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Flybe (FLYB) SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / MBA Resources

Introduction to SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix for Flybe (United Kingdom)


Based on various researches at Oak Spring University , Flybe is operating in a macro-environment that has been destablized by – technology disruption, there is increasing trade war between United States & China, customer relationship management is fast transforming because of increasing concerns over data privacy, central banks are concerned over increasing inflation, competitive advantages are harder to sustain because of technology dispersion, there is backlash against globalization, increasing household debt because of falling income levels, wage bills are increasing, digital marketing is dominated by two big players Facebook and Google, etc



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Introduction to SWOT Analysis of Flybe


SWOT stands for an organization’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats . At Oak Spring University, we believe that Flybe can use SWOT analysis as a strategic management tool to assess the current internal strengths and weaknesses of the Flybe, and to figure out the opportunities and threats in the macro environment – technological, environmental, political, economic, social, demographic, etc in which Flybe operates in.

According to Harvard Business Review, 75% of the managers use SWOT analysis for various purposes such as – evaluating current scenario, strategic planning, new venture feasibility, personal growth goals, new market entry, Go To market strategies, portfolio management and strategic trade-off assessment, organizational restructuring, etc.




SWOT Objectives / Importance of SWOT Analysis and SWOT Matrix


SWOT analysis of Flybe can be done for the following purposes –
1. Strategic planning of Flybe
2. Improving business portfolio management of Flybe
3. Assessing feasibility of the new initiative in United Kingdom
4. Making a Airline sector specific business decision
5. Set goals for the organization
6. Organizational restructuring of Flybe




Strengths of Flybe | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Strengths in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The strengths of Flybe are -

Successful track record of launching new products

– Flybe has launched numerous new products in last few years, keeping in mind evolving customer preferences and competitive pressures. Flybe has effective processes in place that helps in exploring new product needs, doing quick pilot testing, and then launching the products quickly using its extensive distribution network.

High switching costs

– The high switching costs that Flybe has built up over years in its products and services combo offer has resulted in high retention of customers, lower marketing costs, and greater ability of the firm to focus on its customers.

High brand equity

– Flybe has strong brand awareness and brand recognition among both - the exiting customers and potential new customers. Strong brand equity has enabled Flybe to keep acquiring new customers and building profitable relationship with both the new and loyal customers.

Operational resilience

– The operational resilience strategy of Flybe comprises – understanding the underlying the factors in the Airline industry, building diversified operations across different geographies so that disruption in one part of the world doesn’t impact the overall performance of the firm, and integrating the various business operations and processes through its digital transformation drive.

Ability to lead change in Airline

– Flybe is one of the leading players in the Airline industry in United Kingdom. Over the years it has not only transformed the business landscape in the Airline industry in United Kingdom but also across the existing markets. The ability to lead change has enabled Flybe in – penetrating new markets, reaching out to new customers, and providing different value propositions to different customers in the international markets.

Strong track record of project management in the Airline industry

– Flybe is known for sticking to its project targets. This enables the firm to manage – time, project costs, and have sustainable margins on the projects.

Cross disciplinary teams

– Horizontal connected teams at the Flybe are driving operational speed, building greater agility, and keeping the organization nimble to compete with new competitors. It helps are organization to ideate new ideas, and execute them swiftly in the marketplace.

Ability to recruit top talent

– Flybe is one of the leading players in the Airline industry in United Kingdom. It is in a position to attract the best talent available in United Kingdom. The firm has a robust talent identification program that helps in identifying the brightest.

Diverse revenue streams

– Flybe is present in almost all the verticals within the Airline industry. This has provided Flybe a diverse revenue stream that has helped it to survive disruptions such as global pandemic in Covid-19, financial disruption of 2008, and supply chain disruption of 2021.

Innovation driven organization

– Flybe is one of the most innovative firm in Airline sector.

