MODEL OF LOW-COST AIRLINE BUSINESS MANAGEMENT ON THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
Keywords:low-cost airline, a business management model, the coronavirus crisis, critical success factor
In the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines in Thailand have to suspend or reduce flights according to the order of The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand (CAAT). This order directly affected the aviation industry, especially low-cost airlines facing the problem of survival in the crisis. The research aims to study the factors affecting the survival of a low-cost airline and propose a low-cost airline business management model for the coronavirus pandemic. This research employed mixed methods mainly based on quantitative technique and supported by a qualitative approach. The sample comprises the management, airline staff, and regulators. The researcher determined the samples of 400 people using a stratified method. There were 425 responses in the actual data collection. A tool in this research is a questionnaire that then analyzes the data by the structural equation modeling approach. The researcher conducted in-depth interviews with thirteen key informants. Findings discovered that the most significant impact of low-cost airline management on the coronavirus pandemic are external factors, internal factors, leaders' leadership, and marketing strategies. Four key factors have a significant impact on the airline's management. The low-cost airline business management model for the crisis is a quadrangular chart comprising external factors as a base. Internal factors and leaders' leadership were intermediaries, and marketing strategies supported the airline's survival. The indicators of this model were customer relation, profit earning, internal control, and a continuous monitoring system. Government policies in fund finding, low-interest loans, fee reduction such as taxes and airport fees are critical factors. Airlines must comply with safety standards, maintain a punctual itinerary, and hire qualified employees, which will enhance a company's survival. This research benefits low-cost airlines and concerning agencies to get through the COVID-19 crisis and advocate the sustainable economic growth of Thailand.
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