1st Edition

Airimagination Extending the Airline Business Boundaries

By Nawal K. Taneja Copyright 2023
    236 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Unprecedented social changes, accelerated by facilitating technologies and the COVID-19 pandemic, are calling for airlines to think deeply and non-conventionally on what will be important to existing and new travelers, as they change their lifestyles. New thinking requires airlines to extend the boundaries of their businesses to go beyond their traditional domains. This need goes beyond the renovation and iteration of conventional products to the transformation of products requiring new ideas and ways to scale them. Examples include the development of cost-effective urban air mobility, intermodal passenger transportation, door-to-door travel that is sustainable, and personalized offers.

    Airimagination: Extending the Airline Business Boundaries raises some thought-provoking questions and provides a direction for practical solutions. For example, what if airlines developed products and services that finally meet end-to-end needs of customers seamlessly by collaborating in the value-adding open ecosystems, using platforms that facilitate effective engagement with both "digital and nondigital" customers and employees in real time and at each touch point? Ironically, the current time is an advantage for some airlines as they already have had to deal with a deep and wide disruption caused by the pandemic, leading operations to start from ground zero.

    This book, the latest in a long and well-regarded series by Nawal K. Taneja, explores innovative best practices within the airline business world, complemented by numerous insightful perspectives contained in multiple forewords and thought leadership pieces. This book is aimed primarily at high-level practitioners within the airline industry and related businesses.



    Doreen Burse

    Senior Vice President Worldwide Sales, United Airlines


    Stephen Fitzpatrick

    CEO, Vertical Aerospace


    Christoph Klingenberg

    Head of Operational Excellence at Deutsche Bahn


    Boet E.J. Kreiken

    Executive Vice President, KLM Customer Experience, and former CEO, KLM Cityhopper


    Le Hong Ha

    President and CEO, Vietnam Airlines


    Chang-Hyeon Song

    President, Hyundai Motor Group, and

    Founder and CEO, 42dot


    Decius Valmorbida

    President of Travel Unit, Amadeus IT Group


    Dee K. Waddell

    Managing Partner, Global Industry Leader, Travel & Transportation Industries, IBM Corporation


    Chapter 1 What if airlines adapted to consumer lifestyle changes?

    Implications for Airlines

    Outline of Chapters


    Chapter 2 What if airline products were reengineered?

    Short-Term Improvements in the Core Product

    Clean-sheet scheduling

    Scheduling for profitability AND reliability

    Producing operations-friendly schedules

    Improving forecast accuracy

    Dynamic scheduling

    Medium-Term Improvements in the Core Product

    Door-to-Door travel

    Small electric aircraft

    Air taxis

    Long-Term Improvements in the Core Product

    Supersonic aircraft

    Hyperloop vehicles

    Hydrogen-Powered aircraft



    Chapter 3 What if airlines rethought their revenue approach?

    Traditional Revenue Approach

    Offer Management

    New Pricing/Revenue Management Techniques

    Seat buy-back

    Ancillary pricing optimization/Revenue management

    Customer Choice Model

    Dynamic pricing

    Offer revenue management

    Network Planning/Revenue Management Integration

    Real-time revenue management

    Artificial Intelligence (Algorithms)

    Strategic pricing

    Next generation revenue management

    Selling differently

    Selling more products on airline.com as a natural retail channel

    New pricing schemes

    Better shopping displays

    In-flight shopping

    NDC and distribution



    Chapter 4 What if airlines reimagined and redefined customer experience?

    Customer service vs. customer experience

    Two Insightful Examples


    DBS Bank




    Digital Experience

    AI and Machine Learning



    Chapter 5 What if the aviation industry contributed no carbon emissions?

    Developments relating to climate change

    Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs)

    The Net-Zero by 2050 scenario

    Implications on airlines

    Making sustainability the core of an airline’s business strategy



    Chapter 6 What if airlines could do more with less?

    Collaborating by design

    Building digital resiliency capabilities

    Strategizing for positional superiority




    Chapter 7 What if airlines could truly differentiate themselves?

    Applying the principles in practice

    JetBlue Airways

    Alaska Airlines

    Characteristics of Agility Airlines

    Reliability of Network and Schedule Planning

    Revenue and Offer Management

    Designing Customer Experience through a Holistic Approach

    Sustainability Competitive Advantage

    Doing More with Less


    Chapter 8 Thought Leadership Pieces

    The Unifying Nature of Customer Choice

    Jim Barlow, Senior Vice President, Network Planning Solutions, Amadeus IT Group

    Turning Air into Magic

    Evert de Boer, Managing Partner, On Point Loyalty

    The Operation’s Support for A New Airline Customer Proposition

    Christopher Gibbs, Senior Advisor, Navier Consulting, Former Engineering Director at Cathay Pacific Airways, and Group Director at HAECO

    Everything will remain different– a different view on change

    Peter Glade, Chief Commercial Officer, SunExpress Airlines

    Stop Playing Copycat

    Glenn Hollister, Vice President Sales Strategy & Effectiveness, United Airlines

    Enhancing Revenue Management Analyst Effectiveness with Human-Machine Symbiosis: Learning to Work with Machines

    Jason Kelly, CEO, Kambr, An Amadeus Company

    Whatever you do, start with the customer

    Jordie Knoppers, Customer Journey Manager Seamless Travel & Biometrics, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

    Creating unexpected compelling experiences to increase bookings and ancillary revenues

    Kerstin Lomb, Partner/Leader Customer Transformation Marketing EMEA, IBM Corporation

    What if airports changed into mobility hubs?

    Michaela Schultheiß-Münch, Vice President Market Research and Business Analytics, and Dr. Jennifer Berz, Senior Project Manager Corporate Strategy & Digitalization, Fraport AG, Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide

    A New Dynamic Approach to Network Planning

    Philippe Puech, Director, Domestic Network Planning, American Airlines

    Making Clean-Sheet Scheduling Real

    Renzo Vaccari, Senior Vice President, Sky Suite, Amadeus IT Group

    About the author



    Nawal K. Taneja, whose experience in the aviation industry spans five decades (starting with TWA at its headquarters in New York City), has worked for and advised major airlines and related aviation businesses worldwide. Currently, he is an executive-in-residence at the Fisher College of Business at the Ohio State University.

    "Nawal Taneja’s latest book invites readers to reimagine the airline industry as it faces a pivotal moment in its history.

    At the heart of the book is six separate and interconnected chapters on challenges facing the airline industry, together with opportunities offered by new technologies and business approaches.

    If you would like to take a step back from the day-to-day running of the industry and cast an eye over the 21st Century challenges it faces, this book is a worthwhile magnifying glass."

    Professor Keith Mason, FRAeS, Royal Aeronautical Society magazine: AEROSPACE February 2024, UK