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Airline Alliances Simulation

Lab Contact: Daniel Villar-Onrubia
Team: Lauren Heywood, Luca Morini


The activity is part of a second year module in Aviation Management where students create and run their own airlines in a global virtual environment. Students have access to a web based platform to create their airlines while they have to follow rules and regulations. 

One core element is a mock summit that aims to simulate a professional environment where students have to role-play as airline executives who meet to form alliances in order to strengthen the market position of their airlines.

The project is led by Roxani Athousaki, Aviation Management lecturer at Coventry University, and supported by the DMLL. An industry professional Dr. Kostas Iatrou, Director of Air Transport News and author of the book Airline Choices for the future: From Alliance to Mergers, delivered as guest lecture opening the mock summit.

Project details

The mock summit took place on the 2nd of November of 2016 and have the following agenda:

Alliance Presentation (60 mins)

Guest lecture by Dr. Kostas Iatrou and presentation by Roxani Athousaki.

Dr Kostas Iatrou is the co-founder, Managing Director of AirTransportNews. He holds a PhD in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University, UK. He is co-author of the book “Airline Choices for the Future: From Alliances to Mergers”. He has participated both as moderator and as speaker in numerous air transport conferences all over the world including ICAO, IATA, AFRAA, ATRS and ACI. He is Visiting Lecturer at Cranfield University and at the Aviation MBA of LUISS business school and was Assistant Visiting Professor at Daniel Webster Aviation College. His articles have featured in numerous air transport publications, such as the Journal of Air Transport Management, the Journal of Air Transportation, the Journal of Airport Management, the Annals of Air and Space Law of McGill University, Aerlines and he is Associate Editor of Journal of Air Transport Studies. He is a Member of the Networking Committee of ATRS and was the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 12th ATRS World Conference. Finally, he is the Secretary General of Hellenic Aviation Society and co-founder and Partner of AirConsulting Group. In 2009 was deputy Mayor of Ekali, Greece, where he lives with his wife, Evgenia and his son, George.

Team Building Exercise (120 mins)

Students break off into three Alliance teams, each to be supported by Cass Davenport, Sam Haycock and Sebastian Rak.

  • Task 1: CEO’s take 2 min to briefly present their airlines and any suggested names for the Alliance
  • Task 2: Discuss common vision and prepare a statement of 100 words that reflect common values (including benefits to passengers and Alliance members)
  • Task 3: Decide Alliance name and logo
  • Task 4: Marketing Managers group together to decide Codeshares
Reflection (30 mins)

All students regroup to reflect findings.


Nov 2016 – July 2017.


  • Project Leader: Roxani Athousaki, Lecturer, 292EKM Module Leader, Aviation Professional
  • Cass Davenport, Senior Lecturer, Aviation Professional
  • Sam Haycock, placement student in Star Alliance
  • Sebastian Rak,  placement student in Star Alliance
  • Dr. Kostas Iatrou, Director of Air Transport News
  • Dr Daniel Villar-Onrubia, Principal Project Lead at DMLL
  • Lauren Heywood, Projects & Community Assistant at DMLL
  • Luca Morini, Research Assistant at DMLL
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