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Airlines must innovate to win back consumer confidence — Dr. Kobby Mensah

Kobby Mensah9 Dr. Kobby Mensah, Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana Business School

Mon, 20 Jul 2020 Source: thebusiness24online.net

Heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, airlines must innovate in all facets of their business to win back consumer confidence, Dr. Kobby Mensah, Senior Lecturer, University of Ghana Business School, has said.

International airlines servicing the Kotoka International Airport have lost an estimated US$500m in potential revenue since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country forced the closure of land, air and sea borders in March.

Business24 sources say the borders are expected to remain closed until mid-August, when a decision to re-open or otherwise will be taken by government.

However, the dampened consumer confidence, which is projected by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to last well into 2021, means that operators will have to do more to stimulate demand, if pre-COVID-19 passenger numbers are to be realised within the next two years.

Dr. Mensah said there is “low consumer confidence – both consumer and [the] business to business (B2B) market.”

He said airlines will have to examine their target market, product/service offering, price, and distribution channels.

“In respect of the target market, airlines will have to focus on passengers for whom travel is an essential part of their business—such as business travellers and other events travellers.

“Airlines ill need to modify their product and services to address these issues. There will be the need to modify purchase processes—encourage online booking and check-in, use of basic testing such as temp guns, etc.”

Dr. Mensah, who is also a tourism consultant, noted that product bundling with other needs of customers such as accommodation providers is imperative to reduce the burden of cost on customers.

With the expected heightened competition among players when the skies are reopened, he reckons airlines must adopt various loyalty promotion schemes to recapture their share of the market.

“Loyalty pricing, promotion pricing, bundling pricing, and credit facilities with some financial services arrangements, as well as the use of digitisation—ecommerce, mobile marketing for booking and check-in. Operators must use incentives to encourage more of this to reduce drastically human contact. This will even cut down on operation cost,” he said.

Source: thebusiness24online.net
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