Porter's Five Forces - the Airline Industry

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In this paper I will be analyzing the airline industry using Porter’s Five Forces. Porter’s Five Forces is a business management tool that allows firms to possess a clearer perception of the forces that shape the competitive environment of an industry, and to better understand what these forces indicate about profitability with regard to the microenvironment. The forces include Competitors, Threat of Entry, Substitutes, Suppliers, and Customers. When firms are able to widen their conception of competition beyond their direct competitors, and consider the broader economic fundamentals of their industry, they are able to form better strategy to better optimize their profitability. The airline industry is one characterized by low
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This provides further proof of the importance of making consideration of the components of the competitive environment and their effect on profitability. Substitutes
Substitutes to air travel pose a significant threat to the profits of the entire airline industry. It is advantageous to be in an industry with few or no substitutes as they diminish profitability for the industry as a whole. There are many alternative ways in which a person can travel long distances. Therefore, the airline industry is threatened by many substitutes. Trains are the primary substitute to air travel in that they provide long distance travel at marginally lower expense to the buyer. Train stations are also generally more accessible to the public than an airport, which adds further appeal to the substitute of traveling by rail. An advantage held by airlines is the fact that air travel is widely known to be a much faster mode of transportation, yet more and more buyers are choosing train travel over air travel strictly slight for the price advantage. Another substitute mode of transportation that poses a threat to the airline industry is the use of automobiles. Price differential is a factor in why people choose driving over booking a flight. While flying saves a great deal of time over driving, it can be considerably cheaper to drive a long distance, depending on the type of car and the
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