Image Analysis Of Pia From Customers Perpective Tourism Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.


The research is conducted to know about the image of Pakistan International Airlines in the mind of its customers and customer satisfaction. Airline industry is a service industry and services' quality is not easily to measure. A service can have many attributes including cost, value for money, customer services. In airline services the in-flight services, customer services, food quality, crew members' attitude, fare rates and fight delays are important attributes so that's why they are selected for the study. Only frequent flyers group has been selected for the study because only those people have a clear idea of the service quality of an airline.

Pakistan International Airlines is having most of the market share in the aviation industry. Though its quality experienced variations but still it is the market leader in Pakistan.

A basic research has been carried out to find if there are any problems with the service quality of PIA and after reaching getting a conclusion, some possible recommendations will be given to solve the problem.


To analyze Pakistan International Airline's image in the mind of its customers by inquiring about different attributes that contributes in creating an image in customer's mind.

The research will also try to give possible recommendations for PIA to solve their problems.

This research is an obligatory part to fulfill the requirement of our BBA(Hons) degree.


PIA is a big Airline having its customers all over the country and even internationally but it's impossible to know about all customers within limited time and resources. This research would mostly be focusing the frequent flyers and the study would be conducted in Peshawar market only. There were a lot of problems regarding getting the feedback of the customers because the respondents were to be interviewed at Peshawar airport where people usually are don't have that much cooperative behaviour.


The study is based on both the primary and secondary data.


Primary data collection includes Interviews and discussion with the respondents. A questionnaire based on some attributes was designed so as to know what image of PIA a customer has in his/her mind. Graphical representations of the results from questionnaires will be displayed in the research report.


The source of secondary data were,




Annual report


The report has been divided into different sections, which are in the following shipshape.

Section I

Section I has only one chapter that covers the background of the study, purpose, scope, limitations, methodology and scheme of the study.

Section II

Section II of the report incorporates the literature review of the report.

Section III

Section III of the report contains survey findings including tables and figures and also its analysis

Section IV

Section IV of the report consists of conclusions and recommendations.



2.1 History - Pakistan International Airlines

Air transport has probably never been more important to the development of a new nation than in the case of Pakistan. In June 1946, when Pakistan was still in the offing, Mr. Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the Founder of the upcoming nation, instructed Mr. M.A. Ispahani, a leading industrialist, to set up a national airline, on a priority basis. With his singular vision and foresight, Mr. Jinnah realized that with the formation of the two wings of Pakistan, separated by 1100 miles, a swift and efficient mode of transport was imperative.

On 23rd October 1946, a new airline was born. Initially registered as a pilot project in Calcutta, Orient Airways Ltd. had at its helm Mr. M.A. Ispahani as Chairman and Air Vice Marshal O.K. Carter as General Manager. The new carrier's base remained in Calcutta and an operating license was obtained in May 1947.

Four Douglas DC-3s were purchased from Tempo of Texas in February 1947 and operations commenced on 4th June 1947. The designated route for Orient Airways was Calcutta-Akyab-Rangoon, which also happened to be the first post-war international sector to be flown by an airline registered in India. Within two months of Orient Airways' operational beginnings, Pakistan was born. The birth of a new nation generated one of the largest transfers of population in the history of mankind. Orient Airways with a skeleton fleet of just two DC-3s, three crew members, and twelve mechanics, launched its scheduled operations in a fairy-tale manner. The initial routes were Karachi-Lahore-Peshawar, Karachi-Quetta-Lahore and Karachi-Delhi Calcutta-Dacca. By the end of 1949, Orient Airways had acquired 10 DC-3s and 3 Convair 240s which were operated on these routes. In 1950, it had become increasingly apparent that additional capacity would have to be inducted to cater to the growing needs of the sub-continent.

Orient Airways was a privately owned company, with limited capital and resources. It could not be expected to grow and expand independently. It was then that the Government of Pakistan decided to form a state-owned airline and invited Orient Airways to merge with it. The outcome of the merger was the birth of a new airline, named Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on 11 March, 1955.


PIA's vision is to be a world class profitable airline exceeding customer expectations through dedicated employees, committed to excellence.


