CRS developed in the 1960’s and the 1970’s were simple devices that promised greater time and labor efficiency by processing large amounts of flight reservation information during a time of strict control on market entry and prices. However, after deregulation, CRS was converted into a significant competitive tool. Complex pricing systems, flight schedules and ticketing methods demanded CRS in deregulated markets. Along with deregulation, many airlines extended their airline reservation and ticketing systems to travel agency offices in order to increase the service delivery capabilities of the agencies. Thanks to the CRS, airlines now have better access to more customers.
Human Resources: Knowledge and creativity of managerial level human resources play an important role in forming the main strategies that will make airlines successful in the long run, whereas it is operational level human resources that make functional strategies a success and this will facilitate the realization of the main strategy. The quality of human resources is the most important factor for an airline in the sense that it differentiates the firm from its competitors in deregulated markets and it is this factor that will make the airline successful.
Innovation and Technology: Cost pressure created by competition following deregulation obliges airlines to be efficient. It is inevitable, especially for airlines, that they follow a cost leadership strategy to function efficiently and this is achieved through process innovation that enables development of efficient business processes. The firm may radically change the way of doing practices via this process innovation and achieve competitive superiority and differentiation. Credit card
Airlines use information technologies on an operational level for activities such as schedule and crew planning, check-in, seat allocation, flight plans and weather forecast reporting, load and balance calculations, ticketing, inventory and reservation management, maintenance management, and baggage processing and tracking. They also use information technologies on a strategic level for activities such as market and competitive structure analysis within the industry, demand forecast, new product development, strategic pricing and yield management, retention and development of business models by communicating with other airlines they are in cooperation with. Thus, information technologies not only create a competitive advantage by themselves but they also function as a trigger for values that promise competitive superiority, such as innovation and strategic positioning.
On the other hand, in recent years, Internet technology has been offering numerous opportunities to airlines to be innovative. The Internet is more like a distribution channel for airlines and it enables reservations and ticket sales to be undertaken with less cost and to a wider customer group.
Service Quality: Service quality is a measure that shows to what extent customer expectations are met by the service delivered. Service delivery of good quality requires that customer expectations are met and even exceeded in today’s competitive environment. Therefore, service quality is a concept associated with customer expectations. Following deregulation, customers’ perception of airline transportation and their expectations of airlines started to change because the increase in service diversity is yet another outcome of deregulation; as market entry is deregulated, the number of carriers has increased and this has led to variety in airline service delivery. As passengers now have more options when compared with the pre-deregulation period, airlines are obliged to offer services that are superior and of better quality in order to be preferred by passengers. Service quality of an airline is ensured by good planning of product features according to the targeted passenger group, so product features in deregulated markets are extremely important from an airline’s competitiveness perspective. Components that form airline service delivery and impact service quality, such as price, scheduled based features, comfort based features, and access to service delivery and image (Doganis, 2002) were not under the control of the airline before deregulation. However, these may now be used as competitive advantages in deregulated markets.