Nicole Cocolas

Dr Nicole Cocolas

Lecturer in Transport Management
+44 (0)1483 689944
08 AP 02



Research interests



James Higham, PAUL HANNA, Debbie Hopkins, SCOTT ALLEN COHEN, Stefan Gössling, Nicole Cocolas (2021)Reconfiguring Aviation for a Climate-Safe Future: Are Airlines Sending the Wrong Message?, In: Journal of Travel Research SAGE Publications

Aviation remains a problematic sector of the global economy in times of climate emergency. Grounded in the ideology of reconfiguration, we adopt a system transitions perspective to address high emissions leisure travel. Our focus falls on the marketing communications of airlines as a critical component in the prevailing sociotechnical regime. Thematic analysis of the e-mail marketing communications of selected airlines revealed three prominent tropes: adventure and discovery; privilege; and urgency. These communications bring air travel into the everyday lives of consumers and accelerate the turnover time of tourist consumption. Time is mobilized to create a sense of resource scarcity and urgency to consume, paradoxically in a situation characterized by oversupply. The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a unique opportunity for structural reform of the airline industry. Component substitution to address airline marketing is required as an important step toward overcoming consumer moral disengagement and reconfiguring the airline industry.

Nicole Cocolas, Gabrielle Walters, Lisa Ruhanen, James Higham (2023)Air travel and persuasive climate communications, In: Journal of sustainable tourismpp. 1-23
Nicole Cocolas, Gabrielle Walters, Lisa Ruhanen, James Higham (2021)Consumer attitudes towards flying amidst growing climate concern, In: Journal of sustainable tourism29(6)pp. 944-963
Nicole Cocolas, Gabrielle Walters, Lisa Ruhanen, James Higham (2020)Air travel attitude functions, In: Journal of sustainable tourism28(2)319pp. 319-336 Taylor & Francis

Forecast growth in global demand for air travel is incompatible with emissions reduction targets. Scholarly attention is urgently needed to address attitude and behaviour change that supports sector-wide emissions reduction. Informed by the longstanding field of consumer psychology, the innovative approach adopted in this paper is to critically address air travel behaviour change through the application of attitude function theory. An analysis of the literature reveals that current attitudes reflect industry myths, and are further hampered by travellers' knowledge gaps regarding the relationship between aviation and climate change. Five attitude functions are analysed in the context of attitudes to air travel; knowledge, utilitarian, value-expressive, ego-defensive and social adjustive functions. A conceptual framework is presented that integrates attitude structure, attitude function and the elaboration likelihood model of persuasion as an innovative approach to address discretionary air travel and behaviour change at the level of the individual consumer. Utilizing this framework, future research can help develop a critical understanding of the antecedents that shape attitudes. Researchers will be better positioned to create persuasive messages aimed at changing attitudes towards air travel, as arguably the key step towards the illusive goal of significant behaviour change and a shift towards more sustainable tourist mobilities.

Additional publications