Case | HBS Case Collection | January 2004 (Revised January 2005)

Delta Air Lines (A): The Low-Cost Carrier Threat

by Jan W. Rivkin and Laurent Therivel


The top management of Delta Air Lines must decide how to respond to the threat posed by low-cost carriers such as Southwest and JetBlue. Among the options considered is the launch of a low-cost subsidiary by Delta itself. Prior efforts to launch a low-cost subsidiary, by Delta and by other full-service airlines, have failed. Can Delta devise a better response?

Keywords: Corporate Strategy; Competitive Strategy; Cost; Decision Choices and Conditions; Service Delivery; Service Operations; Air Transportation Industry;


Rivkin, Jan W., and Laurent Therivel. "Delta Air Lines (A): The Low-Cost Carrier Threat." Harvard Business School Case 704-403, January 2004. (Revised January 2005.)