During the last years, enormous attention has been given to the assessment and improvement of the performance of productive systems. Economic activities at the firm, industry, regional or national level are affected by the world-wide trend for improved performance. The growing competition and the recent recession have also forced many airlines to reduce costs and to improve productivity and efficiency. In this context, there are two types of modelling methods of efficiency measurement: a non parametric one, represented by Data Envelopment Analysis and a parametric one, represented by Stochastic Frontier Analysis. The main objective of this empirical study is to evaluate the operational performance of an Italian airline for the year 2007 by using these two alternative methodologies.