MSc in Air Transport Management

MSc in Air Transport Management (in English)

Turkish civil aviation industry has been undergoing a remarkable growth since the early 2000s. With remarkable investments on aviation infrastructure, the number of civil airports will amount to 60 in the near future and solely İstanbul will attain to a total annual passenger capacity of more than 200 million with its three airports. It is a matter of fact that availability of qualified experts and managers is a sine qua non for the sustainable development of the air transportation industry.  To this end,  the MSc Program in Air Transport Management (ATM) at Graduate School of Business (GSB) of IHU aims to educate qualified professionals and visionary managers to the air transportation industry through the courses provided by internationally recognized trainers and academic stuff in cooperation with Turkey’s global brand, THY’s Aviation Academy, and AIRBUS.

Program Coordinator: Assistant Professor Ali Osman Kuşakçı 

Air Transport Management Program at GSB offers a wide portfolio of modules ranging from basic theoretical courses in management to aviation-specific modules such as fundamentals of airline management, aviation economics and financial analysis, fleet planning, revenue management, supply chain management, and information systems and business analytics in aviation. With its aviation-specific modules offered in cooperation with global partners, THY and AIRBUS, the program is one of the pioneers of the area in the world. Besides having an aviation-focused training, the participants enjoy multi-directional and interdisciplinary master program at GSB, IHU. In the addition to the core courses, the ATM master program has a curriculum providing wide range of elective courses from various fields and it adopts an applied management approach with a final master thesis or graduation project. With its international faculty and student body, GSB offers two diploma programs in ATM;

Upon completion of master’s program in ATM, our graduates will be able to;

♦ Comprehend and analyze the developments in air transportation industry and make predictions based on those analyses,

♦ Apply skills and methods of management in air transportation domain,

♦ Assume higher positions in management of aviation companies,

♦ Equipped with tools and techniques of international management as vital part of aviation management,

♦ Analyze business and marketing models in air transportation,

♦ Analyze an business case in air transportation and apply proper operational methods,

♦ Become natural candidates of top-level management in their companies due to the knowledge and experience gained in the program.


The applicants are to submit:

1. An updated CV with a recent photograph.

2. ALES (minimum 55) or GRE (minimum 610 in old scale and 148 in new scale system) or GMAT (minimum 450) test scores.

3. Proof of English proficiency: · YDS/EYDS/YÖKDİL 65/100 or TOEFL 78/120 or Ibn Haldun English Test 53/70.

4. Two reference letters.


Please send the documents below to to apply for Air Transportation Management program.

♦ Letter of Intent /Research Proposal

♦ CV with a photo

♦ GRE or GMAT score

♦ YDS/YOKDIL English or TOEFL-IBT documents

Reference letters should be sent to from a corporate email address. For any of your questions, please don’t hesitate to contact via this email.

Program Curriculum:

