Friday, July 04, 2008

Flying High in an Industry Downturn

Did you know 2.5 million people will fly with Montreal-based Air Transat this year?

The plucky charter airline, barely 20 years old, continues to thrive while big scheduled airlines cut back. And it’s improving its customer service, not cutting back.

How do they do it? Travel writer Sam Ion chatted with the company’s brass and produced this report.

Based on her findings, I would say the secret is:
1) Know your niche.
2) Service the heck out of it.
3) Invest in training so your people know the right way to treat your customers – especially if you're asking for problematic things such as fuel surcharges.
4) Integrate vertically to expand your services while controlling costs.

As Air Transat president and CEO Allen B. Graham, told Ion, "In the end, giving customers what they want is all that matters.”

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