Sometimes the global airline industry takes off, and other times it crashes and burns. For the latter, we only have to look to WestJet (OTC:WJAFF) and United (NASDAQ:UAL) for examples. With these instances becoming public, however, the airline industry has begun adopting new trends that aim to put the scandals behind it, allowing it to continue to grow.
Here are three current trends in the global airline industry. And who knows, next time you’re on a flight, you might notice your airline executing one of them.
Trends in the Global Airline Industry
1. Finding a Balance Between the Online and Offline World
The Internet is a grand revenue generator for airlines, but it has its downfalls. For instance, for the past two years, we have seen scandals involving airlines surface on the online medium. So while it’s important to have a strong online channel—and to control what’s said online—it’s also important for an airline to improve its offline channel. Nearly 75% of air tickets are bought online today, according to sources; but many passengers would still opt for talking to a customer service agent for service-related complaints. The Internet may provide more options than face-to-face interactions, but remember that when an online channel fails, the offline channel is next in line.
We are in the age of the Internet; however, airlines looking to continue driving revenue and customer growth must find a way to maneuver between the online and offline world.
2. Figuring Out Other Ways to Generate Revenue
Figuring out ways to generate revenue is just as important for an airline as dealing with the media is. Currently, we are seeing increasing fuel prices and sluggish economic conditions, in addition to more competition. These three factors impact the revenue-generating potential of the industry, a fact that has caused airlines to look elsewhere for revenue generation. For instance, some have taken to selling ancillary products, while others have opted for halting revenue leakage.
3. Creating a Community Online
When it comes to an airline’s online channel, resolving conflict is important, but so is building a relationship with their customers. To create brand equity, several airlines have created a social space for travelers, space where they can engage in real-time with the airline. It’s more than just responding to queries and complaints, however; it’s about engaging the customer. Two companies that have engaged their customers on social media well include Virgin Atlantic and British Airways, with the latter releasing the “Perfect Days” Facebook application.
People are always going to have a desire to travel. Trains and buses are available, but many will stick with flying. The global airline industry will be around for years; whether it will do well during those years is the question.
To avoid future conflicts similar to the 2017 WestJet scandal and the 2018 United scandal, airlines have started to opt for trends like improving not just their online channel but their offline channel as well, in addition to looking elsewhere for revenue generation.
What do you think about these three trends? Will it help the global airline industry remain in the air for years to come?
Featured image: PixaBay