Strategic planning is said to be very important for every organization as it offers an outline, measurable goals and direction. It is a tool that is used for directing daily decisions of the company and also for assessing development and altering methods while moving forward (Albrechts, Balducci and Hillier, 2016). To use a maximum of the strategic planning, the company need to provide careful thought to the strategic goals or objectives it summaries, and provide backup for these goals with accurate, carefully investigated, computable standards for assessing results (Abraham, 2012). This report is being presented in order to prepare a strategic plan for the Cathay Pacific Airlines by evaluating its current business performance. The report will perform the environmental analysis of the existing business plan of Cathay Pacific Airlines, strategic options will be determined, and executing and evaluation of strategy. The report will be divided into three tasks to analyze the current and potential business strategies of the airlines.
Overview of Cathay Pacific
The Cathay Pacific Airlines is Hong Kong’s flag carrier, with headquarter in Hong Kong. The airline’s subsidiaries and operations possess cargo services and scheduled passengers to 201 locations in around 60 countries around the world involving joint ventures and codeshares (Cathay Pacific, 2018). Cathay Pacific Airlines drives a fleet of broad-body aircraft involving Boeing 777, Airbus A350 and Airbus A330 equipment. The Cathay Dragon which is wholly owned subsidiary operates its functions in 44 locations in the region Asia-Pacific from its Hong Kong base. The company was established in 1946 and always remained committed towards its home base, and putting considerable investments in order to develop Hong Kong and convert it as the leading international hub of aviation (Cathay Pacific, 2018).
Importance of Internal Analysis
An internal analysis is performed in order to identify the competence, competitive viability, and cost position of the company in the marketplace. Performing an internal analysis also evaluate the important information of the company i.e. strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats which is called a SWOT analysis (Williams, 2018). The information extracted from an internal analysis is very important as it can be used to create objectives of strategic planning in order to survive and develop the business. A strong company make use of updated equipment and updated technology to complete its work. The attainment of the financial goals and objectives of strategic planning are analysed (Mukher, 2018). The internal analysis is very important for an organization to identify its areas of weaknesses so that it can overcome that. It helps in analysing the competencies of the firm and highlights the possible opportunities for the business in future (MBA Skool, 2018). While performing in the market it is very important to be aware of the changes taking place in the market such as technological, economic and competitor’s strategies which can arise threats for the company (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016).
Importance of External Analysis
The external analysis plays an important part in influencing the future of whole businesses and of individual businesses. In order to uphold the company forward from its competitor, the administration should regularly adjust their policies and strategies in order to show the environment in which business functions (Teik, 2013). It is said to be a useful application to perform an external analysis at the beginning of the review process of the strategy. The external environment analysis involves various factors that affect the business such as political, environmental, social, economic, legal, and technological (Boasson and Wettestad, 2016).
Key Stakeholders of Cathay Pacific Airlines
A stakeholder is said to a party that has some interest in the business and that can influence the business by its activities or can get influenced by the activities of the business. The key stakeholders in a usual company are its customers, suppliers, investors, government and employees (Rouse, 2018). Cathay Pacific Airlines has accomplished various achievements till now and it is possible due to their stakeholders that are employees, customers, investors, and shareholders, etc. The stakeholders of the company support them in communication strategy, sustainable development strategy. It is very important that business understand the issues of their stakeholders such that business can resolve it (Cathay Pacific, 2012). Various people are attracted towards the airlines because of their way of doing business and how they do planning to resolve the issues. Some of the concern of the stakeholders of Cathay Pacific Airlines are:
Analysis of the Current Business Environment
Political turbulence in main markets may lead to reduction in the traffic. Current example comprises political turbulence in Thailand which leads in a severe decrease in number of passenger traffic for a year. Other markets of the airline have also faced some mixed political constancy over last year. Any main escalation in the political climate might lead in influencing the business in the region.
Prices of fuel have perceived a severe decrease which has certainly influenced the aviation player’s operating costs. Besides this, the Hong Kong Dollar continued to be strong as compared to yuan and other currencies in the region of South-east Asia which was said to be a turn-off for travelers. Travelers from South-East Asian and China destinations cover a maximum of the Hong Kong arrivals. Therefore, a tough Hong Kong dollar had a negative consequence for Cathay Pacific Airlines on yield factor.
