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The operational performance of UK airlines: 2002-2007


  • A. George Assaf
  • Alexander Josiassen


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to measure the efficiency of UK airlines in light of all the recent industry challenges. Design/methodology/approach - The study measured the technical efficiency of airlines through the innovative data envelopment analysis (DEA) bootstrap methodology. Findings - Results based on a sample of recent input/output data indicated that the efficiency of UK airlines has continuously declined since 2004 to reach a value of 73.39 per cent in 2007. Factors which were found to be significantly and positively related to technical efficiency variations include airline size and load factor. The paper also highlights that factors such as increase in oil price and fierce market competition were also potential inefficiency determinants. Practical implications - The findings of this paper provide a fresh link between airline performance and the current industry characteristics. UK airlines also have a major role in the European and international aviation sector, and thus a reflection on their efficiency could be of interest to private and public policy makers. Originality/value - The paper focuses on a recent period and thus provide a fresh efficiency assessment of the airline industry. The study also extends the limited literature available on UK airlines.

Suggested Citation

  • A. George Assaf & Alexander Josiassen, 2011. "The operational performance of UK airlines: 2002-2007," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 5-16, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:jespps:v:38:y:2011:i:1:p:5-16

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    Cited by:

    1. See, Kok Fong & Abdul Rashid, Azwan, 2016. "Total factor productivity analysis of Malaysia Airlines: Lessons from the past and directions for the future," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 42-49.
    2. Delbari, Seyyed Ali & Ng, Siew Imm & Aziz, Yuhanis Abdul & Ho, Jo Ann, 2016. "An investigation of key competitiveness indicators and drivers of full-service airlines using Delphi and AHP techniques," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 23-34.
    3. Arjomandi, Amir & Seufert, Juergen Heinz, 2014. "An evaluation of the world's major airlines' technical and environmental performance," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 133-144.
    4. Tavassoli, Mohammad & Faramarzi, Gholam Reza & Farzipoor Saen, Reza, 2014. "Efficiency and effectiveness in airline performance using a SBM-NDEA model in the presence of shared input," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 146-153.
    5. Boon L Lee & Clevo Wilson & Carl A Pasurka, Jr, 2013. "The Good, the Bad and the Efficient: Productivity, efficiency and technical change in the Airline Industry, 2004:2008," School of Economics and Finance Discussion Papers and Working Papers Series 299, School of Economics and Finance, Queensland University of Technology.
    6. Yu, Ming-Miin & Chang, Yu-Chun & Chen, Li-Hsueh, 2016. "Measurement of airlines’ capacity utilization and cost gap: Evidence from low-cost carriers," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 186-198.
    7. Jenatabadi, Hashem Salarzadeh & Ismail, Noor Azina, 2014. "Application of structural equation modelling for estimating airline performance," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 25-33.


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