Employee teams will contribute towards making PIA a global airline of choice:

Offering quality customer services and innovative products

Participating in global alliances

Using state-of-the-art technologies

Ensuring cost-effective measures in procurement and operations

Achieving adequate returns for all stakeholders

Being an equal opportunity employer

Providing compensation and a congenial work environment

Adhering to business ethics and zero tolerance for corruption

Linking remote regions of Pakistan

Fulfilling our Corporate Social Responsibility(CSR) in all fields


Customer Expectations

Convenience, Caring, and Competitive Tariff


Personalized and Courteous


Cherishing New Ideas, Translated Into Action


Respect for Individuals, Teamwork, and Effective Communication


Business Ethics, Accountability, and Transparency


Loyalty and Consistency


Passengers, Employees, Environment, and Health



The first Asian airline to operate a pure jet aircraft.

The first non-communist airline to fly to the People's Republic of China, and to operate a service between Asia and Europe via Moscow.

The first airline in Asia to induct the new technology Boeing 737-300 aircraft.

An IBM 1401, the first computer in Pakistan, was installed in PIA.

The first airline, to introduce a second route to People's Republic of China over the Karakoram ranges.

The first airline in the world to operate scheduled helicopter services

The first airline in Asia to show in-flight movies on international routes.

PIA set up Pakistan's first planetarium at Karachi and later at Lahore.

The first airline in South Asia to introduce auto-ticketing facility

The first airline in the world to fly to Tashkent, capital of the newly independent state of Uzbekistan.

2.4 Pakistan Aviation Industry

The Pakistan aviation market has seen many airlines. However, due largely to the economic sanctions placed on Pakistan during the 1990s the industry growth eventually leveled off due to the increase in oil prices. The Pakistan aviation industry was started up when Orient Airways merged with Pakistan International Airlines Corporation (PIAC) to become the national flag carrier of Pakistan called Pakistan International Airlines or PIA for short. PIA remained the only operator for many years after its creation, but soon private airlines arrived at the scene to compete with the national flag carrier.

2.5 Current Airlines of Pakistan

Pakistan International Airlines

Aero Asia

Air Blue

Shaheen Air International

2.6 Domestic Industry Analysis - Pakistan

Air transport has probably never been more important to the development of a new nation than in the case of Pakistan. Pakistan aviation industry is comprised on five commercial airlines. The Pakistan aviation market has seen many airlines but due to uncertainties in the industry some airlines defunct and today industry is pursuing new opportunities globally.

Civil Aviation Authority 2008

PIA has the maximum share in the market with 71.60% of the industry, Aero Asia has share of 15.09% and Air Blue has 8.90% share in the Pakistan's Aviation Industry. So, PIA is the most favorite airline of the nation and people believe in their services and love to travel with Pakistan International Airline.


The SWOT analysis is an extremely useful tool for understanding and decision- making for all sorts of situations in business and organizations. SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. The SWOT analysis headings provide a good framework for reviewing strategy, position and direction of a company or business proposition, or any idea. A SWOT analysis helps in understanding, presentation, discussion and decision-making. A SWOT analysis normally comprises of four sections, one for each of the SWOT headings: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. It is important to clearly identify the subject of a SWOT analysis because a SWOT analysis is a perspective of one thing, be it a company, a product, a proposition, an idea, a method or option.


After all the information about PIA we are now able to make a brief SWOT analysis of the Pakistan International Airline Corporation. We now know all the strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats of PIA. We have to analyze this information which may help us in making some conclusions and suggesting some recommendations.


The strengths, which enable PIA to compete both in the local as well as international airline market, are

Reaching most of the countries of the world than any other airline

High technology airplanes

Up gradation of the airplanes with the passage of time

We are proud to say that PIA is one of the airlines of the world, which have the airline coverage of maximum areas of Asia Europe Australia USA and most of the African countries. Along with this coverage PIA is facilitating its passengers with all the necessities and technologies and providing them with a safe, secure and enjoyable flight to any part of the world.

The second point is that PIA has one of the most modern and technologically advanced airplanes of the world. In the beginning 1954 PIA had very simple planes. However with the passage of time, it has improved its planes with different items. For example, PIA has changed all of its fan or blade planes with jet engine planes. Also for international flights, they have digital radar system in the planes to secure their passengers safety and avoid any casualty. Earlier on they provided the facilities of watching movies on a TV screen in the plane. However now they provide the facility of personal TV screens at the back of each passenger seat of the plane. This ensures privacy of the viewer and does not disturb those passengers wish to rest or indulge in any other activity.