Cathay Pacific Airlines promotes and endorse workshops and training programs for young graduates. The airlines have taken the responsibility to take the initiative towards decreasing illegal trafficking and trail supplier amenableness.
Cathay Pacific Airlines is focused towards investing in the technology in order to provide possible comfort and positive experience to the customers. Airlines have invested in the mobility and data analytics to enhance the experience of the customers.
Cathay Pacific Airlines is very much concerned about its brand and functions in the market, therefore it tries to obey and follow all the rules and regulations implemented by the government of different locations where they do their business. Moreover, the airline has introduced antitrust proceedings in different jurisdictions.
Cathay Pacific Airlines also consider and think about the betterment of the environment and that is the reason why it is tool initiatives in carbon reduction and emissions trading programmes (S&P, 2018).
Cathay Pacific Airlines is one of the top airlines which provide comfort and lifelong experience to their clients and passengers. They have a good experience and specialized in providing a friendly operating environment to the passengers. They have strong frequency and connectivity of their flights. The airlines provide free of cost port status to the receivers. Moreover, it also offers 24-hour cargo welcoming customs atmosphere and transparent and simple tax system (Bhasin, 2018).
Besides having such a strong position in the market and good brand image, Cathay Pacific Airlines also possess some weaknesses that are the high cost of trucking, insufficient connectivity with the mainland cities, high terminal cost of cargo, and customs inadequacies at the border i.e. Chinese border.
Cathay Pacific Airlines operate its functions in a market where there are various options and opportunities for the growth and development. Some of the possible opportunities for the airlines are: development of the new and attractive infrastructure, aggressive release up of airspace administration and it can pass new transshipment order (SWOT Analysis, 2011).
While performing in a competitive market besides possessing strong image and various strengths business has to face some threats. The threats need to be focused by the company should be taken some strong steps in order to overcome the effect of these threats. Whole airlines industry is very competitive. The factors are dependent on the charges and facilities obtainable along with it. Airlines profits are very sensitive that small changes in the charges affect the demand by the customers. Fuel involves major part of the operating cost for that company comprised of around 34% of the overall operating costs. The changes in such essential factor in the operating cost are due to the external factor which cannot be controlled by the management of the company.
Market selection of Cathay Airlines
The objective of the marketers is to recognize the segments and choose which part of the market segment needs to be a target in order to earn a maximum profit and offer services to a large number of customers. A company can focus on an individual segment or various segments in which consumers have the same type of requirements or needs provided by some products. There are four various market segments in which Cathay Pacific Airlines focuses on, the leading target of the airlines has been seen as the segment of commercial tourists who are majorly sensitive about the quality in place of being sensitive about the prices. Cathay Pacific Airlines mostly targets those travelers who visit for business to various locations; arrive from Hong Kong, Asia, etc. These types of travelers can invest their money for their comfort and entertainment. In terms of selecting the target market airlines is performing well and earning good amount of profit by serving these segments (Chen’s Marketing Review, 2013).
Cathay Pacific Airlines is one of the leading airline brands which provide several services to the flyers. Cathay Pacific Airlines does not only provide commercial flights it also offers logistics services. The offerings of the airlines include:
First class: They are consisting of broad seats that could be transformed into the beds. It also offers massage service, personal screens of television for the entertainment of the customers, power sockets, etc.
Business class: Cathay Pacific Airlines business class has been designed by considering the demand and their satisfaction level. The services of the airlines are designed in order to reduce the tension and burden of the travelers and make them feel refreshing when they reach their destination to attend business meetings or conference.
Economy Class: In the economy class of Cathay Pacific Airlines seats are slimmer and adjustable headrests. They have around 6-inch screen television for in-flight entertainment. Some other services include power sockets, USB ports, and cup holders.
The services provided by Cathay Pacific Airlines to its customers are very effective and attractive which are attracting more and more customers in the market and due to this company is planning to start its operations in Manila.
Cathay Pacific Airlines position in the market
Positioning is the act of planning the offering of the company and image to cover a unique place in eyes of the target audience. These strategies are created with the aim of guiding the company to ensure an improved position in the target market by undermining its strengths and weaknesses. The positioning strategy of Cathay Pacific Airlines is executed for ensuring a competitive place in the whole industry. It also guides Cathay Pacific Airlines in defining and enhancing the brand image. There are various steps that need to be tracked for operative designing of positioning strategies. The steps involve acknowledgment of competitive structure and recognition of the competition in the market.
