Alaska Airlines was founded in Anchorage, Alaska in 1932. It then expanded to 22 aircraft operating within the state by 1934. In the late 1970s, the airline began to expand to the lower Western states and by 1987 it had acquired Horizon Air and Jet America. These acquisitions bolstered Alaska Airline’s North/South route structure and complemented the seasonal passenger travel to Alaska. (Sterling,2008)
Today, Alaska Air Group, Inc. (Alaska Air) is the holding company for Alaska Airlines, Inc. and Horizon Air Industries Inc. Currently, Alaska Air offers air travel for more than 23 million people to over 90 destinations. (Sterling,2008) As well as providing passenger air travel, Alaska Air ...view middle of the document...
There are over 1,100 airports in Alaska and over 3,000 landing strips. Over 13% percent of the revenue generated by tourism goes to air travel. Alaskan travelers fly an average of nine times per year vs. the main land US average of twice a year. (AAEN, 2006) Alaska Air maintains a 50% market share based on passenger enplanements at Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland and Anchorage airports. Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, United Airlines, Delta Airlines, US airways, American Airlines, Virgin America and Allegiant are Alaska Air’s main competitors. (AAEN, 2006)
Alaska Airlines continually prides itself on the quality of its services. The airline Quality Rating, published annually by the University of Nebraska Omaha Aviation Institute and the School of Business at Wichita State University, uses 15 criteria to compare quality among the largest domestic US airlines. In 2004 Alaska Airlines finished second, just behind Jet Blue Airlines. (AALB, 2009) Alaska started to slip in ratings and by 2008, was ranked 5th. The overall rankings changed very little from 2008 to 2009, as the top four airlines remained the same. Hawaiian repeated as the overall No. 1 ranked airline by a narrow margin over AirTran. The biggest change was Alaska, falling from a No. 5 ranking down to No. 11. (AALB, 2009)
Following in line with a culture that is proud and very service oriented, Alaska Air offers more services than budget carriers including baggage swaps and transfers. They also have in-flight meals in first class and have also added food-for-purchase options in coach, by offering a hot, fresh meal for purchase on almost every flight longer than 2½ hours. (AALB, 2009) They feel that as a passenger, once you board their plane, your part of their Alaska Airlines family. Alaska does continue to dominate the service based awards and recognition programs for the travel industry. Alaska Airlines received the highest numerical score among seven traditional network airline carriers in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2011 North America Airline Satisfaction Study. Amongst other awards they also recently received the following: Executive Travel Award, Best Domestic Frequent Flyer Program 2011; Federal Aviation Administration Diamond Award 2011-2011 for maintenance training excellence for 10 consecutive years; 2011 Air Transport World Airline Technology Leadership Award; #1 On-Time Major North American Airline, 2010. (AALB, 2009)
In a service oriented organization, the employees are the most important element of the marketing mix. They are ambassadors, and form the backbone of the organization. Alaska Airlines staff are recruited and trained under direct personal supervision. Extensive training is provided to all Alaska Air staff. Their organizational mission statement is as follows: “Our goal is to always provide safe, reliable transportation for a reasonable price, along with the caring, friendly and professional service that we are known...