Service recovery satisfaction and customer commitment in the airline business: An emerging African market perspective

Rosemary Matikiti, Mercy Mpinganjira, Mornay Roberts-Lombard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the precursors and outcomes of service recovery satisfaction and customer commitment among airline business customers. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from airline travellers in South Africa using a structured questionnaire. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse the proposed hypotheses. Findings: The results revealed that recovery expectations and perceived equity exert significant influence on levels of recovery satisfaction, which in turn influence overall satisfaction, trust and commitment. The study also revealed that trust and overall satisfaction are antecedents of customer commitment and that customer commitment has a significant positive relationship with positive word of mouth. It was also established that the quality of past service performance moderates the relationship between recovery satisfaction and commitment. Practical implications: Airlines are advised to stimulate customer trust in the service delivery process through transparency in the procedures by which they resolve service failures and to remain committed to their service recovery promises to customers. It is also proposed that airlines should secure increased positive word of mouth through offering satisfactory service recovery. Originality/value: Very little research in the South African context exists which focusses on the influence of customers satisfaction and commitment in the airline industry. This paper helps in establishing the antecedents of customer commitment after service failure in the airline industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-108
Number of pages18
JournalAfrican Journal of Economic and Management Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 11 Feb 2020


  • Airline
  • Customer commitment
  • Emerging market
  • Recovery satisfaction
  • Service recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


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