline Industry is in an interesting situation. Simply adding a low cost alternative is not enough in the industry. The Internet has made the power of buyers grow with the transparency of ticket prices. This is not something that will change any time soon. Because of this profitability is predominately reserved for low-cost yet distinctive carriers. No consumer wants to ride what they consider a “lesser” airline. Airlines need a way to distinguish themselves from one another while also acknowledging the increased power of buyers. The future of the industry is in JetBlue’s “cheap chic” style. Airlines need to maintain a cost effective price point while also not appearing cheap. Small
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Through similar mergers in the 1980s and 1990s, Delta extended its reach into trans-continental and international markets (Rivkin 7-8). According to its stated position today,
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 356 destinations in 65 countries on six continents.” (
The result of this objective is the third largest commercial carrier in the world, having a strong presence in major hubs such as Atlanta, Dallas, Cincinnati, and Salt Lake City (Rivkin 8).
As with all airlines, Delta’s recent performance has been significantly impacted by industry shifts and external events. Terrorist attacks and escalating costs have significantly impacted Delta’s profitability in recent history (Rivkin 4). The company has also been losing valuable market share to the low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines throughout the southeast and specifically in the lucrative Florida market (Rivkin 8). JetBlue also began encroaching on key Delta routes, and this seems only likely to increase (Rivkin 9). Despite this, Delta has still performed better than any other legacy carrier (Rivkin 8). Still, recent history has brought several changes to this legacy carrier, and the company has turned its attention towards new competitive strategies.
II. Analysis of Delta’s Competitive Strategy and Position
In recent

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