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Assignment Briefs 04-18-2023

How would you categorise the route in terms of the passenger mix? (e.g. leisure, business, VFR or a combination). How does this impact the potential revenue for the route?

Module: TH60123E – Air Route Planning

Assessment 2: Individual Written Report – Further Guidance

Assessment Title: European Short-haul Route Analysis

All airlines have complex route networks that connect passengers and freight between airports. An airline could have more than 1000 routes in the network in any one season. The performance of each route is measured in terms of profitability which airlines monitor on a regular basis. Capacity on profitable routes is often increased and can be crucial to the airline. However not all routes are successful and underperforming routes may have capacity reduced or may even be dropped altogether. Route performance is dynamic and can change quickly due to changes in passenger demand, variations in operating costs and changes to competition on the route due to other airline operators.

As part of this assignment, you are assuming the role of a route manager working for easyJet airlines. The airline is working on a large project to review the routes operated across its network. They are looking to drop some less profitable routes so that they can deploy aircraft on more successful routes. The commercial director has asked you are to conduct a commercial and operational analysis for a specific route to assess its viability. You are to write a 2000-word report (±10%) including the following sections:

  • Demand Forecast
  • Revenue and Competitor Analysis
  • Operating Cost Estimate
  • SWOT Summary and Route Recommendation

easyJet currently has flights operating on 927 routes across 34 countries and 153 airports. A full list is available at https://www.easyjet.com/en/flights-timetables.

You may select any route of your choice from this list and analyse it for this report. The depth and quality of your analysis will determine the marks awarded.

You may use charts, tables and diagrams wherever appropriate to present information and evidence. You may find it useful to read airline management books and journal articles. You are also strongly encouraged to use airline databases such as CAPA to research information about the route.

You are to work alone in writing the report and all submissions must be individual. Remember to reference all information sources as applicable. You must submit the assignment electronically using Blackboard.

In addition to the assessment brief, this document provides you with further guidance about how you could conduct the route analysis.

For your chosen route you should analyse both the origin and destination locations. The key points to focus on will depend on the route. Here are some of the questions you may wish to consider.

Demand Forecast

  • How would you categorise the route in terms of the passenger mix? (e.g. leisure, business, VFR or a combination). How does this impact the potential revenue for the route?
  • How does passenger demand vary throughout the year (seasonal variation)?
  • Are there any events, national holidays, celebrations at the origin & destination on specific dates where demand is likely to increase?
  • How is COVID-19 impacting travel demand? What are the travel restrictions of the origin & destination country?
  • What is the economic situation of the countries connected by the route? You should research unemployment rates, GDP etc. using reliable sources.
  • What is the average cost of living/visiting the destination when taking into consideration currency exchange rates? You could research average hotel prices, food and drink, local transport cost etc at the destination. How does this impact demand?
  • What is the catchment size of the local population?
  • Are there any safety and security concerns about the destination? Is there a history of terrorist attacks, natural disasters that could deter passengers from travelling there?

Revenue and Competitor Analysis

  • How will the mix of passengers impact the revenue potential of the route?
  • How does the price of tickets vary throughout the day/week/year?
  • Who are the competitor airlines and how are they competing? Do the competitors operate direct, non-stop, connecting flights? How do the flight schedules of the competitors compare to easyJet’s flight schedule?
  • What are the unique selling points about the easyJet flights that could enable them to generate more revenue?
  • What is the potential for ancillary revenue on the route?
  • Are there other modes of transport (substitutes) that connect the route? If so, how does the price of using these other transport services compare to easyJet prices?
  • Ticket price patterns and trends can be accessed online, for example, using the flight insights tool on momondo.co.uk or conducting your own research using the easyJet website.

Operating Cost Estimate

  • What are the likely operating costs of the route? Consider easyJet’s financial reports to estimate costs.
  • Are there any operational constraints that would adversely impact the operating costs?
  • How could easyJet reduce their costs to maintain profitability?
  • Would operating the route cause a negative impact on aircraft utilisation/ productivity?
  • Are there any infrastructure constraints at the origin and destination airports such as congestion, shortage of stands, very short runways?
  • Is the route prone to disruption (e.g. due to adverse weather/climate) that could increase operational costs?

SWOT Summary and Route Recommendations

  • Overall, what are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOTs) of the route in terms of demand, revenue, cost and operations?
  • Suggest 2-3 recommendations for easyJet to make the route more profitable. These recommendations must be aligned and evidenced from analysis presented earlier in the report.

And finally:

  • The more detailed your analysis, the more marks you are likely to achieve.
  • You should use charts, tables and diagrams wherever appropriate to present information and evidence.
  • Please ensure that any data taken from external sources is credible and reliable and cited and referenced in the report.
  • In terms of report structure and presentation, ensure you separate the report into numbered sections and subsections, label figures and tables, proof-read your report to identify and correct spelling and grammatical errors prior to submission.
TH60123E – Air Route Planning

Good Luck!

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