Sunday, September 25, 2011

Re-imagine Airlines

I'm flying high and couldn't be more confident about the future.— Freddy Laker

For global airline industry, last decade maybe the “lost decade”, suffered from both nature and human disasters, flying fuel and great recession, however, airline as the most challenging and charming industry in the world, stand on its feet with discipline, stabilized and start growing again via consolidation, innovation and hard-working, it’s at infection point to brainstorm more enchanting ideas, to re-imagine airlines and rejuvenate this legacy industry.

Imagine the airline like:

1. Full-Mobile House in the Sky
Today’s digital technologies add the new pair of wings for airline to grow, to delight customer through self-service, flight entertainment, and personalized solutions.
  • Always Connect-On Customers
Smart clients today expect to continuing working or entertaining on board, the business travelers need speed internet connections, track-your-flight features, proactive notification services, and first-rate loyalty programs; leisure travelers will delight with social media connection, tailored entertainment services, all the activities the family enjoy at home, they also expect to have the similar experience at plane.

  • Real-Time Travel Experience
Even beyond, the always connect-on customers expect their mobile with faster response time and real-time travel information & experience, such as: location based services: online baggage tracking, movement tracking, push notification, voice recognition

  • Everyday Hero
We have to make you think it's an important seat - because you're in it.

Think every journey is special, just like big full house family, most of airlines are a bit crowd,  to lift up the travel spirit, airline staff need present the friendly & humorous attitude , optimized service; the diversified passengers have the chance to stay at the same journey, need support each other to make either the short trip or long journey more fun and impressive, window seat taker has the view, the isle customer has the convenience to exit, so the middle-seat customer makes some sacrifice, become our everyday hero.

2. World Window through the Cloud
The globe will be linked by flight and the nations so knit together that they will grow to be next-door neighbors. . . . What railways have done for nations, airlines will do for the world.
— Claude Grahame-White, 1914

 If  airport is  the window of the city, then airline is just like the window of the world,  Smart cities, better world, the widow-seat passenger will tell you why and how to modernize our cities and change our world via the overview and foresight of the man-made scenes.

Airlines are also economy engine and barometers, the aviation ecosystems influence worldwide activities significantly, from global trading to business activities, from job creation to travel attraction and from sustainability to new energy development. Aviation industry is one of infrastructural pillars in modern society. 

3. The Retailer with the Wings
There always has been a mystique and a romance about aviation, but in terms of the principles involved of satisfying your customer there's no difference between selling airlines seats and chocolate bars.

Airline is also one of the industries with least return on investment due to the large capital expenditure and high cost, many famous quotes by great investors and strategists well articulated how difficult for airline to make money, however, airline, as one of our strong economy pillars, the critical retailers with the wings, deserve to make some profit.

Airlines make some new innovations in recent years, they build up the ancillary revenue stream to keep industry flow and reimburse the high fuel cost, in order to keep the sustainable growth for the long term, airline need:

  • Keep building up the innovation capability to drive more  new revenue and enhance customer loyalty via the latest digital technology such as mobile and social;
  • Optimize the distribution channel and supply chain, with focal point at core business and customer services
  • Consolidate, rationalize, integrate, modernize and optimize IT infrastructure and applications.
  • To engage the employees, with passion, trust, and next generation of working environment and  talent management.
Yes, to revitalize the airline businesses is strategic imperative and long term journey, but it worth the effort: to transform it from national embrassment into national pride, to recover its image as
 the Proud Bird with the Golden Tail

I was engaged in what I believe to be the most thrilling industry in the world—aviation. My heart still leaps when I see a tiny two-seater plane soaring gracefully through the sky. Our great airlines awe me. Yet I know they were not produced in a day or a decade.
 William A. "Pat" Patterson, CEO United Airlines


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