Airports, Boarding, Loyalty Programmes & Boeing
31/01/2013

This issue of the Newsletter contains a number of articles on airports.  We compare the integrated approach to airports and airlines in Singapore and Dubai with the highly publicised difficulties facing airlines and railway terminals in Germany. On the one side we have the article entitled  From hub to tourist destination ­ An explorative study of Singapore and Dubai¹s aviation-based transformation; on the other Germany is building terminals as ³stand-alone² enterprises.  Emirate Airline is the core entity within the Emirates group and the largest company within it. Nevertheless, many other aviation related companies are also involved, covering all elements of the aviation and tourism value chains, such as destination and leisure management (Emirates Holidays, Arabian Adventures, Emirates Hotels and Resorts, Emirates Sky Cargo, Skywards), IT services (Mercator), distribution (Galileo Emirates) and cargo and handling (Dnata). Furthermore the group holds stakes in a catering company and in international subsidiaries. In terms of creating direct incentives for air travellers to stay in Dubai, Emirates coordinates the ŒŒDubai Stopover¹¹ programs so that its passengers are offered the opportunity to book hotels, rental car, tours, and safaris for dis-counted prices.  The full Journal of Air Transport Management article can be accessed at: http://www.academia.edu/252091/From_Hub_to_Tourist_Destination_-_An_Explorative_Study_of_Singapore_and_Dubais_Aviation-Based_Transformation\

Der Spiegel articles, on the lack of progress of the new Berlin airport, can be accessed at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/report-casts-doubt-on-berlin-airport-being-named-after-willy-brandt-a-877647.html and on the challenges facing the Stuttgart 21 Railway terminal, can be accessed at: http://www.spiegel.de/international/business/berlin-alarmed-at-cost-overruns-of-stuttgart-21-station-project-a-880112.html

The second subject that we review is how to most efficiently load passengers onto an aircraft.  When you think of all the ways an astrophysicist might make life easier, you probably think of things like cold fusion and extraterrestrial colonization. But Jason Steffen, a postdoctoral fellow at Fermilab Center for Patricle Astrophysics, has more earthly aims. He wants to make getting on an airplane less of a hassle. His idea: Have 10 passengers at a time board in alternating rows. He says it's at least four times faster than what most airlines are doing because it lets everyone stow their luggage and take their seats without getting in one another's way. People get seated sooner, which means planes take off sooner. And that means it will get a lot of attention from the airlines -- planes only make money when they're in the air, as they are able to take off and land more flights on a given day.  A New York Times article  on this subject can be accessed at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/business/airlines-are-trying-to-cut-boarding-times-on-planes.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

Monetising a brand while enhancing consumer loyalty sounds like black magic but not many airlines are doing it well. An interesting article in Airline Leader continues  ³IF YOU'RE RUNNING AN AIRLINE, YOU'RE PROBABLY IN THE WRONG BUSINESS. Not just for the obvious reasons. You should be marketing your brand, not selling tickets. One is unique and valuable, the other is a commodity. One can be monetised, the other mostly creates jobs for others. And the truly remarkable feature with the brand business ­ leveraged through a frequent flyer programme (FFP) ­ is that while someone else willingly collects the money for you (and pays for the privilege of doing so), your customers will love youmore for it, just as your partners bring along their own customers for you as well².  This article continues ­ ³All you have to do is recognise and exploit the value of your airline¹s brand. It sounds so simple, but how is it that so many very smart airlines have failed to leverage their income in this way? Certainly it is an undertaking that requires skill and capital. As Groupe Aeroplan (GA) noted, many of the early programmes were unable to exploit the potential of the customer data they were collecting because they neither had the necessary database design or functionality nor the expertise to effectively mine and analyse that data. A key ingredient was to possess the budget necessary to make use of the data².  The full Airline Leader article can be accessed at:   http://www.airlineleader.com/this-months-highlights/the-airline-frequent-flyer-programme-for-love-and-money

Even before two battery failures led to the grounding of all Boeing 787 jets this month, the lithium-ion batteries used on the aircraft had experienced multiple problems that raised questions about their reliability Officials at All Nippon Airways, the jets¹ biggest operator, said in an interview on Tuesday that it replaced 10 of the batteries in the months before fire in one plane and smoke in another led regulators around the world to ground the jets. This New York Times article can be accessed at:   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/business/boeing-aware-of-battery-ills-before-the-fires.html?ref=business&pagewanted=all