We can say that business travellers are people who need to travel as a part of their job to increase their company's revenue or to represent their company in another place. As they travel many times in a year (ten times the leisure traveller in average), they have a high expectancy of the airlines. These travellers are really important for Airlines, the highest revenue part of the margin represent 29% instead of 5% for leisure travellers. And to maintain this profitable niche market, Airlines have to deal with their exigencies and adapt a business model. The Airline Marketing mix (Product, Pricing, Place, Promotions) is really important to attract business travellers who are looking for special features like providing good in-flight services such as meals, internet and so on. Airlines organize themselves as alliances, to attract more number of travellers and increase their incomes by getting more schedule planes by sharing code slots. All these points show us how important business travellers are for airlines.
[...] 2)The Importance of business travelers for different airlines and airline business models Business Travelers, a profitable market As already mentioned, the business traveler is an inelastic customer. As for him traveling is necessary to achieve performance. And as he travels many time a year it is an important source of income for airlines opposite to the leisure traveler who will only travel once a year. According to a study led by Cranfield University it is the most profitable market for Airline. [...]
[...] Low cost airlines are trying to get some share of business travel by proposing really cheap trips to attract business travelers despite the nonexistent class difference. Indeed low cost airlines are well known for the fact that there is no other class than the economy one in their aircraft. And as fares became really important, companies tend to make their employees travel more and more with low cost companies. The fares are also more expensive because they tend to be booked at "last minute" as we can see on the next table. [...]
[...] For the short haul, business travelers would prefer the first model allowing them to reach the meeting point directly without having to wait at the airport or having to take another means of transportation on arriving. (e.g. Lille airport (LIL) to Toulouse (TLS) without passing through Paris (CDG) which would increase the travel time) But concerning long haul flights, they would prefer pass throughing a HUB and arriving directly at the airport once again to avoid loss of time (e.g. [...]
[...] Most of business travelers grant importance to those programs, they can benefit of the drawback of business travel. Here is a promotional offer for further flights found in the Sunday Times. Current developments One of the most important current developments within Airlines Industry is the appearance of Alliances (e.g. Sky Team, Star Alliance). An alliance is a kind of fictive merger that provides airlines a better network and get around government restrictions. They share the same frequent flyer program to facilitate the life of the travellers; passengers can get special offers of an extensive code sharing to increase business combinations. [...]
[...] For long haul with a large amount of time spent at the destination they will prefer a business class. And for a short haul they will mostly buy economy tickets. But that also depend on the rank of the person within the company. The following table is extracted from Pat Hanlon's Global Airlines and shows us the distribution of business travelers within different Class. That was the usual way of booking tickets but since the 2008 recession companies think twice about business travel because it costs money, and now they can't afford this luxury. [...]
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