Low bargaining power of suppliers

– Suppliers of Flybe in the Transportation sector have low bargaining power. Flybe has further diversified its suppliers portfolio by building a robust supply chain across various countries. This helps Flybe to manage not only supply disruptions but also source products at highly competitive prices.

Effective Research and Development (R&D)

– Flybe has innovation driven culture where significant part of the revenues are spent on the research and development activities. This has resulted in – Flybe staying ahead in the Airline industry in terms of – new product launches, superior customer experience, highly competitive pricing strategies, and great returns to the shareholders.






Weaknesses of Flybe | Internal Strategic Factors
What are Weaknesses in SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis

The weaknesses of Flybe are -

Need for greater diversity

– Flybe has taken concrete steps on diversity, equity, and inclusion. But the efforts so far has resulted in limited success. It needs to expand the recruitment and selection process to hire more people from the minorities and underprivileged background.

Lack of clear differentiation of Flybe products

– To increase the profitability and margins on the products, Flybe needs to provide more differentiated products than what it is currently offering in the marketplace.

Slow decision making process

– As mentioned earlier in the report, Flybe has a very deliberative decision making approach. This approach has resulted in prudent decisions, but it has also resulted in missing opportunities in the Airline industry over the last five years. Flybe even though has strong showing on digital transformation primary two stages, it has struggled to capitalize the power of digital transformation in marketing efforts and new venture efforts.

High cash cycle compare to competitors

Flybe has a high cash cycle compare to other players in the Airline industry. It needs to shorten the cash cycle by 12% to be more competitive in the marketplace, reduce inventory costs, and be more profitable.

No frontier risks strategy

– From the 10K / annual statement of Flybe, it seems that company is thinking out the frontier risks that can impact Airline industry. But it has very little resources allocation to manage the risks emerging from events such as natural disasters, climate change, melting of permafrost, tacking the rise of artificial intelligence, opportunities and threats emerging from commercialization of space etc.

Compensation and incentives

– The revenue per employee of Flybe is just above the Airline industry average. It needs to redesign the compensation structure and incentives to increase the revenue per employees. Some of the steps that it can take are – hiring more specialists on project basis, etc.

Slow to strategic competitive environment developments

– As Flybe is one of the leading players in the Airline industry, it takes time to assess the upcoming competitions. This has led to missing out on atleast 2-3 big opportunities in the Airline industry in last five years.

High bargaining power of channel partners in Airline industry

– because of the regulatory requirements in United Kingdom, Flybe is facing high bargaining power of the channel partners. So far it has not able to streamline the operations to reduce the bargaining power of the value chain partners in the Airline industry.

Slow to harness new channels of communication

– Even though competitors are using new communication channels such as Instagram, Tiktok, and Snap, Flybe is slow explore the new channels of communication. These new channels of communication can help Flybe to provide better information regarding Airline products and services. It can also build an online community to further reach out to potential customers.

Products dominated business model

– Even though Flybe has some of the most successful models in the Airline industry, this business model has made each new product launch extremely critical for continuous financial growth of the organization. Flybe should strive to include more intangible value offerings along with its core products and services.

Employees’ less understanding of Flybe strategy

– From the outside it seems that the employees of Flybe don’t have comprehensive understanding of the firm’s strategy. This is reflected in number of promotional campaigns over the last few years that had mixed messaging and competing priorities. Some of the strategic activities and services promoted in the promotional campaigns were not consistent with the organization’s strategy.




Flybe Opportunities | External Strategic Factors
What are Opportunities in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The opportunities of Flybe are -

Redefining models of collaboration and team work

– As explained in the weaknesses section, Flybe is facing challenges because of the dominance of functional experts in the organization. Flybe can utilize new technology in the field of Airline industry to build more coordinated teams and streamline operations and communications using tools such as CAD, Zoom, etc.

Reconfiguring business model

– The expansion of digital payment system, the bringing down of international transactions costs using Bitcoin and other blockchain based currencies, etc can help Flybe to reconfigure its entire business model. For example it can used blockchain based technologies to reduce piracy of its products in the big markets such as China. Secondly it can use the popularity of e-commerce in various developing markets to build a Direct to Customer business model rather than the current Channel Heavy distribution network.

