The Airline industry: Is continued expansion sustainable?

The Airline industry: Is continued expansion sustainable?

 

Airlines and air traffic have been a dynamic element of an internationalising world economy.

Despite setbacks due to economic crises or terrorism, they have expanded and made air travel a mass phenomenon in many parts of the world. The industry has also seen important changes in types of airlines, strategy, alliances, business models, technology, forms of competition and – last but not least – national and supranational regulation.

The world economic crisis after 2008 and concern over the greenhouse effect have, however, led to more fundamental questions: Is continued expansion sustainable? Which development of the industry is sustainable? What changes does it imply? In some ways, such as in the internationalisation of markets, business models and alliances, the industry has moved beyond the nation state; in others, it has remained under predominantly national regulation or governance. It is these concerns that motivated academics at SOAS to set up a consortium of leading management researchers from several countries in 2008 to investigate the ways in which the airline industry is affected by these changes.

The consortium members meet at least once a year to share their ideas on the future of the industry in the form of workshops, and at well-known management, international business, and organisation studies conferences, to disseminate their research findings. We also use the opportunity provided by the workshops to cross-fertilise ideas with practitioners and policy-makers.