Case Interview Question #00389: After the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, air travel in the U.S. declined to unforeseen levels and most of the American airlines were looking at every possible ways to cut their costs. Our client, Houston, Texas-based Continental Airlines (IATA: CO, ICAO: COA) had recently cut the in-flight meal that previously provided to Continental passengers for free.
It is year 2003 now and the client Continental Airlines wants to introduce retail sales of in-flight meals, beverages and snacks on the plane for which the passengers will pay. The client has not thought through any of the options, risks and opportunities, and have called you at the very thought of this new service introduction. To introduce this initiative, what are your considerations from an operational perspective?
Note to Interviewer:
Most candidates start evaluating the benefits and costs of this initiative with the objective of giving a ‘Go’ or a ‘No Go’ to the proposal. Please emphasize that the decision to ‘Go’ has already been made and the candidate has to look at operational considerations.
Operationally, the following things are important for an airline company.