The financial performance of the company is positive; it is performing effectively in the market and giving strong competition to its competitors. The revenue of the company in 2016 was HK$ million 92,751 and it increased in 2017 and reached to HK$ million 97,284. There was the increase of 4.9% (Cathay Pacific, 2017).
Airline industry of Hong Kong is very competitive. The competitors of Cathay Pacific Airlines particularly the airlines which are government owned are considered as the threat to the company. Government-owned airlines have less probable to close down. These airlines are supported by the country's national government along with their resources which provide maximum opportunities as compared to airlines which are publically owned such as Cathay Pacific Airways. Singapore Airlines, Jet Airways, and Air India are the competitors of the Cathay Pacific Airlines (MBA Skool, 2018).
Strength and Weaknesses of Singapore Airlines
Strength- Singapore Airlines is concentrated towards executing the correct strategies in their company. It is comprised of enhancing the cost control, quality of services, and operational efficiency.
The arrangement of seating in Singapore Airlines is very much known for offering their luxury suites which were created by the French designer Jean Coste which are comprised of luxury seating which is very easy to get converted into beds.
The Airlines is concentrated towards creating customer engagement and their main segment involves value customers who mostly travel in the luxury class.
Weaknesses- With the increase in the number of low-cost airlines, the luxury class airlines business have suffered severely. Maximum of the luxury airlines are putting their efforts towards enhancing their margins, however, are not getting success in doing so because the cost is going out of the control of the management of Airlines but demand is not been ramping up.
The Singapore Airlines is considered as the luxury or expensive airlines by the customers and therefore various consumers fail to think about airlines as a potential choice to travel (Bhasin, 2018).
Porter Five Force Framework
The five forces model is known as one of the tools of management which is created by Professor Michael J. Porter in order to examine a sector or industry, by the examination and identification of the business environment’s five forces.
Rivalry among Competitors- The rivalry among the competitors majorly inclines to upsurge as a competition of Cathay Pacific Airlines increases in the number and will associate in capacity and size. As the rivalry among competitors becomes very penetrating, the profit of the industry of airline decreases results in it to become less appealing and hence reduce the new competitor’s entry.
The threat of New Entrants- The time companies of airlines simply enter into an industry, the competition intensity increases, though, arriving a market is not typically something simply because of the presence of the entry barriers. But in spite of these barriers, sometimes businesses are easily capable to enter in the industry where products possess a higher than current lower prices or improved quality advertising.
The threat of substitute products- The substitute services of the Cathay Pacific Airlines are other various Airlines which offer its services in the industry. The existence of the substitute products mostly fixes a limit of the price that might be charged for a service or product. Substitute for the Cathay Pacific's services is very weak because of various reasons. The evaluation of the substitute product's threat enables Cathay Pacific Airlines to form strategies to save itself from the other airline's entry that provide these services.
Supplier’s bargaining power- Cathay Pacific Airlines have various suppliers’ options. For instance, the company can easily select various types of food providers like Café de and Maxim. The analysis of the supplier's bargaining power enables airlines to form strategies in order to overcome these issues and attain improved situations.
Customer’s bargaining power- Generally, there is less number of buyers in the airline industry, therefore there is high bargaining power, as there is no particular demand for the services or products, buyers can ask for fewer price products and improved services (Bartle, 2011).
Change activities for Cathay Pacific Airlines
Overall, it has been observed that issues that are related to the growth and profitability of the Cathay Pacific Airlines are based on the performance of the company in regards to their market share in existing and new demographic and geographic locations along with their capability to hold innovative and new technologies. In order to solve these issues company need to adopt some strategies in order to have some change. The company can invest in its research and development which will enable them to stay updated with the advanced technology like providing changing environmental and societal issues, eventually decreasing customer bargaining power. Along with this, this strategy will enable Cathay Pacific Airlines to take the advantage of the increased subsidies of the government and get ready to deal with the strict regulations of the government regarding emission standards.