The third point is that PIA is doing its best with the government to upgrade its planes with the use of modern technology. In the past PIA used the same planes bought in 1980s and 1990s. That is why its performance was not too good. Fortunately in the year 2003 PIA signed an agreement with the Boeing Company to provide them with new airplanes. These include 777 jet engine planes. According to the agreement PIA received three of these planes by 2005 and the others will be handed over in the coming years. These new airplanes will provide the customers of PIA great satisfaction because of the modern facilities.


The main reason of the weakness of the PIA is

The lack of related field staff or educated staff


The first point of the weakness of the PIA is that there is no related staff in the airports and also in the different stations.

When different political governments come into power they employ people of their own choice in the PIA, usually those who voted for them during the elections. The main factor that has weakened the performance of PIA is the recruitment of less qualified people or inefficient people. These people are able to get away with their inefficiency because they further hire qualified personal secretaries and assistants who carry out their duties for them.

Another factor is that even though most of the staff is highly educated, they qualifications do not match their post. There are many employees in the PIA Peshawar airport that are on a high post and posses degrees that are not suited to the post.

The second main weakness of the PIA is that there were labor unions. In an organization labor is very good because all the employees cannot express their views directly. So they share their views and problems with one another and it is then presented in a formal manner to the concerned authority. This ensures steady relationship between the labor and the management of that organization. However, these unions can sometimes prove to be troublesome if given to much support or if they are created in a sensitive organization such as PIA.

This problem has been there in the PIA since the last one decade. The labor unions had become very powerful and influential. The president of the labor union was given a car, a driver and a residence. There were two people given these facilities one the stationmaster and the other the labor union president. The president was also not obliged to carry out his duties. This shows that in an organization were the class 4 employees were given such benefits, how was it to achieve its goals.


The opportunities for PIA in the future are:

To capture most of the Asian air traveling market

To recover its low morale in Pakistan

The future opportunities of the PIA are to provide modern facilities to the customers at a cheaper rate. This is the major way that PIA can cover most of the Asian market. The major reason for this is that most of the Asian countries are developing countries and do not have a very steady economy. So all the customers here want to travel in a safe, secure and modern manner at a competitive price. Therefore if the PIA starts adopting competitive pricing it may be able to capture this market.

In Pakistan PIA has a lot of image building to do because it has not created an impressive image in the market in the past few years. The main reasons were last minute cancellation or late timings of the local flights. Also the planes used for local flights were in very poor condition. So now PIA has the opportunity to make use of modern technology to ensure timely flights as well as purchase luxurious and affordable planes for domestic flights as well.


The following threats are being faced and will face PIA in the near future. These include:

The emergence of new airline companies

High fare rates

The main threat for PIA is the emergence of the new airline companies. If we look in the past, there was only one airline company in Pakistan i.e. PIA which was providing air traveling facilities to local and international destinations. However, in the past few years' three new airlines have emerged namely AeroAsia, Air Blue and Shaheen Airline companies that share the customers with PIA both locally and internationally. A fourth company by the name of Air blue has also emerged recently and is already doing well in the local airline market. These companies face PIA with a great threat. These airlines have adopted different tactics to capture the market share. These include, low fare rates, scheduled and timely flights.

As Pakistan is a developing country the people here like to travel at cheaper rates with timely flights. In this case if the PIA is not able to satisfy the needs of its customers efficiently, it has the threat of further losing its market share. The customer is the king of the market and this fact has been greatly recognized by the other airlines, as they are able to fulfill their needs because they have smaller planes and can attract customers by providing cheaper rates and timely flights.

Pakistan is currently classified as a third world country. Therefore the people here cannot afford high prices for air traveling. They look for cheaper airlines or for alternative means of transport to travel locally. This is quite a serious problem for an organization like PIA because it cannot cut down its prices or does not adopt competitive pricing. Therefore they are losing their market share as well as reputation as the people view it as a highly priced airline.



