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A Non-parametric Efficiency Measure Incorporating Perceived Airline Service Levels and Profitability

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Customer service influences satisfaction, loyalty, repeat business, and hence potentially profitability. This paper investigates whether airline customer service impacts upon the profitability of airlines (the top 150 worldwide). As our results suggest that this impact is limited, we then apply DEA models and develop, for the first time, a single efficiency measure that combines the typical airline targets of maximisation of RPKs, customer satisfaction, and profitability. We further use second-stage truncated regressions and show that only the share of cabin crew (but neither fleet age nor LCC operation) has a significant impact on overall airline efficiency.

Appeared or available online: June 3, 2014

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