The process of Gathering Feedback from the Stakeholders
Collecting feedback from the stakeholder during the process of the organization supports company in maintaining a task or work on the track. Therefore, some of the following steps need to be followed by the managers to collect the feedback from the stakeholders:
Selecting a channel to communicate with the stakeholders
The process of collecting feedback from the stakeholders involves an initial step of selecting an appropriate channel of communication with the stakeholder such as email, message, meetings, feedback surveys, etc. (Ciotti, 2018)
Proper planning of the selected channel collecting the feedback
The manager of the project is responsible for organizing and arranging all the required equipment that needed to interact with the stakeholders. Planning will involve a schedule of the meetings with the stakeholders, framing of messages and emails, designing survey forms, etc.
Scheduling team meetings
Planning frequent meeting helps in supporting the manager or project manager of the company to meet the expectations and manage stakeholder and promoters about their parts in the work. Moreover, stakeholders get to know more about perspectives and concerns of other individuals. The responsible manager of the project for handling all the issues has to sensibly arrange these type of meetings in order to confirm all the concerns get managed in an operative manner (Duggan, 2010).
Active listening to every stakeholder’s concern
Utilizing techniques of active listening support managers to collect feedback from the stakeholders and response proficiently. By repeating the words of the stakeholders can confirm that they understood it and will stay on their words. If every person listens patiently the ideas presented by on stakeholder will provide effective results.
Creating Action Plan
After getting all the ideas and thoughts of the stakeholders, managers will respond in an appropriate manner by forming an action plan. The feedback can be attained by feedback forms, meetings, surveys, or personal interviews. Preparing a document utilizing a template manager must involve data like problem summary, background information, actions it will help the company in taking proper and planned actions at the correct time.
Implementing or applying agreed strategies
At this step of the process, the document that was prepared after the discussion among the stakeholders will be reviewed and decided strategies will be implemented by the company and will be applied to solve the issues. ‘
Strategy Selection Criteria
As per David Aaker, strategic alternatives must be adopted at the level that they fulfill the below-mentioned criteria:
- They are receptive according to the external environment.
- They include a maintainable competitive advantage.
- They are reliable with other various strategies in the company
- They offer suitable flexibility for the organization and business
- They are feasible according to the company
Tests of a Winning Strategy
In order to check the advantages of a strategy three tests can be utilized and to measure how much the selected strategy is effective:
The Goodness of Fit Test
An effective strategy is sound and matched to the situation of the company - both external and internal factors and their own competencies and ambitions.
The Test of Competitive Advantage
An effective strategy results in viable competitive advantage. If the strategy has a bigger competitive edge then it will help in attaining the goal easily.
The Performance Test
An effective strategy enhances the performance of the company. Two types of performance enhancements are most effective: advances in the long-term business of the company competitive position and strength and advances in the company's profitability (Barnat, 2014).
Future Strategy for Cathay Pacific Airlines
Cathay Pacific Airlines is one of the top companies in the airline industry as it offers luxurious services and facilities to its customers and client and gives their best efforts to satisfy them. However, the company is dealing with various challenges from its competitors and trying to innovate or bring some new changes in the functioning of the business that can help it in overcoming the challenges of the rivals and become the top player in the market. Therefore, in order to lead the market, Cathay Pacific Airlines should take the initiative to in build the devices that can allow passengers to use their mobile phone at the time they are traveling in the flights. This idea can become one of the innovative invention and idea in the future as it will resolve the issues of many of the passengers who want to urgently contact to someone in emergencies. Moreover, it will help the pilots to clearly contact at the airports where they want to land and can ask proper information about the situation on the runway.
Besides this, this technique will also reduce the chances of hijacks, and terrorists attack as pilots or other passengers can inform about these situations to the concerned department.
Every company maintains its own precise culture, and then in that case probably none of them are complex than the international airline. The term international reflects that there are varied social, ethnic, and political issues that should be considered while creating any management policy (BAA Training, 2013). Along with this, there is also the necessity to uphold services and products of similar quality. Cathay Pacific Airlines follow a strong organizational culture which represents that they operate their activities fairly by putting a maximum of their efforts into offering services to the customers (Life Well Travelled, 2018). The culture of the organization is customer focused and therefore they design their services according to the comfort of their passengers. In order to understand the culture of Cathay Pacific Airlines Geert Hofstede’s Onion Diagram needs to be explained. There are four parts in the onion diagram i.e. heroes, values, symbols, and rituals.