Identify volunteer opportunities

– Covid-19 has impacted working population in two ways – it has led to people soul searching about their professional choices, resulting in mass resignation. Secondly it has encouraged people to do things that they are passionate about. This has opened opportunities for businesses to build volunteer oriented socially driven projects. Flybe can explore opportunities that can attract volunteers and are consistent with its mission and vision.

Using analytics as competitive advantage

– Flybe has spent a significant amount of money and effort to integrate analytics and machine learning into its operations in Airline sector. This continuous investment in analytics has enabled Flybe to build a competitive advantage using analytics. The analytics driven competitive advantage can help Flybe to build faster Go To Market strategies, better consumer insights, developing relevant product features, and building a highly efficient supply chain.

Finding new ways to collaborate

– Covid-19 has not only transformed business models of companies in Airline industry, but it has also influenced the consumer preferences. Flybe can tie-up with other value chain partners to explore new opportunities regarding meeting customer demands and building a rewarding and engaging relationship.

Creating value in data economy

– The success of analytics program of Flybe has opened avenues for new revenue streams for the organization in Airline industry. This can help Flybe to build a more holistic ecosystem for Flybe products in the Airline industry by providing – data insight services, data privacy related products, data based consulting services, etc.

Buying journey improvements

– Flybe can improve the customer journey of consumers in the Airline industry by using analytics and artificial intelligence. It can provide automated chats to help consumers solve their own problems, provide online suggestions to get maximum out of the products and services, and help consumers to build a community where they can interact with each other to develop new features and uses.

Harnessing reconfiguration of the global supply chains

– As the trade war between US and China heats up in the coming years, Flybe can build a diversified supply chain model across various countries in - South East Asia, India, and other parts of the world. This reconfiguration of global supply chain can help Flybe to buy more products closer to the markets, and it can leverage its size and influence to get better deal from the local markets.

Leveraging digital technologies

– Flybe can leverage digital technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate the production process, customer analytics to get better insights into consumer behavior, realtime digital dashboards to get better sales tracking, logistics and transportation, product tracking, etc.

Better consumer reach

– The expansion of the 5G network will help Flybe to increase its market reach. Flybe will be able to reach out to new customers. Secondly 5G will also provide technology framework to build new tools and products that can help more immersive consumer experience and faster consumer journey.

Increase in government spending

– As the United States and other governments are increasing social spending and infrastructure spending to build economies post Covid-19, Flybe can use these opportunities to build new business models that can help the communities that Flybe operates in. Secondly it can use opportunities from government spending in Airline sector.

Manufacturing automation

– Flybe can use the latest technology developments to improve its manufacturing and designing process in Airline sector. It can use CAD and 3D printing to build a quick prototype and pilot testing products. It can leverage automation using machine learning and artificial intelligence to do faster production at lowers costs, and it can leverage the growth in satellite and tracking technologies to improve inventory management, transportation, and shipping.

Low interest rates

– Even though inflation is raising its head in most developed economies, Flybe can still utilize the low interest rates to borrow money for capital investment. Secondly it can also use the increase of government spending in infrastructure projects to get new business.




Threats Flybe External Strategic Factors
What are Threats in the SWOT Analysis / TOWS Matrix / Weighted SWOT Analysis


The threats of Flybe are -

Stagnating economy with rate increase

– Flybe can face lack of demand in the market place because of Fed actions to reduce inflation. This can lead to sluggish growth in the economy, lower demands, lower investments, higher borrowing costs, and consolidation in the Airline industry.

Barriers of entry lowering

– As technology is more democratized, the barriers to entry to Airline industry are lowering. It can presents Flybe with greater competitive threats in the near to medium future. Secondly it will also put downward pressure on pricing throughout the Airline sector.

