AirAsia re­vamps loy­alty pro­gramme

Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL - BOONSONG KOSITCHOTE­THANA

AirAsia Group yes­ter­day launched a re­vamped fre­quent-flyer pro­gramme (FFP) that prom­ises an eas­ier, faster and bet­ter way to earn points.

AirAsia Big Loy­alty, which cost about 200 mil­lion baht to de­velop, is an over­haul of the orig­i­nal FFP launched in 2011 and will be in­stru­men­tal to boost cus­tomer loy­alty to­wards the brand.

The largest low-cost car­rier group in Asia bills the new loy­alty FFP as unique in the world with re­gard to the mem­ber­ship sta­tus sys­tem, of­fer­ing re­wards that may put other FFP schemes, par­tic­u­larly those of full-ser­vice car­ri­ers, to shame.

Un­der the scheme, points are de­ter­mined by how of­ten pas­sen­gers fly: the more they fly with AirAsia, the faster they will earn points, re­gard­less of how much they spend on fares.

The four-sta­tus sys­tem starts with Red sta­tus for pas­sen­gers who fly 13 or fewer one-way short­haul flights in the pre­ced­ing 12 months, through to Gold and Plat­inum, and all the way up to Black for those who fly 50 or more times with AirAsia.

AirAsia group chief ex­ec­u­tive Tony Fer­nan­des said the im­proved FFP will help drive the air­line group’s over­all busi­nesses, par­tic­u­larly by sell­ing more air tick­ets.

He reck­oned that the FFP will in ef­fect boost the load fac­tor on AirAsia flights, which on av­er­age have about 15% of seats left to be filled up.

AirAsia Group car­ries about 70 mil­lion pas­sen­gers an­nu­ally.

The FFP will also help drive an­cil­lary in­come — gen­er­ate through sell­ing in-flight food and drinks, among other ser­vices — which rep­re­sents about 15% of the group’s over­all an­nual rev­enue, as there are more pas­sen­gers on each flight.

Mr Fer­nan­des said the re­vised FFP was partly in­spired by the re­tail sec­tor, “from which we have learned so much”.

He de­scribed the new FFP as part of a low-cost car­rier’s as­pi­ra­tions to be­come as good as the legacy car­ri­ers.

The new FFP is meant to more than dou­ble AirAsia’s loy­alty pro­gramme mem­ber­ship, now at 13 mil­lion, to about 30 mil­lion in next three years.

There are 1.8 mil­lion AirAsia FFP mem­bers in Thai­land, the sec­ond-largest mem­ber­ship vol­ume in the group’s over­all coun­try foot­print.

AirAsia’s FFP es­sen­tially tar­gets air ticket re­demp­tion, though there are di­verse perks such as ho­tel stays and travel at­trac­tions that can be re­deemed as part the air­line’s part­ner­ship with scores of or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Points can be used to re­deem all flights on AirAsia for a min­i­mum of 500 Points.

For ev­ery 10 ring­git (78.90 baht) spent (other cur­ren­cies are based on ex­change rates), Red Mem­bers can earn up to 20 points, Gold Mem­bers up to 40, Plat­inum Mem­bers up to 70 and Black Mem­bers up to 120.

Long-haul and con­nect­ing flights count as two one-way short-haul flights for sta­tus cal­cu­la­tion pur­poses, mak­ing it dou­bly re­ward­ing to travel with AirAsia X, the medium-to-long­haul LCC op­er­a­tor un­der the AirAsia group’s um­brella.

Fer­nan­des: Scheme will help sell more tick­ets

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