This study aims to identify the factors that make passengers loyal to an airline in Southern Africa by investigating the impact of service quality and safety perception on customer satisfaction and how satisfaction and frequent flyer programs (FFP) subsequently influence customer loyalty. The key finding was that service quality positively influenced customer satisfaction, and satisfaction was an important antecedent of customer loyalty. The analysis also suggested that safety perception and FFP positively influence customer loyalty, while their relationship with satisfaction was not significant. An analysis of switching behaviour revealed that satisfied customers may still switch to other airlines. The main contribution of this study is the development of a customer loyalty model for the aviation industry in Southern Africa. Knowledge of customer loyalty drivers will assist airline marketing managers in developing strategies for improving passenger load factors and profitability.
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