While the coming together of satellite communication and information technology has made mass communication affordable and efficient for many people, air travel continues to remain an important and integral requirement of all societies since it is an essential part of present day lifestyle, Hafeez Ud Din (Marketing Forces January 2007). According to him, though just about one hundred years old, the commercial airline industry has come a long way towards providing efficient, comfortable and affordable means of travel and trade. It has successfully shrunk the world into a 'global village'.

GLOBAL TRENDS (Marketing Forces January 2007 Vol.2 No. 4).

Too many costs; the charges of the monopoly suppliers, e.g., airport charges, navigation charges, fuel prices, are beyond the control of the airlines

Labor is another big cost item between 18 and 38 % of operating costs. It is controllable but experience shows how stubbornly difficult labor costs can be.

Competition is intense

More aircraft are entering the industry

Low fare competition is now global


Airline is a service industry where quality is very hard to measure. It is measured on the basis of different attributes which also contributes to customer satisfaction. Giovanna and Silvia (2006) explain the concept of "customer satisfaction in the airline industry".

Different aspects of service quality and satisfaction are discussed. The research says that when a consumer receives a service, its evaluation is shaped by different factors which are psychological interactions and characteristics of the service. The psychological interactions are formed by psychological benefits and they are very difficult to measure whereas the characteristics of a service can be evaluated as for a product. Then two types of qualities are defined namely process quality and results quality. Process quality is customer personal and subjective evaluation with respect to their participation to a service process and results quality is to customer evaluation with respect to process output. So, the service quality is therefore difficult to measure because they re intangible, heterogeneous and inseparable. As they cannot be easily measured, counted, tested or verified. Services are heterogeneous because it is difficult to guarantee their uniformity, as they are the result of inter-personal interactions (customer and staff), rather than of machines producing objects in series with the same characteristics. Service to customers can differ from company standards.

One another important dimension of quality is perceived quality which is linked to the concept of satisfaction. Perceived quality has further three dimensions.

Technical quality: It is the result of know-how available to the company

Functional quality: This represents the way the service is provided.

Corporate image: This is the dominant dimension influencing expected service.

The data obtained from the questionnaires filled in by 19,653 passengers in March 2003 on board British Airways flights have been analyzed. The global satisfaction and overall experience were indicated as dependent variables and the 10 dimensions of the service (overall booking, check-in, transfer, lounge, departure, cabin environment, meal, and in-flight entertainment, goods for sale and cabin crew) as explanatory variables.

In service industry, people are a bit reluctant to make online buying. (Ailsa, Liz Lee and Pui Ching, 2004). Their study showed that even in developed countries where consumers are use to of online buying they do hesitate to take a decision online. study has found that Hong Kong consumers are heavy users of the web and use it for transactional as well as communication and recreation purposes. However, there is a deep-rooted reluctance to purchase airline tickets online, primarily because these are relatively high involvement, high-priced items where mistakes might be costly to rectify, as well as ongoing concerns, particularly about security and privacy.


Giovanna and Silvia (2006) studies has shown that if we have to determine the quality and satisfaction for a product then it's not that complicated but here is the case of airline industry which is a service industry. As it a service industry, so we have to use simple variable so as to avoid ambiguities and get the most probable results.

Different features of these low fare airlines has been discussed and the somehow the operating environment has been described termed as no-frill airline, Lesley and Tom (2000). They have to meet the same Civil Aviation Authority standards and safety requirements. They created new markets as well as a direct threat to current carriers.

Deregulation involves the removal of many of the regulations affecting civil aviation. The development of air transport was greatly affected by government influences and legislation. The deregulation in North America occurred in mid 1980s. The deregulation in Europe occurred in 1993. Any European Union Airline can now start domestic services in another member country.

Deregulation in North America encouraged a range of low-cost, low-frills airlines among which some fail to survive because they kept on focusing to reduce cost and didn't consider the importance of customer confidence. Not all low-cost carriers in the USA have been short-lived. Southwest is a highly successful niche market operator and is ranked amongst the top 50 airlines in the world.

No-frill airlines used simplified pricing structure which means they were flexible in returning ticket without high cost premium as that of mainstream airlines. In-flight services in many flights were removed to reduce cost. In-flight entertainment is often excluded from the package. Among the low cost carriers in UK, Ryan Air was the first to give services of low cost.

