We are currently developing a new programme for the Air Transport Management MSc (Executive) course. Click here to provide your feedback and register.
Designed to equip you with the skills to pursue a successful career in various sectors of the air transport industry including airlines, airport companies and authorities, civil aviation departments, air transport consultancies and aerospace companies.

This part-time flexible Executive course covers a broad range of management strategic issues to enable you to advance your career in the air transport industry. Focus on subjects that match your individual interests and career aspirations, whilst you remain in employment.


  • Start dateJune or November
  • DurationMSc: up to three years part-time. PgDip: two years part-time
  • DeliveryTaught Module 50%, Group project 10%, Individual research project 40%
  • QualificationMSc, PgDip
  • Study typeExecutive
  • CampusCranfield campus, External

Who is it for?

Created to meet the demand for more flexible executive teaching in air transport management, this course is suitable for those who require a broad knowledge of air transport management strategic issues whilst remaining in full-time employment. It combines compulsory air transport core learning with an increased focus on leadership and personal development including managerial, interpersonal, financial and analytical skills. Accelerate your career development by focusing on subjects that match your individual interests and career aspirations.

Your career

Successful completion of this course will gain you an internationally recognised qualification which benefits from the Cranfield reputation and can take you onto new levels of your career anywhere in the world. We provide access to our exclusive LinkedIn Cranfield University - Air Transport Group, which offers unrivalled networking and job opportunities.

This qualification facilitates accelerated career development for many of our graduates. One former graduate began his studies as an Operations Manager and was promoted three times during his study – he is now the Deputy CEO and credits the course for enabling his progression by allowing him to take a broader view of his organisation than his original role..

Other roles our former graduates have gone on to occupy include:

  • Financial Controller at Rolls-Royce plc
  • Head of Market Intelligence at Cargolux

Why this course?

The MSc Air Transport Management has been established since 1964. The course has an outstanding global reputation with over 1,500 graduates to date. We recognise the challenges faced by our executive students and have reduced the required number of visits to Cranfield through the introduction of several distance learning modules which are indicated in the modules overview. This enables students from all over the world to complete this qualification whilst balancing work/life commitments.

We are very well located for students from all over the world and offers a range of library and support facilities to support your studies. This MSc programme benefits from students from a wide range of cultural backgrounds which significantly enhances the learning experience for both staff and students.

Informed by Industry

The course is directed by an industrial advisory committee comprising senior representatives from leading airlines and associated sectors. This group meets annually and ensures that the course content remains up-to-date and equips you with the skills and knowledge required by leading employers. Members of the committee also attend the group project presentations.

We regularly invite senior industry experts to present to our students. Previous speakers have included:

  • Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways
  • Julie White, VP Global Sales Planning and Distribution Strategy of Virgin Atlantic
  • Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Groups
  • Stewart Wingate, CEO of Gatwick Airport
  • Brian Pearce, Chief Economist of the International Air Transport Association (IATA)
  • Professor Rigas Doganis.

Course details

In this section
Cranfield offers an inspiring, challenging and rewarding academic environment. I find staff very competent, motivating and flexible. Having the possibility to share knowledge as industry professionals among each other is truly valuable. I can highly recommend the course!
Whilst working full-time for an airline, I was interested in a postgraduate programme that would take my knowledge of this exciting industry to the next level. Only one course came highly recommended by virtually everybody in the industry I spoke to: the Executive Air Transport Management MSc at Cranfield University. It’s not just one thing that sets this course apart - it’s everything about it.

The academic rigour that challenges, the world-class academic staff who inspire, the practical examples that go beyond the classroom and the extensive network that opens doors. I’m excited about my future with Cranfield behind me all the way.

The taught programme for the Air Transport Management masters starts twice a year and is comprised of ten modules (six compulsory and four optional). All the modules are completed over three one-week periods (two modules per week) so you are only expected to make three trips to Cranfield to complete the six compulsory modules in June, November and March. Some optional modules are available for distance learning.

Course delivery

Taught Module 50%, Group project 10%, Individual research project 40%

Group project

Students are divided into groups and tasked with setting up an airline in any country of the group's choice. Students can also choose any type of airline business model. The groups present and defend their business plans to a board of senior industry executives as well as to teaching staff. Each group must also submit a detailed report which will be assessed.

The group project is undertaken in the second year, and is held in July for two weeks. The aim is to provide a simulated industrial environment where knowledge and skills gained from the taught component can be applied to solving an air transport management problem.

Individual project

The individual research project is undertaken during year three of your studies. It provides an opportunity to study a problem in detail, and sponsoring organisations may collaborate in the choice of a suitable subject. This allows you to demonstrate the application of your learning to real-life problems.

Previous individual research projects have included:

  • Route selection strategies of the low cost carriers: the case of Ryanair and easyJet
  • Sustainable business models for airlines in Africa
  • Ancillary revenues in airlines and their implication for revenue management.


Keeping our courses up-to-date and current requires constant innovation and change. The modules we offer reflect the needs of business and industry and the research interests of our staff and, as a result, may change or be withdrawn due to research developments, legislation changes or for a variety of other reasons. Changes may also be designed to improve the student learning experience or to respond to feedback from students, external examiners, accreditation bodies and industrial advisory panels.

To give you a taster, we have listed the compulsory and elective (where applicable) modules which are currently affiliated with this course. All modules are indicative only, and may be subject to change for your year of entry.

Teaching team

You will be taught by the largest academic group in the world specialising in air transport management. This multidisciplinary group includes a unique blend of air transport economists, marketing specialists and aeronautical engineers with strong publication records and industry experience.

How to apply

Applications need to be made online. Click the 'Apply now' button at the top of this page. 

Once you have set up an account you will be able to create, save and amend your application form before submitting it.