THE AIRLINES SECTOR
The aviation industry in India has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years in terms of kilometers flown as well as customers serviced. The economy of a country is substantially determined by the quality of air transport. The airlines today have made themselves more popular among its customers by various marketing tactics like:
Reduced costs of air tickets for frequent flyers.
E-ticketing i.e. virtually eliminating the need for agents. Rynair and Easy jet two of UK’s low cost carriers have eliminated travel agents completely and sell all their tickets online., •
Selling tickets through online auctions,
Various freebies and accommodation offers provided at lower rates. •
Improved and interactive staff.
Increase in aircraft capacity
These are a few of the many reasons for the increasing popularity of the airlines. In terms of quantity the airlines industry turnover in the year 99 was approximately 44 billion, 14 million passengers traveled using its services. Till recently, Indian Airlines had a monopoly in the sector. However, in 1993 the skies were opened for private participation and 8 airlines got the nod to commence operations. Of these, only two have survived - Jet Airways and Sahara Airlines. The market share of Indian Airlines vis-à-vis private players is given below. Airlines
THE SERVICE MARKETING TRIANGLE
One can better understand the workings of airlines by looking at its marketing triangle.
There are three entities in the entire transaction:
Customer: He is the person who wishes to satisfy his need i.e. of transportation from one destination to another.
Company: This is both the dreamer and the offerer. It is the various airlines, which offer its aviation services to satisfy the customers demand for transportation from one destination to another. For e.g.: The Indian airlines
Provider: these are finally the people who interact with the customers. They are the ones who carry out the final transaction. The customers actually come in contact with the service provider and not the company. For e.g.: The Airhostess and the crew.
The interaction between these three parties while providing the service takes place in the following manner: •
The company is established with the basic objective of providing the specific transport service. Thus the airline industry with players like Indian airlines, jet airways, Sahara airways etc came into being.
The air service provider that is the company communicates with the customer and makes him aware of the services. It makes promises to the customer through advertising through various medias. For e.g.: the TV ad of Indian airlines advertising its new sleep in seats.
The customer who gathers knowledge about the service approaches the company for availing his service in order to satisfy his need. This interface of the customer with the company is through the customer’s interaction with the providers of the company. The company enables its promises to the customers through setting up facilities to deliver the promises that is by setting up ticket and enquiry counters. The outcome of the “to be transaction” is determined by the interaction between the provider and the customer. Hence the company aims at offering its providers with the required infrastructure and training to optimize the quality of the transaction. For eg: Yearly employee training programs and performance appraisals done by Sahara airlines. The three strategic points where the provider and the customer interact are :
MARKETING MIX VARIABLES...
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