Critiquing an Article on Low Cost Airlines

Subject: Transportation
Pages: 3
Words: 816
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

Airline industry plays a major role in the development of tourism. Recently, the air transport industry has experienced a tremendous growth in terms of operating companies especially in low cost airlines/carriers (Dobruszke 252). In his article, “An Analysis of European Low-Cost Airlines and their Networks”, Dobruszkes focuses his analysis on low-cost airlines by citing the markets of Western Europe (251). He shows the significance of the low cost carriers in the globalized world by recognizing EasyJet and Ryanair as great examples.

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Dobruszkes successfully involves other articles on low-cost airline carriers including that of Tretheway, Franke, Barrett, Morison and (249). Although more research has been done on competition of low cost airlines, how the authority handles competition, relationships between airports and small carriers, a gap still exists. Dobruszkes for instance does not show the current and the maximum capacity in terms of seats and frequencies of the low carriers in Europe (249). He does not also show a systematic pattern of geographical coverage of the developed networks in terms of internalization, air freedoms and width as practiced by Jetstar of Australia. New carriers are also not shown how they penetrate the market and how they join the existing networks and existing routes and network typologies are not clearly indicated.

Nevertheless, the current study clearly illustrates why the low-cost carriers exist. The author clearly shows that low-cost airline development is connected to three factors including economic cycles, air transport price and the liberalizations of the industry (251). Low-cost carriers like EasyJet and Ryanair have responded to these needs through lowering their prices. This move has also been adopted by Australian Airlines like Virgin Blue and Jetstar (Grob and Schroder 16). Although not explicitly, unlike other researchers, Dobruskes tries to show how these carriers operate. He argues that some legal procedures must be followed by low-cost carriers before obtaining relatively cheaper air routes. Jetstar for instance offers connecting flights between short serviced routes and their new international division. The article also illustrates how these airlines are able to increase their productivity, density economies and output. He states that this can be achieved if flying time is maximized for each airplane as seen with easyJet, Ryanair and Jetstar of Australia which have managed to fly 11 hours in one day. He also believes that the pressure subjected to the employees enable the small carriers to thrive. On this issue however, he does not bring out the awaiting dangers, losses and the disadvantages which could be experienced by subjecting employees to poor working conditions. He also fails to show the reality of other cost reduction factors used in low cost carriers (251).

Although he tries to show how they have managed to thrive, Dobruskes does not discuss that some low cost carriers capitalize on low training and using sub-standard spare parts as a way of reducing their operation costs (Dobruskes 251). Further, he puts little emphasis on the fact that most low cost carriers do not belong to IATA. Although the author also tries to analyze where the low cost carriers come from, there is no advice or information regarding how ‘green’ companies interested to venture in the industry may come in. Apparently, most low cost carriers have emerged from charter airlines, tour operators and regional operators which indicates that most successful low cost carriers have emerged from already existing actors in the industry and no knew entrants have been sighted (252).

Although Dobruskes is more concerned with the Low Cost Airlines, his article does not also show if and how low cost carriers have been classified and internalized by internalization policies. He for instance fails to account for any possible cross border pattern differences between the low cost and other airlines and how the differences may influence the access to the airlines. The ideologies and the arguments also capitalizes more on what the two airlines have done to be successful while failing to investigate other factors which could affect willing investors in other regions different from presented cases in European countries. Although the article also argues otherwise, unfair competition has faced those companies that are willing to venture in low cost carriers and some new entrants are denied access to other countries hence limiting internalization.

The methodology used to collect data is also not very effective. The analysis mainly focuses on existing information in the databases and Sampling of the participants was entirely done through analyzing internet sites and magazines. The researchers concentrated more on the information given on the website of the subjects which questions authenticity of the information. The method of analyzing date was also not effective since the researchers were merely guided by the category one carrier was placed against the other.

Nevertheless, low cost carriers can effectively reduce congestion and high flight expenses experienced in most airports. This can be achieved if interested airlines and new entrants are allowed to enter the markets without being discriminated.

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Works Cited

Dobruszkes, Frendenric. “An Analysis of European Low-Cost Airlines and Their Networks”. Journal of Transport Geography, 14 (2006): 249–264.

Grob, Steven and Alexander Schroder. Handbook of Low Cost Airlines: Strategies, Business Processes and Market Environment. Germany: Erich Schmidt, 2007. Print.