Eco-positioning of airlines: Perception versus actual performance

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Mayer, Robert
Ryley, Tim
Gillingwater, David
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2015
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To date there has been little research in air transport into the eco-positioning of airlines, that is, their environmental image relative to other airlines and how actual environmental performance relates to this eco-positioning. This paper identifies the environmental perceptions that passengers hold of twelve airlines and relates these perceptions to airlines' actual environmental performance, using load factors, aircraft age and the atmosfair Airline index as proxies for environmental performance. Based on a survey of over 600 passengers at Liverpool John Lennon Airport, the research analyses air travellers' perception of airlines from an environmental perspective. The results show that while there are significant differences in people's environmental perception of airlines, the eco-positioning of the airlines is not correlated to their actual environmental performance. The results support previous research findings in other industries that in many cases actual performance is less important than communicating environmental messages to the public in creating a superior eco-positioning.

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Journal of Air Transport Management

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44-45

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Urban and regional planning

Transportation, logistics and supply chains

Transportation, logistics and supply chains not elsewhere classified

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