Competing with the Alliance: Strategy Options of Independents
An independent carrier pondering its strategic options in competition against alliance groups must analyse, first, the industry in which it operates and, second, the competitors it has to face. The airline industry is best analysed through structural analysis, which means identifying the underlying characteristics of the industry in terms of its economics and technology that form the framework for competitive strategies. Competitor analysis includes determining the objectives of the allied airlines in addition to their strengths and weaknesses (for example resources, skills, political aspects). As most of the world's 40 largest airlines are members in some alliance groups, the discussion on independent carriers' strategic options is bound to concern mainly medium-sized and small airlines. For the sake of clarity, by independents we mean airlines that are not allied with other carriers to any significant degree.