German Insights on the Future of Travel


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German Insights on the Future of Travel

  1. 1. Emirates Insights and Quotes Germany October, 2009
  2. 2. Approach <ul><li>Individual explorative interviews were conducted within the three target groups: </li></ul><ul><li>Target 1 – Business travellers who fly frequently ( average number of flights within last 12 month varied between 20 to 60) </li></ul><ul><li>Target 2 – Holiday travellers who take mid-long haul flights (long distance traveller) </li></ul><ul><li>Target 3 – Travel trade professionals </li></ul><ul><li>Altogether we were able to run 15 interviews predominantly within in target group 1 + 2. </li></ul><ul><li>However, we also got professionals such as pilots and travel agents. These interviews were </li></ul><ul><li>conducted via telephone. </li></ul><ul><li>Each interview took at least 25 minutes and up to 45 minutes. </li></ul><ul><li>We mainly asked colleagues. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Target : Business Travellers who fly frequently
  4. 4. Insights Business Travellers <ul><li>Topic: Changes in flight routines for business travelers </li></ul><ul><li>Due to the economic crisis the number of flights in the business category decreased significantly, the recommended category for the majority of business travelers was downgraded from business to economy (“Woodclass ”). </li></ul><ul><li>The performances of the airlines have changed. American airlines has gone down to a level that can not be accepted. In Europe – especially in Germany with Lufthansa – it is still in line with the demands. </li></ul><ul><li>“ In Europe it is still fine. But if you fly in the States it is like driving in a dirty bus: not only the dirt, but the function of the seats, the old age of the crew, no cleaning personal between two flights – the crew has to remove the trash.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Insights Business Travellers <ul><li>Topic: Changes in flight routines for business travelers </li></ul><ul><li>Business travelers are afraid to lose their status and all the related benefits such as fast lane, upgrade opportunities, access to lounges and ultimately the Miles & More status . </li></ul><ul><li>“ Before the crisis took place I could arrive at the airport 30 minutes before boarding. </li></ul><ul><li>Nowadays, I would not take this risk anymore. I.e. you have to fight for your seat, or you </li></ul><ul><li>sit close to the toilet, everybody could have a look on your laptop. You are no longer </li></ul><ul><li>separated from the tourists.” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Insights Business Travellers <ul><li>Topic: Changes in flight routine for business travelers </li></ul><ul><li>Inconvenience of business travelers to fly even with airlines they have no emotional engagement with. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The pressure of the companies on me as a business traveler has increased </li></ul><ul><li>tremendously –irrespective if it is a business or economy class - I do have to accept </li></ul><ul><li>an airline which I do not appreciate emotionally. “ </li></ul><ul><li>The flight experience has changed in a negative way, the flair and the convenience have declined. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The airlines don’t have the flair anymore. Flying today is exhausting: too crowded, a </li></ul><ul><li>lot of people don’t know how to behave. The crew doesn’t take care enough that I feel </li></ul><ul><li>comfortable. And they only fulfill their procedures.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ You don't have this peace of mind which you had in the past.” </li></ul><ul><li>The influence of technology leads to a simplification of the booking habits but personal contacts will be eliminated. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Sometimes, I really miss my travel agent, especially when it becomes complicated.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Insights Business Travellers <ul><li>Topic: Future development </li></ul><ul><li>Business travelers expect a separation into a “two class business society”. Whereas the ones who will still fly first class/business class and the one who will fly economy or choose a LCC. </li></ul><ul><li>“ There will be two classes of business travellers in the future, those who will continue to </li></ul><ul><li>fly premium and those who have to look for cheaper alternatives, even in the low cost </li></ul><ul><li>carrier category.” </li></ul><ul><li>There is already a “ratchet effect” in the booking procedure of companies which will hinder that status before the crisis can be reached again. </li></ul><ul><li>“ What has been abolished will never come back because we learned to get used to </li></ul><ul><li>that.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ In the future there will be more people in the planes and all in all the service and the good manners of the crew will get worse.” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Insights Business Travellers <ul><li>Topic: The profile of an ideal airline </li></ul><ul><li>Safety is the major request of all business traveler and the German Lufthansa fulfills this in a perfect way. </li></ul><ul><li>Reliability is a very strong driver for business traveler (i.e. in time arrivals etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Service is also mentioned from every business traveler. Interestingly there are two dimensions: Functional service regarding features like upgrading, good food, entertainment, fast lanes, lounges, cleanliness, perfect organization of the complete booking and flying process and: Emotional service regarding personal touch from the ground staff as well as from the crew regarding manners and personal engagement. