Background to the study

The existence of any service firm depends on the willingness of customers to use the service and pay the required monitory price in exchange. The provision of high quality service gives customers a satisfaction as Shemwell, (2018) have stated, the key to sustainable competitive advantage lies in delivering high-quality service that result in satisfied customers. The link between service quality and customer satisfaction is now firmly established, and it has been shown that this link subsequently produces higher revenues, increased cross-sell ratios, higher customer retention, repeat purchasing behavior, and expanded market share.

Airport service quality is defined as the perceived rating or judgment, that airport service consumers place on the consumed services by comparing their expectation about airport services with the services they actually perceived to receive ( Gronroos, 1984, Amy and Amrik , 2013). However, the services customers actually receive or perceived to receive is dependent on the level
of satisfaction derived from the consumption; we thus define airport service quality as the judgment or rating that airport service consumers develop and/or place on consumed services by comparing their expectation about services with the actual satisfaction derived (Apostolos, Petros, and Dimitris, 2013). Agnes (2002) argued that although evaluation of service quality will help airport customers to form an attitude towards airports as service providers, customer satisfaction is not obvious and satisfaction level is based on how well the delivered service meets customer’s
expectation. The implication is that airport service quality like service quality in other sectors is a dependent variable; dependent on two key variables namely: (i) Expectation of airport service consumers (customers), and; (ii) Perceived/actual airport services consumers received from the airport (which is measured based on utility and/or satisfaction rate). Jafar et al (2016) posits that when the expected service is higher than perceived service, service is said to be of low quality;
and when service expected is less than perceived service, overall service quality is considered to be high. Thus, we define airport service quality as the gap (difference) between expectations from airport services and the perceived services by consumers of airport services. Airport service quality is best assessed from airport customers’ perspectives.
Since some airports too are public corporations and sources of revenue to the government while some airport terminals have been privatized and/or concessioned to profit oriented private organizations; innovative management strategies demands that the demand for airport services and/or usage must be anticipated and projected to increase. Competition for patronage should also be the basis for airport development and growth. This requires that the airport in order to achieve
higher anticipated demand for airport services, passenger, freight and air traffic must have  produced and offend qualitative service, qualitative enough to satisfy and/or maximize the utility of airport service consumers. Inability of any airport terminal to offer qualitative service to the service consumers may tend to shrink the demand for passenger travels and air freighting through the airport terminals as well as reduce revenue yields, create feelings of dissatisfaction among users and dampen the public image of the airport. This may not only affect the airport and the
management negatively, it will also have a back lash effect on the airlines  operating through the airports as demand for passengers travels and air freighting may suffer diminishing returns in this era of competitive business strata. In a competitive setting therefore where there exist multiple airports competing for passenger and cargo (freight) traffic to handle and airlines to participate in aviation service provision to the Nigeria population; there is need for airports to provide higher quality of service; higher in standard than those of competing airports.

The ability of airport to provide a quality of service that maximizes service consumers satisfaction above those of competing airport will stand her out as a better choice for air travels and elicit loyalty from the consumers of airport services to the benefits of the airports, the airlines operating from the airports and other service providers within the location of the airport.

In Nigeria currently, there exist about four (4) key international airports handling international as well as domestic flights and passengers. These include: the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos; Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja; and Port-Harcourt International Airport. The other airports handle domestic flights originating and ending within Nigeria. Statistics of passenger demand for services and airport usage in the International Airports over the years is skewed in favour of the Murtal Muhammed International airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The preference of the two airports by airport service consumers (airlines and passenger) over the others may be influence by the quality of service being rendered in the airports among other things like Government regulations. Most studies of airport service quality in Nigeria in the past focused more on passenger’s perspectives with gross disregard to airlines as major consumers of airport
services too. Understanding the service quality offered in the airports is therefore from both perspectives is a basic requirement for improving performance on the part of the airport authorities, and a decision metrics for choice between alternative airports for air travelers. Also positioning Nigeria as an aviation hub in the West African sub-region will suffer setback in a situation that the service quality remain poor in comparison with that of airports in neighboring West African States; thus the only basis for improving the current performance of the available international airports in Nigeria with regard to service quality, is the understanding of the current level of airport service quality. The current study is therefore cast to assess and compare the airport service quality rendered in the International Airports in Nigeria using NAIA Abuja and MMIA Lagos, Airports as case studies and basis for service quality improvement. From the perspective of the airlines, this is to be carried out from the perspectives of both the airlines operating in the airports and the passengers that travel via it as consumers of the bulk of airport services in Nigeria.


Statement of the problem

Providing excellent service quality and high customer satisfaction is the important issue and challenge facing the contemporary service industry. High customer satisfaction and loyalty have long been key concerns for operational management in service industries like airlines.