It is now taken in consideration that European market is different from American market and the no-frills airlines face difficulties in the future because of these differences. First of all the state owned airlines were getting air from their states so the no-frill airlines were unable to compete with them. No-frill airlines were demanding to declare the state aid as illegal to airlines. Besides that, high speed rails were developing in Europe. Some rivalries were also seen in the market.

Robert J. (1997). Customers of the airline industry fall into two major groups: individuals and companies. Within the individual customer group, there are two main segments: leisure travelers and business travelers. The company customer group consists of companies which generally have a contract with an airline to purchase a set amount of tickets each year at a discounted rate. Company customers, and the members of this group, which includes business travelers, employees of the company and its affiliates, are valuable to airlines because they are major contracts, usually for high-yield seats in business and first class. Massive and rapid changes in the airline industry are driven in large part by­­­ customer demand. As more and more people have the opportunity to y and to y often, customers demand to fly to more places around the world. As a result, demand for greater convenience and comfort, and for better value, is increasing. The benefit of airline alliances to customers lies in the `seamless travel' enabled by complementary routes and code-sharing, particularly for business travelers on a tight schedule, for whom flexible scheduling and timely connections are of the utmost importance.

Jason, Ben, Josh, Sean and Josh (June5, 2008), one of the most obvious differences among airlines is the cost of the ticket. It does not matter if the trip is for business or pleasure; all entities are trying to stretch their travel budgets while receiving the level of service and quality they believe they deserve. In the United States, there are generally two types of airlines: "legacy carriers," which are defined as airlines that specifically operated interstate routes prior to the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 and "low cost" airlines that compete solely on the basis of offering the lowest price per ticket within the market in which they are operating. Each airline must decide which regions to serve, based on their profit potential and competition in a given market. The legacy carriers have a higher operating cost and operate in most domestic markets, regardless of their ability to create shareholder wealth by operating in these markets. The low-cost airlines have been more prudent in their expansion and do not compete in every market, but are more selective in deciding on where to compete against the legacy carriers that have more capital, and more brand recognition.

K. Raguraman (April, 1997). Innovative, unique products help to define an airline's brand of service. Route schedules are another aspect of an airline's product that helps to differentiate it. American Airlines has adapted its services to customer preferences, so that its route network is one of the most expansive and flexible. Frequent flyer programmes are marketing tools for airlines to foster repeat business. Frequent flyer programmes are important products for both British Airways. British Airways' frequent flyer programme, the Executive Club, recognizes and rewards loyal customers. In line with the strategy of doing business with its alliance partners, British Airways expanded its programme a few years ago so that reciprocal frequent flyer programme arrangements with other carriers have evolved.

It is felt that for better service, facilities and comfort to the travelers in Pakistan, the PIAC shall have to work closely with CAA and the Airport Security Agency, the role of both of which is important. DAWN article "PIAC: imperatives for growth" by "Muhammad Bashir Chaudhry" - June 14, 2004

Chances are that the travelers would blame PIA if they are not happy with the facilities at the airport provided by CAA or ASA personnel are less courteous while processing security clearance. The PIAC might like to review such matters with them on regular basis. It is apprehended that benefits of restructuring and fleet renewal might be lost to some extent if the PIAC management does not seriously control and economize on various costs particularly the major cost items.

Eight Forces that Affect Profitability, Risk & Strategy

Jason, Ben, Josh, and Sean (June5, 2008), in recent years, the airline industry in the international realm and in the domestic arena has seen its fair share of turbulence. With rising jet fuel prices and increased competition, the industry is as competitive as ever. The eight force that influence them are shown in the model below.

Does fuel hedging make economic sense? David, Daniel and Betty J. (September, 2002) Firms find it more valuable if they have a lower correlation between the investment opportunities and cash flows resulting from hedgeable risks. Some variables were used in the study which are:

Dividends: Firms paying dividends are usually less likely to be financially constrained. In an industry like airlines, where so many bankruptcy filings are there, a dividend is seemed to be a positive signal.

Leverage: Capital structure may affect firm value as well as the firm's decision to hedge if a higher level of debt.

Profitability: ROA has been included because there is a positive relation between ROA and firm value.

Investment Opportunities: Firms with greater investment opportunities are likely to be valued higher by the market.

