Posted by Luigi Fort, Senior Marketing Executive
Should airlines offer more than flights?
A recent whitepaper from the Intelligence Unit of The Economist, entitled, ‘The Future of Air Travel’ examined this question. Its main tenet is that airlines who want to succeed should take control of the full travel chain and offer a complete door-to-door service. If they do not other players will enter the market and snatch the initiative.
Among the top industry leaders interviewed for the document was Ashgate Author Nawal K. Taneja, whose latest book Designing Future-Oriented Airline Businesses is also referenced in the text.
It quotes him: ‘If the airlines don’t re-strategise and become either travel facilitators or solution providers to the problems that people are facing …if they say, “we just fly seats from Airport A to Airport B,” people will still travel, but they will buy their travel services through new intermediaries.’
He maintains that new and cheaper technologies enable airlines to offer this fuller service and to a wide spectrum of customers. ‘We’re not just talking about sending limos to first-class travellers. We’re talking about sending a taxi to an economy-class traveller or suggesting to an ultra-economy-class customer “We know where you live; three blocks away is a bus station; that bus will take you to the subway, which will bring you to the airport.”’
Designing Future-Oriented Airline Businesses encourages airline managements to take a deeper dive into new ways of doing business. It also provides a framework for developing strategies and capabilities, as well as executing them efficiently.
A key feature is a concluding section comprising five ‘Thought Leadership Pieces’ from senior executives both in and outside aviation.