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Need airline industry/business reading list

Need airline industry/business reading list

Old Sep 3, 13, 8:20 am
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Need airline industry/business reading list

I recently got a job in the airline industry and since I don't have a background in the travel industry would like some suggestions for reading material. I'm not with any particular airline, but one of the supporting agencies. So I want stuff that discusses anything from airline economics to general business to history. I am currently reading Hard Landing and finding it very good. Do any of you have favorites? I did an Amazon.com search and got snowed under in book suggestions. I had no idea! So which ones are best (versus ones that are just tell-all rags)?
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Old Sep 3, 13, 8:25 am
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Need airline industry/business reading list

What kind of "job" in the industry?
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Old Sep 9, 13, 8:03 pm
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I just tried to make an long detailed post and it was lost due to data base error. Perhaps the OP can supply more details about new job responsibilities and background by PM. For example, MBA level? Engineering background?
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Old Sep 10, 13, 7:32 am
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My exact job isn't that important to answer the question. My background is in software engineering although I'm now a business analyst. The business domains I have experience with are mostly public safety but also some manufacturing/distribution/retail - basically everything except for air travel. I'm fascinated by the history of commercial air travel and looking for a focus on economics, marketing and general business rather than things pilots or flight attendants need to know. It's not related to any official educational program but more of an educate myself-on-the-fly kind of situation. That being said, I'm not averse to reading textbooks, if they are interesting and don't assume you already have experience in the field.
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Old Sep 10, 13, 12:53 pm
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One terrific book that serves as a primer on airline economics, marketing and competitive pressure is "Hard Landing," by Thomas Petzinger.


It was first published in 1996 or so, so some of the narrative dwells on executives and airlines that are no longer with us, but I understand there's an update in more recent reprints.

Another really good read is "Splash of Colors," the first book written by John Nance (who's now all over TV an an aviation issues analyst).


It's about the mismanagement and collapse of Braniff in the early 1980s. Nance had been a Braniff pilot.

And to see a much-missed airline exec patting himself on the back -- but probably deservedly so -- read Gordon Bethune's "From Worst to First," about how he resurrected Continental from death's door in the 1990s:


Hope that helps!
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Old Sep 10, 13, 1:15 pm
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Thanks, that does help! I'm currently reading Hard Landing and finding it very interesting. I'll get the other two you recommend also.
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Old Sep 10, 13, 5:33 pm
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If you're looking for airline economics, you're best off getting one of the many textbooks published for that purpose.

Any of the top results at Amazon will be good, but I've used this one for training generalist consultants on the airline business:


It's not the most interesting reading since it is a textbook, but you can get through it quickly with a general business background. It just adds some airline specific colour.
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Old Sep 10, 13, 9:59 pm
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I don't work in the Arline industry but great thread. Thanks for the reading list. Always looking to learn more on a subject of personal interest.
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Old Sep 11, 13, 8:07 am
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A definite recommendation for Hard Landings here. The book is pretty old by now, I wish there was a newer version out. But it gives you a new perspective on the industry, and for better or worse helps make sense of many of the decisions that have been made in the past. In essence, it makes you realize that all decisions are not made based solely on scientific reasoning and market research - there is a (sometimes very heavy) element of ego and gut feeling that goes into it.

Doesn't make it any easier to figure out what is happening or will happen, but helps you understand WHY it happened.
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Old Sep 11, 13, 11:12 am
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Ashgate certainly have a lot of titles:

I think Flying Off Course by Rigas Doganis is a pretty decent introduction:

Also The Airport Business is probably worthwhile:

"Crash Landing" (GPA story) is also good if you're interested in aircraft finance:
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