Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Back to frills and high fares, indicates Kingfisher Chief

Neelam Mathews
Nov 15, 2011

Vijay Mallya, while appealing to the media to “view performance in (the) current perspective, indirectly knocked his competitors including IndiGo subtly.

Without mentioning names, he said: “In a difficult environment where every airline is losing money- you can also show profits through sale and leaseback of aircraft….We’re talking of operating an airline….”

Mallya seemed sure that in the ailing economic climate - where mid-businessmen are said to have shifted to budget carriers with on-time performance such as IndiGo - he would be able to sell front end seats at a premium given that there “were only three full service carriers” left in the fray.

“At the upper end, competition is a lot less fierce. You have more tempered competition and not cutthroat at the bottom end…we also have loyalty programs (to retain customers).”

“It is the A-320 where the bloodbath will be….We don’t want a part in that bloodbath."

"Therefore as the economy grows, there will be more people from the small business sector…(we will)  focus on that customer willing to pay for convenience, (one who is treated well inflight, (with) hot meals and frills that come with the full service…..”

For some reason- perhaps KFA research shows -  free hot meals play a major role in the decision for a passenger to fly KFA.

One ofcourse wonders with 75% of passengers heading towards budget seats, for the 25% odd passengers that are said to be “top-end” wooed by three carriers including Air India known to be ruthless in slashing fares, may end up with hot meals but with low fares!

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