Research on Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways

Firms’ Comparative Analysis

In the preparation of the comparative analysis research, I will focus my research on the Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited and Kenya Airways. The Virgin Atlantic is a British airline company, owned by Sir Richard Branson and its headquarters being in England (Balmforth, 2009). Similarly, the Kenya Airways Limited is a Kenyan Airline, founded after the termination of the East African Airway. The firm belongs to the Kenyan Government. The airlines headquarters are at Embakasi in Nairobi (Oyieke, 2009).

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Comparative analysis / similar problems affecting the of the firms

Comparing the two Airlines, I can analyze that they both face same challenges on a daily basis as they conduct their business. In a situation where the business has few or fewer customers, problems are bound to arise. Comparing the two Airlines in terms of customers and the business, there is evident that both face similar challenges. The Virgin Atlantic seems to face long and short damages in the customer service (Balmforth, 2009). This factor affects the airline company when it comes to customer handling and business as a whole. The Kenya Airways face almost the same problem when it comes to customer handling and the business. The company faces its own problems concerning the customer care management. Complains from the customers are unimpressive. Issues ranging from missed flights to unfriendly schedules are common. The Aviation report states that, the cost of flying a Boeing 747 is approximately $50,000 per hour (Oyieke, 2009). This is an expensive adventure especially when it comes to a low season where the customers are few. This affects both the Virgin Atlantic and the Kenya Airways. Both cooperates tend to experience low business during certain periods.

During a business, monetary is the key issue. International flights like the Kenya Airways and Virgin Atlantic, deal with international passengers hence the exchange rates of the monetary systems is an issue. The Virgin Atlantic and the Kenya Airways faces similar challenges in the event of exchanging rates between the firm and its clients. In Kenya and Britain, the Euro and the dollar vary thus rising and falling depending with the economy; this makes severe adjustments in the airline sector and can sometime hinder the travels (Oyieke, 2009).

In 2008, there was a global increase in the prices of oil making the cost of air flight rise sharply. The cost of oil rose from $60 per barrel to $140 in an extremely short period. This affected both the Virgin Atlantic and the Kenya Airways because the problem was global. In Kenya, there were oil shortages (Oyieke, 2009). Although, the oil prices reduced the effect of the period is still felt in some quarters. Competition is a common thing in every business in that it can provide a healthy business or entirely damages the business. The two airlines usually experience competition from cheaper airlines. Airlines such as the Qatar Airways, Emirates, and the Arabiya Airlines give the Kenya Airways formidable competition due to their cheaper services. The Airline companies also have the latest flights, which attracts many customers (Oyieke, 2009).

An airport links different countries and the people traveling. There are different activities that take place in an airport. Some of the activities are business oriented while some are the negatives and vices. Smugglers and drug dealers tend to take advantage of such places hence tainting the name of the firm. This is a challenge to both the Airlines as the firm’s staff maybe implicated in such vices.

Management of the Airline is another challenging aspect in both the firms. Poor management can derail the productivity of the Cooperation. Situations such as go slows and strikes are a result of poor management. In the case of Virgin Atlantic, there are different leadership styles implemented by Branson (Balmforth, 2009). He prefers the confrontational approach, which is viewed as damaging.

Organization’s macro environments.

Both Airlines face political difficulties, which range from Government interference to political reasons. The Kenya airway was significantly affected during Kenya’s post election violence. Business stalled for 3 months by way in which tourists and international visitors had negativity about the country. This led to losses in the cooperation. The case is different from the Virgin Atlantic. The Cooperation did not experience the impact of political violence, but it still had its own political problems in that, the environmental lobby about the United Kingdom airline industry and the political reaction meant that there was no third runway to the Heathrow airport. This greatly affected the airline company (Balmforth, 2009).

The Legal challenge affecting both the Atlantic Airlines and the Kenya Airways are almost similar in some ways. In most cases, the co-operations are accountable to the small issues affecting the customers. Some customers take legal suits to sue the company for damages. The virgin Atlantic was entangled in a court battle with its clients due to the famous ‘Tarmac Rule.’ (Balmforth, 2009). The differences can affect heavily on the management of the firms if not addressed. In some situations, due to political calls and ambitions, some managers can end up losing their positions.

The research is a revelation of the various untold challenges affecting the two prominent cooperates. This type of research helps address-hidden issues and problems. Addressing these types of issues and challenges helps to avoid the same mistakes in the future. A major recommendation to be effectuated is creating adequate room for solving the challenging issues in the two giant firms. Government interference in the firms is unnecessary in some extent. The two bodies should be managed independently from political interference.


Balmforth, J. (2009). Virgin Atlantic. Hersham: Midland.

Oyieke, S. (2009). Kenya Airways: A case study of privatization. Nairobi: African Economic Research Consortium.

Shaw, S. (2009). Airline marketing and management. Aldershot: Ashgate.

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