Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MAS to boost its sales with innovative services

NATIONAL carrier Malaysia Airlines is relying on new technological devices such as iPhones, iPads, android and blackberry phones to ramp up its marketing efforts and rake in more sales.

Its senior general manager of commercial strategy Dr Amin Khan said the airline was using innovation to make travel easier and to offer good value.

MAS recently embarked on a three-phased upgrade of its passenger service system (PSS) for a total investment value of RM480 million. MAS' decision to upgrade its PSS, now in the final phase and to be completed in 2013, is to cut cost and drive revenue.

The traditional distribution channels for the airline are travel agents, other airlines and ticketing outlets. However, it has expanded the reach of its distribution by utilising call centres, Internet, mobile and iPad kiosks.

"Instead of just focusing on the marketplace, we are moving into the market space using e-commerce," Dr Amin said. He said the market space will allow the airline to recognise its customers as individuals and give them choices at their own convenience.

With 45 per cent of airline bookings done on the Web (based on an Airline Business report in June), MAS is focused on addressing three basic needs on the Web: giving information, getting a transaction done and providing help.

The airline is also using social networking sites such as Facebook and Flickr to generate news of its offers. Aside from this, Dr Amin said that MAS was the first airline in the world to introduce MHmobile with a complete suite of products.

The airline is also using augmented reality for iPhone users, through the global positioning system (GPS), for its offers on fares.

Among other services it has adopted are the introduction of iPad kiosks for booking and purchasing of tickets.

The airline plans to improve its call centre services by increasing its capacity through cloud computing. It will also introduce Web chat services to guide customers who book tickets online.

In line with innovative services, MAS is also looking at a similar model operated by low-cost carriers, such as unbundling its product offering. Dr Amin said that MAS was considering unbundling its low fares, more so for the MHlow category.

"The unbundling will probably happen for services at the ground level, like, if a customer chooses to select a seat." MAS will not look to unbundling meals, or comfort items like pillows and blankets, he said.

Source : Business Times

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