SWOT analysis of British Airways

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This article is about a brief SWOT analysis of British airways (BA). It aims to explore the strengths and the weaknesses of BA. It also aims to examine the opportunities and the threats facing the airline.

SWOT analysis of British Airways

As mentioned above, it is a brief SWOT analysis of British Airways. However, it addresses some of the key issues as follows:


British Airways is one of the top airlines in the world. It is in fact the largest airline in the UK in terms of fleet size. It is also the second largest airline in the UK in terms of passenger carried. While being a long-term customer of Boeing, BA is also a customer of both Airbus, and Embraer.

British Airways flies to over 170 destinations in more than 70 different countries worldwide. It serves approximately 40 million customers a year in the UK alone (British Airways, 2017). It was the official airline partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

British Airways has a strong brand image as a leading global premium airline. It won a number of accolades over the years. It was voted No. 1 Consumer Superbrand in the UK in 2014, 2015 and 2016 (British Airways, 2018).


While BA has a number of strengths, it is not without some limitations. Some analysts hold the view that BA is over reliant on the UK market. In fact, almost half of the airline’s revenues come from the UK. This reliance makes BA vulnerable to any potential market slowdown and intensifying competition in the UK.

British Airways staff started a fortnight of strikes in July 2017 in the UK. This is the result of an ongoing and increasingly bitter pay dispute between the airline and its Mixed Fleet crew (Trend and Morris, 2017). This type of dispute not only throws travel plans of many people into disarray, but also points out the airline’s weakness in dispute resolution.


Emerging economies with their improved infrastructure and tourism demand offer airlines an excellent opportunity for expansion. BA announced in February 2017 about launching new summer holiday routes e.g. Florence, Ibiza, Malaga and Palma from Bristol and Birmingham airports in the UK. More summer holiday routes are indeed worth exploring.


The last element to address in the SWOT analysis of British Airways is the threat/s. Competitors are usually considered threats. BA certainly faces a number of powerful competitors in many of its routes. For example, Air India, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways, Qatar  Airways, Qantas Airways, Lufthansa, Emirates airline, and American airlines are some of the competitors of BA. Rising fuel costs and rising labour costs in the UK are other challenges facing BA.

We hope this article on the SWOT analysis of British Airways has been useful. You may also like reading SWOT analysis of Emirates Airline. If you liked this article, please share it by clicking on the icons below.

The article publication date: 02 February 2018

Further Reading/References

British Airways (2018) Company information, available at: https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/information/about-ba?source=BOT_about_ba (Accessed 02 January 2018)

Trend, N. and Morris, H. (2017) What you need to know about the BA strike as cabin crew announce two more weeks of action, available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/advice/flight-cancellations-your-rights/ (Accessed 05 January 2018)

Photo credit: www.pixabay.com

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He is a graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University and London South Bank University.