Heroes- There are various people categorized as dead or alive, that is very much influential in the company and work as a role model for the existing employees. For example, co-founder of Southwest, who is said to be an influential person in the airlines.
Values- Cathay Pacific Airlines promotes a high quality of the services with inexpensive flights.
Symbols- Symbols are said to be the basic components of the culture of the organization such as pictures, gestures, words, and objects that reflect something. In airlines, various symbols and gestures are used in order to instruct the passengers.
Rituals- Rituals are said to be complex symbols normally used between people (Aviation Knowledge, 2010).
Organizational Culture for new Strategy
In order to have effective implementation and execution of the suggested advance technology, Cathay Pacific Airlines needs to be adopted. Every employee of the company needs to adopt a culture or characteristic those are adaptive which is required in order to implement a strategy for the company. If there will be no support of all the members, employees, and management the implemented strategy will not show its positive results and eventually get fail to provide benefits to the company in the long run.
New Vision and Mission Statement for Cathay Pacific Airlines
Vision- The vision of Cathay Pacific Airlines is to place the company at the top position and for continuous growth in the whole industry by adopting new and innovative technologies in the business.
Mission- The mission of the company is to provide excellent services in all the areas at the competitive price perform modernization in the infrastructure and expand the business. Besides this, it wants to offer a suitable return to the shareholders. All these activities company wants to perform by making employees happy, motivated and satisfied.
The financial objective of Cathay Pacific Airlines will be to increase the sales and revenue in the coming years by implementing the advanced technological devices which will allow passengers to use their cell phones in the flights. The target of the company will be to increase 20% sales and cover the cost of the devices which will be implemented for using cell phones in the airplanes. Moreover, in order to attract the customers' company will adopt various promotional activities to increase the awareness about the advanced technology. The company can use advertisement and digital marketing to promote this. A major priority will be given to the satisfaction and comfort of the passengers traveling in the flights of Cathay Pacific.
Performance Measurement Tool
In order to evaluate the performance of the suggested technique, Cathay Pacific Airlines can make use of balanced scorecard system that helps in evaluating the financial and non-financial perspectives of the business and strategy. The balanced scorecard analyses the vision, mission, and strategy of the company and prepare a one-page strategic plan that represents the objectives and measures that could be taken to attain the desired objectives.
Recognize obtainable time
Here, the time will be set that company wants the task or new technology to be implemented in. In order to execute the plan, Cathay Pacific Airlines will require at least three years to effectively implementing this technology in the company.
Plan Vital Actions
Here, Cathay Pacific Airlines needs to decide the important action that needs to be performed. In order to implement the advanced technology company first needs to identify the feasibility of the strategy and contacting the technical department to create suggested technology.
Plan high-priority activities
Here, the activities that are most important will be identified that cannot be avoided by the company. The high priority activity will be designing the devices that will allow receiving phone calls in flights.
Plan Contingency Time
Time will be scheduled to cope up with the emergencies and contingencies. While preparing the time schedule for implementing the strategy, company must decide the contingencies time so that there will be no wastage of time and resources (Mind Tools, 2018).
Recognize obtainable time
Require time period of three years to implement the strategy
Plan Vital Actions
Identify the feasibility of the strategy
Contacting the technical department to create suggested technology
Plan high-priority activities
Designing the devices that will allow receiving phone calls in flights
Plan Contingency Time
Contingencies time so that there will be no wastage of time and resources.
A communication plan is a type of document that will provide details of what company is trying to attain, who is the audience, how to reach, and what are the messages. The communication plan of Cathay Pacific Airlines that will be followed to inform stakeholders about the new strategy is as follows:ource [(The Health Compass, 2012)]
In the conclusion, it can be said that Cathay Pacific Airlines is one of the leading airlines of Hong Kong and performing effective activities to provide best experience to its passengers. However, it faces some competition with its rivals and has some weaknesses that cease its growth in the market. In order to attain the goals and objectives it need to adopt some new and innovative technologies that will help it in increase its customer base and sales. The above report has discussed about the current business environment of the airlines and its strategies that are implemented. Moreover, to thrive in the market report has suggested a strategy that can help in gaining the market share i.e. implementing devices in the flights that allow passengers to use their phone and communicate with their relatives or colleagues. In order to implement this strategy report has highlighted some procedures that will be very effective for the company.
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