Can the Netflix Business Model Actually Work for Commercial Aviation in Central Europe? It Is Complicated!

Abstract

The case discusses SurfAir’s entry into the European market. SurfAir is a California-based subscription-only airline, serving business routes with small aircraft. For a flat fee, subscribers can fly as much as they want on SurfAir’s network. The case describes their entry into the market entry and development of their network, as well as changes in their business model. Whilst SurfAir initially operated one jet on their Zurich-London route, this route was soon discontinued. Instead, SurfAir partnered with another jet operator offering single seats. In December 2018, a little more than a year after starting their European venture, SurfAir closed their European operations. This case illustrates SurfAir’s business model, describes their entry into the European market, and allows students to develop an understanding of reasons why the venture was not successful in this context.

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