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Substitute Products. Focusing on types of travel that could substitute for air travel; the available forms of travel (between major U.S. cities) are train, bus and automobile. All the alternate/substitute forms of travel are equally readily available with the automobile having less constraint on destinations. However the prices vary and the time of travel increases. For example the cheapest ticket one way on Amtrak (train) from Dallas to Atlanta is currently 7
Marketing Plan: Delta AirlinesSharon Chambers$333.00 (USD) and takes just over 22 hours. The cheapest ticket on Greyhound (bus) for the same departure and destination on the same day is $132.00 (USD) and takes almost 18 hours. A car rental from Avis for the same departure and destination on the same date will cost approximately $337.00 (USD) accounting for average fuel economy and prices. The cheapest ticket on Delta for the same trip on the same day is $152.00 (USD) and takes only 2 hours. So unless a traveler has personal conflict with getting on an airplane (i.e.: weight, fear, etc.) the choice that makes the most of money spent for value gained is the air travel option.Bargaining PowerAs more airlines extend their global reach, passengers are able to reach their destinations with fewer transfers or no transfers and lay overs at all. However if a passenger is not traveling from a hub city they are still very likely to have at least one transfer – the key to obtain bargaining power as a supplier is to have the regional service available in the mid-size cities, either with affiliates or their own smaller regional jet services. For the most part Delta is excellent at being available in the mid-size cities for regional jet service; they may not have numerous departures in those areas but they do exist. It is also more convenient to the traveler (buyer) in this instance to stay with the same airline all the way to their destination. Until there is one unified scheduling and reservations system for the entire industry; a successful travel experience with no lost baggage and on time service is most likely only going to occur when staying with one airline for the duration of the trip. Consequently, non-stop service is the most sought after travel experience; the more non-stop service available the more bargaining power anairline will have over other suppliers.SWOT Analysis8
Marketing Plan: Delta AirlinesSharon ChambersStrengths.Delta is ranked 4thoverall international carriers for on-time service and rank 2ndoverall for most passengers carried thus far in 2015 (transtat.bts.gov, 2015). Delta has a global presence through a network of routes including alliances with foreign airlines including membership in the Sky Team; a global airline alliance. Delta’s Sky Miles is the first and only frequent flyer program that does not expire. The management team is strong with an eye in the future; harnessing the power of the digital world through upgrades and service enhancements through technology.