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I like it very much, when the crew has recognized me and talks to me with my name.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I fly so often, that I need the feeling of being home.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ I need that feeling to be in good hands.” </li></ul><ul><li>Ecology, carbon foot print does not play a major role. </li></ul><ul><li> Only one single person mentioned a green aspect in relation with flying. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Insights Business Travellers <ul><li>Topic: </li></ul><ul><li>Image of the brand Emirates / What does the target group associate with the brand </li></ul><ul><li>The perception of the Emirates is that of a modern, luxurious, premium airline with an outstanding interior, service and entertainment features. </li></ul><ul><li>“ They belong to the top 3 airlines in the world . “ </li></ul><ul><li>“ Most modern airplanes.” “New planes are important for me regarding security.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Aren’t they the ones who bought the maximum number of the latest A380?” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Luxury, everything I heard is extremely luxurious.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ They offer best service with an Asian service mentality combined with premium interior </li></ul><ul><li>and equipment.” “Proper eating and drinking. Seat space is good as well. “ </li></ul><ul><li>“ They want to be the number one airline. They want to be state-of-the-art.” </li></ul><ul><li>The business traveler equals the Emirates with glamorous, functional luxury however with a lack of Arabian magic. </li></ul><ul><li>“ That luxury comes from their oil money. They build high-tec cities in the desert but </li></ul><ul><li>there is nothing magical. No-emotion-airline.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ White glove service, extremely polite without human touch.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is factual luxury but I expect more that an airline should prepare me for the </li></ul><ul><li>destination. For example with Arabian food but for me they don't have that cultural flair.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Insights Business Travellers <ul><li>Topic: </li></ul><ul><li>Image of the brand Emirates / What does the target group associate with the brand </li></ul><ul><li>Emirates is not within the relevant set of German business travelers. </li></ul><ul><li>“ As far as I know Emirates is a premium airline, however, currently they do not offer </li></ul><ul><li>enough destinations for me and I heard that you have very often long stopovers in </li></ul><ul><li>Dubai.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It is a very special business and first class airline. Not ideal for business traveler who fly </li></ul><ul><li>economy.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ For my business trips Emirates airline is not in my relevant set. Perhaps when I have to </li></ul><ul><li>go very, very far away and they would be the only one who offer the destination or the </li></ul><ul><li>right time for me to been on this place. But up to now this never happened. ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Very good regional airline on the highest level.” </li></ul><ul><li>American’s have some reservation to fly with an Arabian airline. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I as an American living in Germany usually avoid to fly with American airlines or Arabian airline because in European airlines I feel more secure because they are not a target for terrorists.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Target : Holiday Travellers who take mid-long haul Flights
  12. 12. Insights Holiday Makers <ul><li>Topic: Changes in flight tourism industry for holiday travelers </li></ul><ul><li>Reduction of the amount of holiday trips due to cost reasons. </li></ul><ul><li>“ I have reduced my holidays flights simple because of the costs.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ When I check the price for a long-haul flight I think it over if it is necessary to fly to the </li></ul><ul><li>States or if Europe doesn’t have destinations that are as nice and even German </li></ul><ul><li>destinations might be fine.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ As flights have become so expensive I take the train to my holiday destination.” </li></ul><ul><li>Due to the many offers of LCC holidays makers embrace the idea to make short-trips. “ I could not imagine ten years ago that I would fly to Rome in the morning and be back in the night.” “The whole world has turned into a village.” </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the holiday makers book via internet. In case that they book via tourist agent they collect information about their flights and the holiday destinations in the internet. The online experience can already be a holiday experience! </li></ul><ul><li>“ I always book via internet. First I look for flights on the homepage of the airline. Than I </li></ul><ul><li>check generic travel portals which gives me an overview of all cheap flights to my </li></ul><ul><li>destination.” “I check online the price of my flight.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Searching in the internet is almost a little bit of holiday.” </li></ul>