This study proved that changes in the cash flow for most airlines are negatively affected by the jet fuel prices. In the paper, the author said that airlines, on average, increase firm value by using fuel hedging strategies. But if jet fuel hedging is a valuable activity, then why don't all of them do it? Because it has a cost and at times that cost is bigger than its benefit.

Voldymyr (2005). Airline industry has different types and classes of consumers. Different consumers pay different fares for traveling in airlines and airline's fares price do disperse across different airlines. Research on price dispersion in the airline industry has so far yielded two stylized facts. First, business travelers pay higher fares than do leisure travelers. Second, the degree of fare dispersion positively depends on competition (Dana 1999a, Hayes and Ross, 1998, Stavins, 2001, Borenstein and Rose, 1991, Giaume and Guillou, 2005). But the question of the relative contribution of these factors remains open.

Even though airlines do not specifically indicate what types of customers they are targeting with specific economy class fares, different screening devices (restrictions and/or penalties for changing the departure date and/or cancellation) are successfully used to make sure that business customers do not take advantage of the low fares, aimed at leisure travelers. Further, airlines tend to offer lower fares with more restrictions, the further away the departure date, on the premise that leisure travelers tend to plan more ahead than business travelers. cross-airline dispersion of fares, aimed at business travelers, appears to be more than substantial, with some airlines offering fares several times higher than others. For leisure travelers, however, no substantial variation in fares across airlines is observed. Further analysis suggests that short-term capacity faced by airline companies appears to contribute to the pattern of price dispersion we observe (Voldymyr, April 2000).



50% of the respondents' first choice was AirBlue, but the industry analysis showed that PIA was clearly leading the market. When the situation was analyzed, the conclusion was drawn that PIA's flights were more in number that's why they are leading the market.

70% of the customers choose a specific airline because of the low fare rates 17% went for the service and 13% went for other reasons.

13% respondents found their customer services to be excellent, 43% found them as good and 37% found it as average. Some of the customers rated it as average and below average.

23% customers found it very expensive, 60% found it expensive and 10% found it less expensive. 23% respondents said their fares are cheap.

10% respondents replied to this question as excellent, 30% said its good and 47% replied as average.

17% respondents found its food quality as excellent, 36% found it s good and most of the people (40%) said it has got an average food quality.

43% of the respondents found the crew members as cooperative and 57% found them as non cooperative.

33% of the customers said the crew members' presentation is impressive, 30% said yes hey are somehow impressive and 37% said that they are not impressive at all.

23% respondents rated their journey in PIA as very comfortable, 57% said it's comfortable and 20% said it's not even comfortable.

70% of the respondents replied no when they were asked if they experience flight delays during the flights, 20% said sometimes and 10% said they often experience flight delays.

30% of the customers of PIA were satisfied from its services and 70% were not satisfied.



Pakistan International Airlines has got a lot of potential to be amongst the world top airlines because there were times when it used to be world's second best airline in earlier 1970's. But unfortunately they were unable to maintain their image.

The research found some common problems which were creating bad image in the minds of the customers. These problems are lack of quality ambience in an aircraft, non cooperative crew members, unjustifiable fare rates etc. They still have got a lot of market share but they are losing it.

In order to get their lost image, they have to work on the quality of the services they are providing to their customers. Other things which they have to take care of are as follows:

They have to improve the customer services that start from ticket booking till getting your luggage on arrival.

When a passenger enters an aircraft, he/she must be exposed to quality ambience.

Quality in-flight services should be provided to the customer.

Food provided to the customers should be of best quality so as to avoid dissatisfaction of a customer.

Crew member's presentation should be good and their behaviour towards the customer should be polite. Crew members should also be very cooperative in solving the problems of passengers during the flight.

They should not charge high prices for their ticket fare. If they do so, then they should justify it by providing quality service to the customer.

PIA should also reduce its overhead costs. They should manage their resources more effectively, so that with less input, more output can be achieved and the saved resources can be utilized in other areas such as providing some extra services to get maximum customer satisfaction.

PIA is a strong organization but has some deficiencies in many areas due to which it has been facing loss in the past years. If these problems are solved then there is no doubt that PIA can be successful and become one of the top class airlines of the world.

A good management system will enable PIA to work successfully and ensure the service quality, good image and thus customer satisfaction in the future.