Airline categorisation by applying the business model canvas and clustering algorithms

Marcia Urban, Martin Klemm, Kay Olaf Ploetner, Mirko Hornung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The phenomenon of increasing airline business model convergence implies attempts for improvement and poses the questions, whether the airline market can be divided into new clusters, in contrast to the established distinction between low-cost and full-service network carriers. The objective of the paper is to determine airline clusters, which go beyond the two well-established low-cost and full-service network carrier models and facilitate a better understanding of the factors distinguishing different business models. The Business Model Canvas approach is applied to a set of 42 currently operating airlines to identify key factors for a subsequent, multidimensional two-step cluster analysis. Two of the seven resulting clusters are selected for a more detailed analysis to identify regularities within each clusters’ key factor characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-192
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Air Transport Management
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Airline business model
  • Airline performance
  • Business model canvas
  • Cluster analysis


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