Customer orientation, namely, understanding customer requirements and expectations, is the first step service providers should take to enhance service quality. Service quality plays a critical role in a firm‘s competitive advantage. Studies investigating service quality have extensively examined service quality measurement to assist practitioners in effectively managing quality service. Service quality remains a critical measure of organizational performance for airline business and will continue to be at the forefront of services marketing literature and practice. The enthusiasm is mostly kept high by the fact that a high service quality offered often leads to customer satisfaction, loyalty, and other positive behavioral outcomes such as greater willingness to recommend the service providers to others, lesser complaints, and improved customer retention.

       What constitutes service quality attracted my attention for this researcher. Even as researchers continue to debate the determinants of service quality a few important issues remain unanswered. Is there a universal set of determinants that determine the service quality across a section of services? Does the service characteristic gets reflected in what customers expect out of delivery of a particular service? Is there an inherent difference in services because they must be delivered in a particular way and does that have a bearing on what becomes important for the customer? Practitioners continue to look for advice and suggestion as to what constitute service quality for their offers and furthermore, if they tend to reposition their offers by varying some characteristics of their offers, for example, by increasing or reducing tangibility or customer contact could this be practical on the airline business ?

In a service business customer and front line service employee interact to create the service. Thus, a service provider must interact effectively with customers to create superior value during service encounters. As such, most airlines now have developed a way to address consumer problems. There are also employee related problems. To provide quality service, employee needs ongoing training in the necessary technical skills and knowledge to provide quality service. Employees also need training in interactive skills that allow them to provide courteous and responsive service.

Because customer satisfaction and customer focus are so critical to competitiveness of firms, any company interested in delivering quality service must begin with a clear understanding of its customers (Valarie A. Zeithaml and Mary Jo Bitner, 2003 ).

Providing excellent service quality and high customer satisfaction is the important issue and challenge facing the airline. High customer satisfaction and loyalty have long been key concerns for operational management in Ethiopian airlines. The airline is receiving a number of compliant from customer through a general feedback channel and the star alliance rating for customer satisfaction survey is below the alliance average.

Keeping in mind the significance of service quality and customer satisfaction, this study is designed to make an assessment on the impact of service quality as an independent variable on a dependent variable that is passengers‘ satisfaction.

Objective of the study

The major objective of this study is  investigate Airline service quality delivery and passenger satisfaction  a case study of Muritala Muhammed airport Lagos

Specifically the study will

1. Investigate various elements of service quality that affects customer satisfaction

2. Determine the service quality elements that are major factors on customer satisfaction

3.    Investigate the  influencers of customer satisfaction in the airline‘s service chain

4.  Access the importance of the service quality factors

 Research Questions

1. What are the various elements of service quality that affects customer satisfaction?

2. Which of the service quality elements are major factors on customer satisfaction?

3.   What are the main determinants and influencers of customer satisfaction in the airline‘s service chain?

4. What is the difference and importance of the service quality factors?

Significance of the Study

The outcome of this study will be an input for service encounter evaluation. The survey will provide figurative relation between service quality on different areas of service and the customer perception on the service. The research will provide the following benefits:-

·        It will help the airline to understand the strength and weakness of its service quality and this can be used to satisfy and retain passengers.

·        To identify weak links in the service chain for improvement

·        It will be used as a base for other researchers who will study on the same or related topic in the airline industry service perspective.

·        The research will broaden the researcher‘s knowledge.

Scope of the study

This research intends to identify the various service quality factors and the consequence on the overall service implication and customer satisfaction. When doing so the researcher is restricting oneself in Muritala Muhammed Airport Lagos

  but include passengers originating form   and traveling to other destination , passengers transiting via MML originating from another destination commencing to other destination and passengers arriving in to MML .

The study is focused only on international travelers at terminal two in order to reduce a possible repercussion following the capacity and convenience of the two terminal facilities.

All type of customer including business, family visitors and leisure travelers are addressed on this study. On the study more emphases being given on business travelers because of the nature Ethiopian Airline and Franch Airline  were used for the study


 Limitation of the Study

This study is mainly limited on passengers, arriving to Lagos  and transferring with long connection time in  muritala muhammed airport. In addition to this limitation the researcher faced problem in getting information from passengers with quick transfer via Lagos.

 Definition of Terms

Service quality: means the difference between the customer‘s expectation of service and their perceived service. In this study, the assessment standards of Zeithaml, Parasuraman & Berry (1990) will be used, which consist of five dimensions: tangibility, reliability, responsiveness, assurance, and empathy.

Servqual: is an instrument for measuring service quality, in terms of the discrepancy between customers‘ expectation regarding service offered and the perception of the Servperf :- is a performance-based measure that service quality is a form of consumer attitude.

Customer expectation: means uncontrollable factors including past experience, personal needs, word of mouth, and external communication.

Customer perception: means customer‘s feelings of pleasure / displeasure or the reaction of the customers in relation to the performance of the staff in satisfying / dissatisfying the customer.

Service delivery- refers to how well the service is provided to customers. It includes speed, accuracy, and care attending the delivery process. 




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