Service quality effects on air passenger intentions: A service chain perspective

Yu-Chiun Chiou*, Yen Heng Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


This study divides entire airline services into eight service stages and uses a second-order confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to constitute service quality and to examine the causal relationships between two consecutive service stages from a service chain perspective. Two conceptual frameworks - overall framework and service chain framework are proposed. The former incorporates the constructs of service quality, sacrifice, servicescape, service value, satisfaction, switching barriers, and behavioural intentions combined with seven hypothetical causal relationships. The latter depicts seven hypothetical causal relationships between two consecutive service stages. The proposed models are validated by a case study of Spring Airlines, a low-cost carrier (LCC) based in China. The empirical results support all hypotheses except hypothesis 7 that service quality positively impacts behavioural intentions. Notably, test results for the interrelationships between two consecutive service stages suggest that a lack of satisfaction at a specific service stage will affect customer perception of the consequent service stage. Therefore, to improve the service quality for a service stage, the service quality of all upstream service stages must be improved first. This study also found that service quality has a large effect although not direct on behavioural intentions while sacrifice has the smallest effect. A low-fare strategy may not be effective when an airline fails to deliver high-quality service.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)406-426
Number of pages21
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2012


  • low-cost carrier
  • service chain
  • service quality
  • structural equation model

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