easyjet aircraft
6 years ago
 

No change in EasyJet business travel share after four year of GDS use

News this morning of EasyJet‘s renewed distribution agreement with Amadeus will come as no surprise to most.

The low-cost airline has made no secret of the fact that it is going after the corporate travel market in a big way with a Flexi fare launched a year ago and a corporate sales team put in place in June.

But, perhaps the surprising thing is that, on paper, its business travel share has stayed the same despite GDS distribution so the strategy doesn’t seem to be working.

In November 2007, EasyJet signed its initial GDS agreements with Amadeus and Galileo stating business travellers accounted for 20% of passengers.

And, four years on, almost to the day, the airline says business travellers account for 18% of passengers or nine million annually.

It’s hard to say what is going on.

It seems unlikely that the airline had already saturated the market four years ago given how much clamouring there was for connectivity.

However, early on in the deal there were reports early on that the partnership had hit a snag with slow bookings via the distribution systems and some companies saying they would boycott booking the airline via a GDS because of the fees involved.

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About the Writer :: Linda Fox

Linda Fox is deputy editor for Tnooz. For the past eight years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.

In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.

Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.

 

Comments

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  1. CR

    Instant Ticketing/Guaranteed Payment aka non eticket and Type B connectivity will only get you so far. Corporate and agency incentives are a must.

     
  2. Stuart

    Good article and comments as per. A few points

    1. I do wonder about how they collect the figures though – have they done a trawl through their dropdown box (are you leisure/businessman/VFR etc) when pax book (I book loads of EZ online for pax and I always put leisure) or are these drag the punters off the plane and ask them type stats? For example if you’ve ever flown back from Nice to London on a Monday morning *everyone is a businessperson*, and a lot might even have done some business out there, but are they not classified leeeesure pax?

    2. At the TTI “disruption” seminar at WTM on the Monday the business development chap from Easyjet said they distribute 10% of seats on GDSs at the moment; because they want business folk’s business, and they want TMCs and they want GDSs. He then mentioned that he could see a time when 20% of EZ distibution was on GDSs in 3 years (I think) . Wonder if this will drive the numbers up. Suppose logic dictates it should double.

    3. And with the swallowing up of BMI, Easyjet have become the UKs No.2 carrier. Like British Caledonia once was…. Is everything cyclical, or in a world of alliances are there the big boys and the “nitch” players. I wonder if to get the business buck they need to spend shedloads on new routes and timings to become a “business airline, as Murray alludes too above.

    It certainly seems to be making some board members a bit twitchy this new model. Like Shakespeare without the murders. Yet.

     
  3. Murray Harrold

    Maybe – but I would venture that the main issue is that, though Easyjet want to capture more business traffic – they are not a business airline. They are better than some of the more “hard nosed” airlines in the no frills arena and have a more useable route network – but to encourage business traffic, you need to be a business airline.

    Easyjet et alia does not work on (at least) two levels: 1. Timing. Business types need go in the morning and come back at night – not during the day. Though Easyjet have some morning and evening flights the no frills model is such as to mainly embrace the quieter travel hours. Those flights that do depart at rush hour times, are invariably very similar in price to a full service airline … so why (thinks the business type) compromise? 2. Comfort. No frills airlines, including Easyjet, suffer from “half inch” syndrome. The seats seem, well, just not wide enough by half an inch… you need that half inch or so extra room for legs… luggage racks seem just half an inch to low down…half an inch too small and so on.

    I do not believe how you distribute/ market/ promote the airline will make that much difference unless one can somehow resolve the dichotomy of the business traveller and the no frills ethos.

     
  4. Mark Lenahan

    I think an element of this might be the SME market. There are more people travelling for business purposes than are being booked through GDS and TMC/Agencies for large corporations. Consider the thousands of companies of 200 employees or less who manage their own business travel. Were I in EasyJet’s shoes I’d try and segment the business market a further – figure out what size companies those business travelers work for. What the SMEs might need is really a self booking tool rather than fares filed on GDS.

     
 
 

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