Perceptions of Service Quality: An Empirical Assessment of Modified SERVQUAL Model among Domestic Airline Carriers in Nigeria

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Literature is replete with a large number of theories related to service quality measurement and dimensions in an airline context. To date, there is no consensus of opinion on the generic model and of the number of dimensions most appropriate to evaluate service quality in airline industry. This study investigates service quality dimensions in the Nigerian airline industry. The cross-sectional survey research design was adopted. Convenience sampling was used to select 800 respondents among departing air travellers in Lagos State. A structured questionnaire containing 28 items was developed to evaluate the perceived service quality of domestic airlines. The data collected were analysed using descriptive statistics, Pearson’s correlation analysis, and one-sample t-test. The dimensionality of perceived service quality in Nigeria’s airline industry was explored using exploratory factor analysis. From the analysis carried out, it was established that the modified SERVQUAL model provided a satisfactory level of overall reliability in Nigeria’s airline context, which implies that all the items were cohesive in forming the SERVQUAL dimensions. According to the findings of this study, all service quality dimensions are positively and significantly interrelated. The perceived service quality of domestic airlines across these dimensions was found to be poor. The most dissatisfied dimensions in order of ranking were: flight pattern, reliability, facilities, assurance, responsiveness, employee, and customization. On the basis of the aforementioned findings, this study concludes that airline operators should redefine their service standards to one that is customer-focused by identifying the dimension of service quality most preferred by the passengers and continuously strive to improve service delivery. The study recommends that airline operators should recognize the changing needs and expectations of air travellers and customize their range of services by identifying unique service requirements of the individual customers.

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