Date of Conferral
Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)
Passengers rank safety as a key factor in airline choice. Thus, safety performance impacts an airline's ability to attract customers. The purpose of this correlational study was to examine the relationship and difference between airline category low-cost carriers (LCCs) and full-service carriers (FSCs), geographical region, and safety performance measured by accident rates. The target population comprised all airlines in all countries that had an accident during the 14-year period 2004 to 2017. Data consisted of archival data of all global airline accidents and airline departure frequencies for the 14-year period. The theory of organizational accidents in complex sociotechnical systems explains the relationship between LCC and FSC safety performance, as well as between global geographical regions. The Swiss cheese model of organizational accidents theoretical framework remains a relevant model to examine airline accidents and improve airline safety. Data analysis consisted of the t test, ANOVA, correlation, and regression analysis. LCCs were found to be as safe as FSCs on a global level, and safer than FSCs in some regions. There were regional differences in safety, with North America being safer than Africa. The implications for positive social change include the potential for airline leaders to improve the safety image of their airline and provide passengers a better understanding of airline safety. Providing passengers with information on airline safety performance allows passengers to make informed choices on using different categories of airlines in different geographical regions. The research may result in new travel opportunities for travelers that were previously unrealized due to safety concerns, particularly around the increased use of LCCs.