An external analysis will be done for Air New Zealand using the strategic tools such as PEST analysis and Porter’s Five Forces aiming to identify key strategic issues which will affect the profitability of the company. The analysis will be based on these two categories: the General environment which centralise on the company’s future among other competitors and the Industry environment which centralise on situations and circumstances which will affect the operation of Air New Zealand in the industry.
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Government support plays a significant role in the success of Air New Zealand as a leading airline company representing New Zealand. This support can be seen in 2001, major losses created by Ansett Australia (Air NZ owns 50%); massive amount of capital was injected to Air New Zealand by the New Zealand Government. Also, the New Zealand Government is currently the largest shareholder of Air New Zealand (73.13% - see figure 1 in appendices). However, the Government proposed to drop current shareholding to 51% until end of 2013 or early of 2014. According to analysis, because of this proposal, Air New Zealand’s shares prices have not fully reflected its current company value (Matthew Goodson from Salt Funds Management). Less shareholding means less support in difficult times.
All airline companies are directly influenced by the economy of the country. The numbers of passages are quite tightly connected with economic performance. Also the fuel cost is the other essential element to impact on company’s profit (need to find some reference). The reduction of flight prices between Gisborne and Auckland is a good example. An average of 11% price cut was able to be introduced because of direct increase (12%) in the demand for the services since October 2012 (Media Releases 2013 - Air New Zealand cuts fares between Gisborne and Auckland, 2013). Even there was 100% increase in the landing fees since December 2012 at Gisborne Airport; the increased demand enabled them to save some costs by operating in a larger fleet.
Rising concern for the environment has been an issue for airline industry and Air New Zealand has made it a goal to maintain their green image worldwide. The commitment to minimise the impact of aviation on the environment was done using two ways: Carbon Offset Programme (Carbon Offset) or making donation towards Air New Zealand Environment Trust (Environment).
Airline industry is an extremely technical industry, therefore, new innovation in technological side will only benefit and enhance the airline ability to provide their services. Air New Zealand domestic service was transformed dramatically in 2002 (History). Online booking and check-in support reflect simplified booking rules and net based sales strategies, substantially low fares with improved frequent flyer benefits and more seat availability show the operating efficiencies of the airline (History).
Porter’s Five Forces Analysis
Threats of New Entrants
This is considered low as it requires large amount of capital to enter the industry, not very much product differentiation and strong brand identity is needed. This strong brand identity can be seen in Air New Zealand company profile.
Supplier Bargaining Power
This can be considered as medium – high. Reasons: high volatility in fuel prices, strong union backing up labour workers’ and limited supply of aircraft.
This can be considered as medium. Airline tickets are not bought in bulk; therefore, customers can only have certain flexibility from a range of suppliers. Good customer service can be one of the reasons why customer chooses an airline.
Threats of Substitutes
This is considered medium. There is no actual short time period substitute to distance. Domestic travel can be substituted by road trips and train, however, further distance becomes time consuming. Video conference can also be another alternative for business trips.
Rivalry among Competitors
This is considered medium. Not very much product differentiation, high fixed storage costs, high exit barrier, slow growth and diverse competition can be those reasons. For more information, please look at appendices figure 2.
Airline industry competes domestically and internationally. For Air New Zealand, its main competitors are Jet Star for domestic flights. For international flights, depending on its routes: Australia (Qantas, Virgin Australia, Jet Star, Etihad Airways); Fiji (Fiji Airways); Indonesia (Asiana Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas); Japan (Aircalin, All Nippon Airways); Hong Kong and China (China Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Air China); United States and Canada (Air Canada, United Airlines, US Airways); United Kingdom (Virgin Atlantic Airways); Cook Islands (Air Rarotonga); Vanuatu (Air Vanuatu); French Polynesia (Air Tahiti Nui). High
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