2 0 0 7 I s s u e No . 1
A M A GAZINE FOR AIRLINE EX E C U TIV E S
T a k i ng
y o ur
heigh t s
A conversation with Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, the chief executive officer of Jet Airways.
Special Section INSIDE
FUELING UP A look at the rising cost of fuel and
its effect on the industry.
ÂŠ 2009 Sabre Inc. All rights reserved.
Turboprops make strong comeback
WestJet saves US$5 million annually
GOL scores big in Latin America
Taking it Online By partnering with Travelocity®, airlines can take advantage of a number of online opportunities that can tactically and strategically position them to increase online sales via better travel-related merchandising — either with enhanced distribution on their own Web sites or broadened distribution through the Travelocity leisure site (www.travelocity.com). By Phil Johnson | Ascend Staff
n an age when superb online sales and marketing capabilities are almost as vital to a business as the very product or service it offers, it’s no surprise that airlines have been among the most active and successful online sales enterprises. It was the airlines, after all, that more than three decades ago blazed the trail in creating massive information technology operations around automated reservations systems. And much more recently, airlines were among the first businesses to recognize and embrace the potential of the Internet to offer convenience to consumers — thereby opening up a greatly enhanced source of revenue. Travelocity — the wholly owned online travel agency of the Sabre Holdings® company — not only offers many travel-related options in its proprietary online business, but it helps airlines develop many value-added travel offerings for their own Web sites. Among other advantages, Travelocity helps its airline partners expand their reach to be able to touch the greatest number of potential travelers. The broad scope and immense scale of merchandising capabilities offered by Travelocity represents a genuine value proposition that enables an airline of any size to reach around the world with its travel offerings. And the online travel agency’s innovative approach and expertise are effectively expanding the merchandising possibilities almost daily. This can be especially helpful to a smaller carrier, but Travelocity offers merchandising and marketing expertise that has been proven to be of vast benefit to the growth plans of any airline. To establish a direct business relationship with Travelocity, there are two primary options. Through Travelocity Partner Network, the redistribution business organization of Travelocity, airlines can market online travel products from Travelocity on a “private-label” basis — branding third-party content with the airline’s identity. Or airlines can choose from among a number of 70 ascend
innovative Travelocity merchandising and marketing approaches to enhance their brand exposure, awareness and travel bookings.
Travelocity Partner Network
Today, airline Web sites are among the busiest in any industry in selling their core product, airline tickets. But as with everything else on the Internet, shopping habits seem to evolve very quickly. And online sales approaches have evolved rapidly as well — to the point that many airlines are starting to realize that there are further potential sources of revenue that are not currently being utilized. Travelocity Partner Network provides its airline partners increased value through
American Airlines as well as other companies such as AOL, Yahoo! and American Express. “We have worked with Travelocity for several years and have always been satisfied and confident in the products that the Travelocity Partner Network provides our customers,” said John Slater, managing director distribution and e-commerce at Continental Airlines. “The Travelocity network has the ability to secure differentiated hotel rates that we feel will provide our customers on continental.com some of the best deals in the travel industry.” It is essential to go far beyond the concept of an airline’s Web site as simply a distribution channel solely for air tickets. As a distribution partner with an airline, Travelocity Partner
Among other advantages, Travelocity helps its airline partners expand their reach to be able to touch the greatest number of potential travelers. marketing and merchandising expertise; first-class products that are tightly integrated with the airline’s Web site; and personnel who support marketing, management, merchandising and technical efforts that translate into greatly increased productivity — significantly benefiting the Travelocity Partner Network’s clients. Those clients truly comprise an A-plus list including airline partners such as Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines, AirTran Airways and
Network helps support airlines by transforming their sites into a full-service marketing and merchandising travel site by cross selling and promoting many other online ancillary travel products and services. Certain online ancillary travel products that are offered on airline sites are obvious, starting with hotels and rental cars. But many also offer such extra enhancements as cruises, vacation packages, last-minute vacation packages and activities encompassing entertainment venues
products and other travel extras. The Travelocity Partner Network offers the full spectrum of products for airlines to merchandise. It’s one thing for an airline to simply offer such activities on its site, but it’s quite another to understand how to effectively promote and position an activity product such as a helicopter ride over the active volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii. For example, a customer could be presented the opportunity to buy the helicopter ride immediately after selecting the air ticket before the purchase is finalized. And the sales of online ancillary travel products such as an activity can be very lucrative and meet the needs of customers. So savvy online merchandising gets into very different areas than just the basic act of listing an option on a Web site. Merchandising specialists at Travelocity Partner Network make a science of studying consumers’ online habits and tendencies. These detailed studies have proven to pay off handsomely as Travelocity Partner Network’s dedicated merchandising team works diligently to optimize revenue opportunities for each individual airline client. In addition, Travelocity Partner Network is leveraging its point redemption solution that enables customers to convert airline miles or points to buy either online ancillary travel products or airline tickets with miles or points. Airlines can benefit from this solution by being able to expand their options to manage their loyalty businesses and fully serve their best customers. In addition, the airline fully controls the basis upon which its miles are converted to points.
On its own Web site, Travelocity provides its airline partners a broad suite of merchandising tools, including promotion through the air- and vacation-packaging path, targeted e-mails, well-developed advertising and potential placement in the weekly Travelocity Real Deals newsletter, which offers yet another opportunity for favorable exposure for the online travel agency’s airline partners. In fact, the e-mail opportunities include under-the-radar e-mail promotions offering carefully targeted customers extraspecial fares that can be obtained no other way than through that specific e-mail link. With all of these innovative promotions, Travelocity helps its airline partners gain market share and a greater percentage of full-capacity aircraft. The basic idea is to differentiate an airline’s service advantageously in the way of incremental value versus its competition but also to carefully analyze and differentiate consumers based
Under the Radar promotions are targeted e-mails that enable airline partners to offer exclusive, private fares to customers. The fares are made available only through the dedicated landing page.
on their shopping, purchasing and traveling habits as well as their geographic location. Additionally, the online developers at Travelocity will continue to concentrate on finding and creating the ultimate suite of innovative online merchandising opportunities. In short, Travelocity intends to remain the airline industry’s partner of choice in providing genuine value through innovative expertise in marketing and merchandising. Employees from both Travelocity Partner Network and Travelocity.com work tirelessly to enhance brand awareness as
well as market exposure for Travelocity’s airline partners while always seeking a greater and more effective variety of ways to maximize partners’ market share and increase their revenue. a
Phil Johnson can be contacted at email@example.com.
A M A GAZINE FOR AIRLINE E X E C U TIV ES 2 0 0 7 Is s u e N o . 1 WestJet saves US$5 million annually Turboprops make strong comeback 6 GOL...