British Airways Value Chain Analysis

By John Dudovskiy
June 11, 2016

British Airways value chain analysis involves the adoption of a systematic approach in the analysis of competitive advantage. The framework makes a distinction between primary and support business activities identifies the sources of competitive advantage for each activity. The figure below illustrates the essence of value chain analysis.

British Airways value chain analysis

Primary Activities

Inbound logistics

British Airways inbound logistics operations are complex and involve the timely delivery of fleet of planes, catering products and a wide range of other on-board products. The necessity to ensure the freshness of foods and drinks served during the flights further complicates British Airways inbound logistics primary activities.

Competitive advantage is achieved in inbound logistics stage of the business by British Airways through establishing on-going relationships with suppliers, sophisticated system for stock control and professional training that has been accredited by UK City and Guilds.



Generally, operations stage of the business involves preparing goods and services to be sold to customers. As the UK’s largest international scheduled airline, British Airways flies globally to more than 400 destinations. Therefore, the scope of its business operations is extensive.

British Airways has a range of competitive advantages in operations part of the business through offering its customers increased security for their luggage, offering quick check-in services and also offering some services such as ticket bookings and online booking of other services. Moreover, a high level of customization of service provision and an extensive utilization of digital technologies in a wide range of business processes represent solid sources for additional value for British Airways.


Outbound logistics

Outbound logistics involves sending ready products to customers for consumption. Although outbound logistics mainly relate to manufacturing companies, it is also applicable towards service businesses such as airlines. British Airways flies to airports in nearly 80 countries worldwide. The airline derives value in outbound logistics primary operations via efficient handling of baggage in the point of destination and utilizing an advanced information and communication systems.


Marketing and sales

British Airways marketing strategy is directed at the communication of the marketing message to the target customer segment. The marketing message attempts to associate the British Airways brand with efficiency, reliability, safety and convenience. The marketing message is communicated to the target customer segment via an effective utilization of a range of elements of the marketing communication mix such as print and media advertising, sales promotions, events and experiences, public relations and direct marketing.



Generally, post-sale services involve installation of the product, handling complaints regarding the products and services etc. British Airways recognize post-sale services as an important ground for achieving competitive advantage in the marketplace, therefore have initiated their loyalty club cards, and also maintain communication with their customers through a range of channels.

British Airways commits to financial investments in a systematic manner in order to enhance the various aspects of its service provision. In 2015, the airline introduced 136 new scanners at check in desks across Heathrow Terminals 3 and 5 so that its app for Apple Watch can for check in can be used easier and faster.[1] In general, British Airways digital boarding pass is used by 28,000 customers every day.[2]

British Airways Report contains a detailed discussion of British Airways Value Chain Analysis. The report also illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces and McKinsey 7S Model on British Airways. Moreover, the report contains analysis of British Airways marketing strategy, leadership and organizational structure and discusses the issues of corporate social responsibility.

British Airways Report

[1] Annual Reports and Accounts (2015) British Airways

[2] Annual Reports and Accounts (2015) British Airways