1st Semester
Code Course Name Hours  Credit ECTS
 Theory  Practice
AIR 501 Fundamentals of Airline Management 3 0 3 8
AIR 515 Information Systems and Business Analytics in Air Transportation 3 0 3 8
AIR 503 Aviation Economics and Financial Analysis 3 0 3 8
AIR 505 Airlines Marketing Strategies 3 0 3 8
Total 12 32
2nd Semester
Code Course Name Hours  Credit ECTS
 Theory  Practice
AIR 590 Seminar 3 0 0 8
AIR 502 Research Methods and Publication Ethics 3 0 3 8
AIR 506 Airline Business Models and Strategic Management 3 0 3 8
AIR 513 Network, Fleet and Schedule Planning 3 0 3 8
AIR 523 Revenue Management in Aviation 3 0 3 8
Total 12 40
3rd Semester
Code Course Name Hours  Credit ECTS
 Theory  Practice
AIR 5xx Elective Course 3 0 3 8
AIR 5xx Elective Course 3 0 3 8
AIR 599 Master Thesis 0 0 0 30
Total 6 46
4th Semester
Code Course Name Hours  Credit ECTS
 Theory  Practice
AIR 599 Master Thesis 0 0 0 30
Total 0 30
Grand Total 30 148
Code Course Name Hours  Credit ECTS
 Theory  Practice
AIR 501 Fundamentals of Airline Management 3 0 3 8
AIR 515 Information Systems and Business Analytics in Air Transportation 3 0 3 8
AIR 503 Aviation Economics and Financial Analysis 3 0 3 8
AIR 505 Airlines Marketing Strategies 3 0 3 8
AIR 590 Seminar 3 0 0 8
AIR 502 Research Methods and Publication Ethics 3 0 3 8
AIR 506 Airline Business Models and Strategic Management 3 0 3 8
AIR 513 Network, Fleet and Schedule Planning 3 0 3 8
AIR 523 Revenue Management in Aviation 3 0 3 8
Code Course Name Hours  Credit ECTS
 Theory  Practice
AIR 504 Supply Chain and Logistics in Air Transportation 3 0 3 8
AIR 511 Air Law and Regulations 3 0 3 8
AIR 514 Airport Planning and Management 3 0 3 8
AIR 526 International Human Resources Management 3 0 3 8
AIR 517 Aviation Safety, Security and Crisis Management 3 0 3 8
AIR 518 Service Management and Innovation 3 0 3 8
AIR 521 Management of Engineering Projects 3 0 3 8
AIR 522 International Strategic Management 3 0 3 8
AIR 524 Project Finance in Air Transportation 3 0 3 8
AIR 525 Flight and Ground Operations 3 0 3 8

Compulsory Courses

AIR 501 Fundamentals of Airline Management

The objective of this course is to develop an understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and skills required for managers in today’s changing organizations of airline industry by analyzing the characteristics of successful managers and organizations. The major topics in this course are: the environment of management, managing decision making and planning, managing organizational architecture, managing individuals and groups. The topics such as current market outlook, airline strategies & business models, airline economics, network & fleet planning and airplane value analysis will be incorporated as appropriate throughout the course program.

AIR 502 Research Methods and Publication Ethics

The course aims to develop: (i) students’ understanding of the process involved in the pursuit of knowledge; (ii) skills in obtaining and interpreting secondary data using internet and library sources; (iii) teaming and group effectiveness skills; (iv) written and verbal communication skills; and (v) statistical analysis skills. By the end of this course, students will be able to: (i) understand the business research process and why it takes time and money to do it right; (ii) demonstrate ability to apply appropriate research methods to business problems or opportunities; (iii) demonstrate ability to think conceptually and develop abstract ideas or concepts to more concrete solutions or results; and (iv) demonstrate ability to conduct primary and secondary research, analyze results, develop findings, report and interpret results.

AIR 503 Aviation Economics and Financial Analysis

The fierce competition with the increasing number of airline companies in the aviation industry pushes professionals working in this sector to learn more about how to make strong partnerships and alliances referring to potential economic and financial outcomes. To ease this task for managers, this course aims to provide the necessary background about the fundamentals of airline economics and financial performance. In this context, funding sources for carriers, financial analysis of air transportation companies, airport operators, ground handling agencies, cargo agencies and financial planning matters will be handled. The difference in the economics of various carrier business models (full service network carriers, low cost carriers, ultra-low cost carriers and charters) will be illustrated.

AIR 505 Airlines Marketing Strategies

The course aims to create a forum to adopt to the key elements of marketing strategy for airlines and airports and to address some of the current and future challenges in the field. In this course, the distribution of the airline products, customer loyalty schemes and brand management, air transportation marketing principles and practices will be discussed.

AIR 506 Airline Business Models and Strategic Management

The aims of the course are to provide students with an opportunity to develop their critical reasoning and analytical skills, to enhance their ability to work effectively within a group and make effective executive level presentations within an airline business gaming environment. Students will have basic knowledge of core business concepts in strategic management and competition in aviation industry. On successful completion of the module, students will be able to: (i) demonstrate a systematic understanding of the differing theories, approaches and perspectives in the field of airline strategy; (ii) understand the integrative role of strategic management, its concepts, research and theories; (iii) access how different strategies impact the competitiveness of airlines; and (iv) collect information from a variety of electronic (internet) and hard copy sources to support research.

