ENroute Yearbook 2016-17
Using airline simulation software as a way of gaining industry-related experience
Shuna Marr, The Business School, Senior Fellow
When devising the BA (Hons) Tourism and Airline Management programme, a key
challenge lay in incorporating industry-related experience into the specialist airline
modules. One way found was for students to work in small teams to build and run
a virtual airline using sophisticated simulation software. In playing the game, they
accumulate three years of operational data, bringing together all the elements of
the modules they have previously studied in the Tourism and Airline Management
programme. They explore the interconnected factors that affect airline profitability
and analyse the impact of different business strategies. This gives students a
strategic understanding of airline management, learning how to develop and write a
business plan and execute it in a virtual world simulation.
The focus of the module is airline management and not game playing, therefore the
game itself is not assessed at all, but students use it to gain experience about airline
management, upon which they then submit a reflective analysis. It doesn’t matter
if the airline is spectacularly successful or fails miserably – the grade awarded is
based solely on the analysis of why the airline strategy has been successful or failed.
Students were involved directly in co-creating the development of the module.