module specification

CA7002 - E-Commerce for Aviation Management (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title E-Commerce for Aviation Management
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 200
65 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
90 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Presentation (group format) - 20 Minutes duration.
Coursework 50%   Individual Report/ consultancy on an aviation issue (2,000 words)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This module will focus on the concept of e-commerce within aviation management and the impact of the digital age will continue to have on the strategic activities of airlines and airports.  The start of the e-commerce revolution was back in 1995 with the first innovators including Alaskan Airlines and British Midland developing their first web site booking engines.  Since this time the global online travel sector has grown to generate more than half a trillion dollars in revenue.

Airline e commerce in all its forms is projected to grow significantly as we move into the 21st century.  The ‘e’ story is about the continuing evolution of internet-based technologies and the proliferation of new internet based applications.  This development is shifting and enhancing the power of consumers and airlines to a more direct relationship and minimising the power of the power of the intermediaries (travel agents).  A particular focus on the new types of airlines and airports that are exploiting the e commerce agenda and how the legacy carriers are having to adapt to these new sales and marketing dynamics.


Scene setting - Overview of the internet revolution and its impact on the airline industry with an introduction to digital commerce and airline e commerce business models, legacy airlines versus dotcom airlines etc.  Digital platforms including desktops, mobiles, inflight and airport self-service, wearable computing, virtual reality etc.  How can airlines maximise their potential in cyberspace. 
• Definition of airline e commerce – The adoption and use of the internet and digital applications to market and sell airline products, deliver customer service, and share / exchange information.
• Brief history of e commerce – how did it happen
• How have airlines adapted to these environment – what does success look like?
• E commerce models – what should it include, what types of buy-in do different airlines have etc.
• Common e commerce activities – airline e activities – all stakeholders
• The benefits of airline e commerce orientation



Introduction to e marketing
• Definition of e marketing –
• Why is e marketing so popular
• Why is knowing the customer so practical
• The role of online media formats (search engine / e mail / social media) in airline e marketing
• The pros and cons of these formats – success factors
• Key aspects of domain name management – the success factors for web site design
• Management of digital media agencies British airways –

The rise of e marketing – what are the success factors of this new discipline versus traditional methods?
Why is e marketing so attractive to the airline sector?
What is the targeting capability of e marketing?
What is the web traveller generation – generation Y, why are they so important?
What are the digital tools deployed in airline e marketing e.g., search marketing, display ads etc.

• Definition – what is e sales / e distribution
• What has it replaced – traditional airline distribution systems / sales procedures
• E sales globally phenomenon – the travel scenario suggests this is the new dominant format for travel sales – why?
• Selling directly or indirectly – what are the issues?
• E sales by region of the world – the global take up of e sales is unequal – why?
• The new role of Global Distribution Systems (GDS) – is there a future for GDS?
• Online travel agencies (OTA) – partners or predators?
• Meta search engines – what is their role?
• Cost of sale by channel – how do airlines choose?
• Impact on the airline business of new proprietary travel systems eco systems e.g. Amazon, Facebook, Google
• The increasing digitalisation of the airline business
The new focus on B2C – the ‘bid data’ of this approach LO1,LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be delivered through a weekly series of lectures and seminars. Teaching will have a blended learning approach. Lectures will deliver information and present academic problems appropriate to the topic under consideration. Full use will be made of online opportunities including web-based simulation/ case study discussion points. Seminars will provide students with opportunities for discussion and activities in small groups and at whole class level, presentations, short writing exercises and reflection, usually on the topics covered in the lecture of the same week.

Learning materials and opportunities will be made available on Weblearn, which will also be an important means of communication between students and between students and tutors, especially via a blog maintained by each student. Students will be expected to read and reflect upon the work covered so far through the module. Progress will be facilitated via weekly debates and discussion, where students will not only consider their own responses but also read those of their peers in the seminar.

Lectures will also (where possible) be given by guest speakers from industry.

Learning outcomes

• LO1
Develop a systemic understanding and evaluation of the brand benefits of e-commerce and its transformative through an assessment of e-commerce, e-sales and, e-distribution.
• LO2
Critically analyse the new marketing opportunities of the digital revolution in the wider context of airlines, airports, consumer relations and, based on an assessment of the critical success factors for those that are first movers with this agenda.


Core Texts:

Hanke, M. (2016) Airline E-Commerce. Log on and Take-Off. Routledge
Laudon, K. (2018) E-Commerce. Pearson
Larsson, T. (2016) E-Commece Evolved. Creative Space Independent Publishing.

Other Texts.
Laudon, K.C. 2016. E-commerce: Business, Technology and Society. Harlow, UK. Pearson
Rose, N (2014) API Management. The Key to Improving the Consumer Travel Experience.
Laudon, J. (2016) Management Information Systems. Managing the Digital Firm. Pearson
Li, F. (2017) What is E-Business? Wiley-Blackwell
Bones, C. (2015) Leading Digital Strategy. Kogan Page
Burberry, J. (2015) E-Commerce Strategy. Amazon Media
Ramirez, R. (2016) Stratewgy for a Networked World. ICP
Mayer-Schoonberger, V and Cukier, K. (2013) Big Data London: John Murray

SITA. 2015. Airline IT trends survey 2015.


The Journal of Air Transport Management ,
Aviation Management Education
Airline Business
Airport Business


All Major Airlines and Airports will have sections on their websites concerning their e-commerce strategy.