AIR 513 Network, Fleet and Schedule Planning

This course intends to make the students familiar with the techniques used in airline planning processes, fleet planning, route network design, and scheduling. The topics included within the course are supported with examples taken from real life cases and situations. The students by successfully completing this course will understand how company’s profitability depend on the network and fleet plan, learn key elements of demand and route forecasting, create a schedule that effectively utilizes aircraft resources, improve aircraft and fleet utilization implement successful scheduling strategies, review passenger traffic demand, flight schedule data and optimization tools.

AIR 515 Information Systems and Business Analytics in Air Transportation

Throughout this course, management information systems specific to airlines will be considered. The course will cover topics such as the structure of aviation operational information, operator documents systems, flight operations information interchange, management of operational information, structured information for the cockpit, strategic usage of management information systems in air transportation, display of electronic information, airline information security management, and the future of management information systems in airline industry. Another focal point of the course will be business analytics aiming to access to the critical information and business processes needed to deliver optimal customer service. Analytic tools can be especially useful in helping aviaiton companies mine and refine data to determine which information is valuable for optimizing business outcomes. Accordingly, contemporary business intelligence approaches such as machine learning, deep learning with artificial intelligence algorithms and their application strategies to air transportation industry will be discussed in the course.

AIR 523 Revenue Management in Aviation

With the liberalization of aviation business in early 1980’s, Revenue Management (RM) has become an integral component of strategic management of an airline company. Unique characteristics of the service that airline companies providing opens up countless many pricing and segmentation possibilities to differentiate the product, price and/or target group. Thus, special attention must be paid to RM policies, which may lead to competitive advantage if correctly implemented. Topics to be covered in this course include purpose of RM, importance of pricing, types of passenger demand, booking classes, seat inventory management, spill and spoilage, revenue analysis, revenue management systems.

AIR 590 Seminar

This course provides a forum for students to discuss and generate ideas on issues related to a variety of applied research. Students conduct an in-depth study of a research topic of their choice, discuss issues with experts in the field of research, work in discussion groups, debate and solve problems on selected issues. In the research seminar, the students are given an opportunity to integrate their knowledge, skills and practical experience gained in the program to shape their thesis and graduation projects.

AIR 599 Thesis

The program culminates in an individual piece of academic research in which a contemporary problem in ATM domain is formulated as research question/s. Ultimately, a master thesis is written by using appropriate tools/methodologies of management to address the topic of interest under the guidance of academic supervisor.

Elective Courses

AIR 504 Supply Chain and Logistics in Air Transportation

This course essentially deals with the coordination of multiple value-creating processes including the management of materials, information, and finance flows. Driven by fierce global competition and enabled by advanced information technology, many airline companies have taken initiatives to reduce costs and, at the same time, increase responsiveness to changes in the marketplace. In this context, the course will provide information and tools necessary to develop, implement, and sustain strategies for managing supply chain issues in aviation industry. The course covers topics are; building a strategic framework to manage supply chains, designing right supply chain network, planning demand and supply, managing inventories, sustainability in supply chain.

AIR 511 Air Law and Regulations in Air Transportation

This course seeks to introduce students to various issues surrounding the law and regulation of aviation and the airline business following the deregulation and liberalization of the aviation market. It begins by examining relevant principles and rules of international law that affect the use of air space. The liability regime governing air carriers and manufacturers are discussed, as are issues of concern to the airline business, such as competition, mergers and acquisitions, airline alliances, aircraft finance and consumer protection. Some of the topics that will be covered with respect to contracting in air transportation are as follows: definition of contract and contracting sides, definition of common law, objective test, main principles of offers and acceptance, offers and counter-offers, bilateral and unilateral contracts, pricing in contracts, interpretation and consideration in contracts, methods for dealing with uncertainties in contracts, conditions and promises in contracts, stable and changing conditions and promises in contracts, breach and repudiation of contracts, differences between breach and repudiation, remedies of breach of contract, management of contracts, management in global contracts, risk management and opportunity evaluation in contract management, contracts and commercial laws in air transportation, selection of contractors and subcontractors in air transportation, employment laws and unions.

