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Airlines score points with customers for offering value for money

Difficult times for national airlines – according to a survey by ITB Berlin value for money and tailor-made frequent flyer programmes matter more than loyalty to home carriers.

BERLIN – For customers booking flights, value for money matters most when it comes to choosing a particular airline. This was the answer given by 70 per cent of the CEO Management Panel of ITB Berlin, in a survey of exhibitors and business partners carried out by the market research company Trendscope and ITB Berlin, which is due out every month as of now. For 63 per cent of those polled the second most important factors when choosing an airline were the departure airport and choice of flight times. 37 per cent of ITB Berlin’s customers said they only booked flights with a certain airline. For 24 per cent it was important that the airline operated modern aircraft. Customer loyalty to home carriers played an insignificant role. According to the survey nine per cent preferred to book flights with “their” national airline. Only four cent were willing to forfeit value for money.

Dr. Martin Buck, director of the Competence Center Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin: “Worldwide, airlines are competing with each other in a hotly contested market. Customers reward airlines that offer transparent services and good value for money with their loyalty because they feel they are being treated well. If a national carrier is unable to fulfil those demands then it loses its emotional bond with the customer.”

The advantages of a frequent flyer programme were also among the reasons for choosing a particular airline. According to the survey this mattered to 42 per cent. 36 per cent were divided over whether frequent flyer programmes were important, while 22 per cent said they did not influence their booking choice. Asked which continents and regions operated the world’s best airlines, the CEO Management Panel of ITB Berlin revealed a clear trend that also reflects global market developments. Among those decision-makers polled, the most popular airlines were from Asia (35 per cent), the Arab countries (33 per cent), followed by Europe (25 per cent). The least rated airlines were from North America (5 per cent), Australia (1 per cent), South America (1 per cent) and Africa (0 per cent).

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