Comparison of Chinese Passenger Satisfaction between Chinese Airlines and Foreign Airlines

Kit Teng Phuah, Siti Intan Nurdiana Wong Abdullah, Bernard Jit Heng Lim
ICAO Scientific Review: Analytics and Management Research  •  Volume 1  •  2019  •  pp. 017-033

In transport industry, production and consumption of services are inseparable. Therefore, the objective of this study is to determine passenger perceived quality and satisfaction between Chinese airlines and Foreign airlines.

Increased wealth and prosperity across Asia has generated a massive increase in air travel. Marketers in airline industry have increasingly become more aware that their employees should be more sensitive towards social and cultural differences when having encounters with passengers from that region. Today, more than ever before, Foreign airlines are competing with Chinese airlines over the service quality provided in order to capture passenger satisfaction. China’s projected economic growth has raised the income of the middle class and contributed to an increase of the middle classes’ purchasing power and travelling ability.

In this study, the SERVQUAL and Gap Analysis methodologies are implemented to measure the quality of services and satisfaction provided by Chinese airlines and Foreign airlines. Descriptive analysis, reliability tests and multiple regression analysis were used to complete this study. The SERVQUAL model to measure service quality is composed of the following five dimensions: tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance and empathy. This study examines the direct and indirect influence that the SERVQUAL five dimensions have on customer perceived service quality ratings and focuses on how they affect customer satisfaction within the context of airline services. A random sampling method was used in which 409 respondents were interviewed and asked to fill out a self-administered questionnaire.

The data collected could potentially be used by airline management boards to help develop new growth strategies and to deliver more efficient and appreciated services.

Results of the multiple regression analysis indicate that factors such as reliability, assurance and airline employee responsiveness are more likely to influence Chinese passenger’s perceived service quality level and satisfaction of Chinese airlines. Whilst attributes such as responsiveness, tangible and empathy were found to have a greater effect on passenger perceived service quality level and satisfaction of other Foreign airlines.

To prevent any uncertainty and insecurity, maintaining a great quality relationship with passengers will usually lower the passengers’ uncertainty and provide them with a sense of security. Therefore, establishing great relationships with customers has become a crucial factor for success. In addition, importance-performance analysis indicates that an airline should maintain amenities such as the provision of in-flight newspapers, magazines, availability of contingency accommodation; employees speed handling; and on-time departure or arrival.

Future studies could potentially focus on Chinese passengers traveling from other airports in China as this study covered the passengers from Shanghai and Beijing airports.

Chinese airlines, foreign airlines, gap analysis study, satisfaction, service quality, SERV-QUAL model, full-service airlines
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