Environmental challenges

– Flybe needs to have a robust strategy against the disruptions arising from climate change and energy requirements. EU has identified it as key priority area and spending 30% of its 880 billion Euros European post Covid-19 recovery funds on green technology. Flybe can take advantage of this fund but it will also bring new competitors in the Airline industry.

New competition

– After the dotcom bust of 2001, financial crisis of 2008-09, the business formation in US economy had declined. But in 2020 alone, there are more than 1.5 million new business applications in United States. This can lead to greater competition for Flybe in the Airline sector and impact the bottomline of the organization.

Technology disruption because of hacks, piracy etc

– The colonial pipeline illustrated, how vulnerable modern organization are to international hackers, miscreants, and disruptors. The cyber security interruption, data leaks, etc can seriously jeopardize the future growth of the organization.

Technology acceleration in Forth Industrial Revolution

– Flybe has witnessed rapid integration of technology during Covid-19 in the Airline industry. As one of the leading players in the industry, Flybe needs to keep up with the evolution of technology in the Airline sector. According to Mckinsey study top managers believe that the adoption of technology in operations, communications is 20-25 times faster than what they planned in the beginning of 2019.

Learning curve for new practices

– As the technology based on artificial intelligence and machine learning platform is getting complex, Flybe may face longer learning curve for training and development of existing employees. This can open space for more nimble competitors in the field of Airline sector.

Easy access to finance

– Easy access to finance in Airline industry will also reduce the barriers to entry in the industry, thus putting downward pressure on the prices because of increasing competition. Flybe can utilize it by borrowing at lower rates and invest it into research and development, capital expenditure to fortify its core competitive advantage.

Increasing international competition and downward pressure on margins

– Apart from technology driven competitive advantage dilution, Flybe can face downward pressure on margins from increasing competition from international players. The international players have stable revenue in their home market and can use those resources to penetrate Flybe prominent markets.

High level of anxiety and lack of motivation

– the Great Resignation in United States is the sign of broader dissatisfaction among the workforce in United States. Flybe needs to understand the core reasons impacting the Airline industry. This will help it in building a better workplace.

Aging population

– As the populations of most advanced economies are aging, it will lead to high social security costs, higher savings among population, and lower demand for goods and services in the economy. The household savings in US, France, UK, Germany, and Japan are growing faster than predicted because of uncertainty caused by pandemic.

Instability in the European markets

– European Union markets are facing three big challenges post Covid – expanded balance sheets, Brexit related business disruption, and aggressive Russia looking to distract the existing security mechanism. Flybe will face different problems in different parts of Europe. For example it will face inflationary pressures in UK, France, and Germany, balance sheet expansion and demand challenges in Southern European countries, and geopolitical instability in the Eastern Europe.

Backlash against dominant players

– US Congress and other legislative arms of the government are getting tough on big business especially technology companies. The digital arm of Flybe business can come under increasing regulations regarding data privacy, data security, etc.




Weighted SWOT Analysis of Flybe Template, Example


Not all factors mentioned under the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants in the SWOT Analysis are equal. Managers at Flybe needs to zero down on the relative importance of each factor mentioned in the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats quadrants. We can provide the relative importance to each factor by assigning relative weights. Weighted SWOT analysis process is a three stage process –

First stage for doing weighted SWOT analysis of Flybe is to rank the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. This will help you to assess the most important strengths and weaknesses of the firm and which one of the strengths and weaknesses mentioned in the initial lists are marginal and can be left out.

Second stage for conducting weighted SWOT analysis of Flybe is to give probabilities to the external strategic factors thus better understanding the opportunities and threats arising out of macro environment changes and developments.

Third stage of constructing weighted SWOT analysis of Flybe to provide strategic recommendations includes – joining likelihood of external strategic factors such as opportunities and threats to the internal strategic factors – strengths and weaknesses. You should start with external factors as they will provide the direction of the overall industry. Secondly by joining probabilities with internal strategic factors can help the company not only strategic fit but also the most probably strategic trade-off that Flybe needs to make to build a sustainable competitive advantage.



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