Customer loyalty biggest challenge for airlines, says study

Airlines view customer loyalty and retention as one of their biggest challenges according to a study.

Sabre Airline Solutions’s survey of 90 airlines revealed that despite the challenges of fluctuating fuel prices and revenue management, 86% see customer loyalty as having the most positive impact on business.

Overall customer satisfaction with airlines has taken a hit recently because of hidden charges, according to another survey by global marketing information company JD Power in June, and airlines see loyalty as key in future, with plans to increase revenue through the unbundling of services.

Sabre’s survey also reveals airlines rate baggage fees, travel insurance and holiday packages as the most likely to generate revenue for them.

In total, 57% of those surveyed now believe fluctuating fuel prices are the biggest challenge while 67% view increasing revenue and reducing overheads among the most significant challenges in the next 18 months.

Managing revenue and the distribution mix are seen as vital to increasing revenue according to 44% and 12% of respondents, respectively.

The issue of government regulation was also highlighted in the study with 55% seeing it as problematic. Airlines were concerned about airport and passenger security while 21%, and 21% saw environmental standards and regulation as a problem.

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