AIR 514 Airport Planning and Management

This module gives the students an opportunity to review the organization and management of the airport business. In this context, airport economics and managerial and financial performance will be assessed by referring to aeronautical and non-aeronautical issues. The course will also discuss airport and terminal operations, airport marketing, expansion strategies and the functional role of regional and international airports.

AIR 517 Aviation Safety, Security and Crisis Management

This course addresses a broad spectrum of competencies and issues in international aviation safety and security. Programs in safety management systems, safety oversight management and inspection, accident investigation, human factors and aviation medicine address the critical safety and health issues impacting aviation. Aviation security programs in the areas of risk assessment, airline and airport security impart crucial skills and insights, and are in tandem with international best practices and regulatory mandates. Beside managerial aspects of pre-accident/pre-disaster measures, the course also addresses crisis management tools as an integral part of risk management during post-accident/post-disaster phase. Lectures are complemented by practical syndicate group exercises and site visits to enrich the curriculum.

AIR 518 Service Management and Innovation

This course is designed for those who are, or will be, working in the aviation service management and gives clues about how to improve service management to establish an excellent business relationship with the customers. A special focus of the course will be how to create and adopt service innovations in air transportation. Accordingly, the principles that lead to high quality services in aviation industry will be also discussed via successful innovation stories in the sector.

AIR 521 Management of Engineering Projects

This course intended to provide an overview of the interdisciplinary field of management of engineering and high technology projects Attention is devoted to provide the students with an in-depth understanding of the underlying principles of this discipline. Among the topics we cover are organizing and planning the engineering function, engineering project planning, tools and techniques for managing engineering projects. 

AIR 522 International Strategic Management

International Strategic Management is an elective course and complements the previous requisite course (AIR 506 Airline Business Models and Strategic Management). It is designed to improve technical skills by drawing on prior functional course work and fosters new skills to the strategic management of organizations in both domestic and international markets. More specifically, the objectives of this capstone course are as follows: (i) to integrate your understanding of the functional fields and analytical tools studied in other management and business-related courses in air transportation management; (ii) to develop a clear understanding of the concepts and strategy and policy, particularly as it pertains to the global strategic mission of the firm; (iii) to understand policy issues of implementation and control of strategy; (iv) to introduce special global issues in strategic planning such as mergers, acquisitions, strategic alliances in global air transportation companies. Some of the relevant themes to be covered in this course are strategy and competitive advantage in multinational companies, evaluating the strategies of diversified companies, as well as issues concerning strategy implementation such as building resource capabilities, structuring the organization, the role of strategy-supportive budgets, policies, reward structures, organizational culture, leadership and reward policies.

AIR 524 Project Finance in Air Transportation

Long-term finance is a critical factor in taking decisions related to long-term projects in air transportation industry. This course aims to provide a perspective on basic theoretical underpinnings of project finance together with practical implications specific to air transportation industry. Topics to be covered include financial modelling for macro and micro factors, risks, operational cash flows that might affect project valuation. In addition, evaluation of different debt- or equity-based financing options such as syndicated loans, loans by international financial institutions, and multilateral banks, leasing, project bonds, Sukuk and equity, and deciding upon the optimal capital structure are other major themes to be explained via some empirical examples form air transportation business.

AIR 525 Flight and Ground Operations

AIR 526 International Human Resources Management

Selection of the right person for the right position becomes non-negligible fundamental success factor for aviation companies in order to gain competitive advantage over their rivals. Furthermore, building creative teams and directing them in the right way to deal with the changes created by new business environment is another major challenge. Considering service-oriented characteristic of air transportation business, this course aims to focus the intersection of three important subjects, human resource, international management, and leadership. Thus, recruitment procedures, team building and leading strategies, management of international teams are among the core topics to be covered.


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