  13. 13. Insights Holiday Makers <ul><li>Topic: Expected future development </li></ul><ul><li>Overall more people will fly more often </li></ul><ul><li>“ People will fly in future more often because social contacts will be global.” </li></ul><ul><li>Affordable premium </li></ul><ul><li>“ People still want cheap prices but also more premium in the future.” </li></ul><ul><li>Spontaneous holidays will increase </li></ul><ul><li>“ It will be self-evident that people go to the airport and make their holiday decision at the </li></ul><ul><li>last minute counter.” </li></ul><ul><li>The importance of flight entertainment will grow </li></ul><ul><li>“ There has to be more entertainment choices on flight .” </li></ul><ul><li>Due to cost savings and mergers the quality of the staff will decrease </li></ul><ul><li>“ Because of all these mergers the quality of the crews will decreased. They will less </li></ul><ul><li>friendly and engaged because they are not satisfied with their job situation.” </li></ul>
  14. 14. Insights Holiday Makers <ul><li>Topic: The profile of an ideal airline for holiday makers </li></ul><ul><li>Service has the first priority. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Full service from the beginning until the end.” “Good and friendly service is important to </li></ul><ul><li>me.” “Friendly and polite crew are key. How is their body language and their mimics.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ For me it makes a difference how engaged and passionate is the crew. For example how </li></ul><ul><li>brash are the announcements of the crew. How trustworthy is voice of the pilot.” </li></ul><ul><li>The price dominates the decision making process </li></ul><ul><li>“ I don’t look for a special airline – I check for the price first.” </li></ul><ul><li>Entertainment on long distance is appreciated </li></ul><ul><li>“ I don’t want to be aware of the real flight time, entertainment could distract from that.” </li></ul><ul><li>Safety and reliability were not mention to the same extent compared to business travellers. However, the reputation of an airline could be a knock-out criteria. </li></ul><ul><li>“ If I have an alternative offer I would always choose the airline with a somewhat higher </li></ul><ul><li>price but with the better image.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Never-come-back charter is an absolute no go!”. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Insights Holiday Makers <ul><li>Topic: </li></ul><ul><li>Image of the brand Emirates / What does the target group associate with the brand </li></ul><ul><li>Emirates are also well known for their premium luxury within holiday makers. </li></ul><ul><li>“ They have an incredible comfort.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Absolute premium!” “Super service, I would like to fly with them.” </li></ul><ul><li>Holiday makers expect Arabian luxury </li></ul><ul><li>“ I assume that they deliver the opulence and luxury of the Arabian world, being Arabian </li></ul><ul><li>luxurious. ” “A magical dream world.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ There is a mystique of 1000 and 1 nights and beautiful women.” </li></ul><ul><li>The reality is not an Arabian fairytale world </li></ul><ul><li>“ Emotionally they are not one of the top three airline – like the really exotic ones as Thai </li></ul><ul><li>or Singapore Airlines – because they don’t celebrate the human contact. They don’t deliver the Arabian hospitality and warmth”. </li></ul><ul><li>Stop over in Dubai is a major problem </li></ul><ul><li>“ They take their passengers as hostage and forced them to accept 6 hours stop over in </li></ul><ul><li>Dubai.” “The long stop over was a brashness!” </li></ul>
  16. 16. Target : Travel Trade Professionals as Travel Agents and Pilots
  17. 17. Travel Trade Professionals <ul><li>Topic: Changes in tourism industry /future development and ideal airline </li></ul><ul><li>Professionals such as pilots suffer a downgrading and an erosion of their outstanding profession due to LCC. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Even the training of the pilot for major airlines is decreasing and the professional honor </li></ul><ul><li>of a pilot is damaged.” </li></ul><ul><li>The experts don’t expect that the former level of business travellers will be reached again. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Business traveller will stay away and they fly “woodclass” / economy.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ In the whole industry everybody believes that the former level of business passenger will </li></ul><ul><li>ever be reached again. </li></ul><ul><li>Professionals believe that safety and solidity are key elements of an ideal airline. </li></ul><ul><li>For the German professionals this is delivered by Lufthansa. </li></ul><ul><li>This premium image is undermined by sub-contracted airlines which fly under the name of Lufthansa (Star Alliance) but do not fulfill their standards. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Lately a sub-contracted airline of Lufthansa landed in Frankfurt without their landing </li></ul><ul><li>gears out.” </li></ul>
  18. 18. Travel Trade Professionals <ul><li>Topic: Image of the brand Emirates </li></ul><ul><li>The premium image of Emirates airline is also approved by German professionals . </li></ul><ul><li>“ They are awarded as Airline of the Year.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Top airline.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ They have the youngest fleet.” </li></ul><ul><li>Pilots give credit to the fact, that Emirates pilots are recruited from the leading </li></ul><ul><li>international airlines as Lufthansa. They have a very international crew. </li></ul><ul><li>Within pilot circles it is well known that the Emirates pay premium salaries and pilots can even fly there beyond the age limitations of other airlines. </li></ul>