Dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion to as­sist busi­ness trav­ellers

Micetalk - - Contents - Hazel Jain

United Air­lines com­pletes a decade of its non-stop daily ser­vices from Mum­bai to New York/Newark, which un­der­lines India as an im­por­tant mar­ket for the air­line, es­pe­cially for its Po­laris ser­vice. Phase one is al­ready op­er­a­tional in India

United Air­lines' decade-long jour­ney in India has been a suc­cess­ful one, says Mar­cel Fuchs - VP At­lantic and Pa­cific Sales, United Air­lines, who was in India re­cently to cel­e­brate this mile­stone with the trade part­ners. “The In­dian mar­ket is im­por­tant to United and we are proud to have of­fered non-stop ser­vices. The pop­u­lar­ity of our daily ser­vices from Delhi and Mum­bai to New York/Newark re­flects the de­mand from trav­ellers wish­ing to fly to the US. Only this month we marked 10 years of our Mum­bai-New York/Newark ser­vice,” he adds.

UNITED’S PO­LARIS SEATS

Since De­cem­ber 1, 2016, United Po­laris busi­ness class ser­vice has re­placed United Busi­ness First ser­vice on in­ter­na­tional flights, and United Po­laris first class ser­vice has re­placed the cur­rent United Global First. He high­lights the air­line's Po­laris ser­vice, phase one of which is al­ready op­er­a­tional in India. “The Po­laris which is ex­clu­sive to United of­fers our pas­sen­gers the lux­ury and com­fort of a premium ho­tel while fly­ing. United has re-imag­ined in-flight din­ing ser­vice that of­fers sea­sonal culi­nary prepa­ra­tions, cre­ated in part­ner­ship with

chefs from The Trot­ter Project as well as cus­tom Saks Fifth Av­enue lux­ury bed­ding and ex­clu­sive amenity kits with prod­ucts from Soho House & Co's Cow­shed Spa. This takes lux­ury to a new di­men­sion,” Fuchs says. United cur­rently has plans to retrofit about 90 air­craft with the Po­laris busi­ness class seat over the com­ing years whilst the Boe­ing 777-300 and 787-10 will be de­liv­ered with the Po­laris seat on board. Ex­clu­sive to United, the seats are in­di­vid­ual suite-like pods. They also in­clude fea­tures such as for­ward-fac­ing, all-aisle-ac­cess for ev­ery pas­sen­ger.

LOY­ALTY REAPS RE­WARDS

Fuchs adds, “Our busi­ness cus­tomers will surely love the lux­ury of the United Po­laris ser­vice with its cus­tomised ameni­ties. We are also of­fer­ing the ‘Part­ner Plus Ben­e­fit' pro­gramme which al­lows our busi­ness cus­tomers to earn valu­able Ben­e­fit Points when fly­ing with United Air­lines as well Air Canada, Lufthansa, Brus­sels, Eurow­ings, Aus­trian Air­lines Group, SWISS and ad­di­tional Part­ner air­lines. Cus­tomers can take ad­van­tage of the ex­ten­sive ‘Part­ner Plus Ben­e­fit' bonus pro­gramme in place with a range of awards on of­fer in­clud­ing flights, up­grades, air­port park­ing, and limou­sine trans­fers.”

MO­BILE ‘APP’ROPRIATE

Apart from these ex­clu­sives, United pro­vides WiFi on all in­ter­na­tional air­crafts. United Air­lines has also en­hanced its mo­bile app that al­lows users to man­age their reser­va­tions on-the-go. With the new­est ver­sion of the United app, cus­tomers will be able to change and can­cel flights in the app, add their MileagePlus and United Club cards to the Ap­ple Wal­let and ac­cess other travel tools. These up­dates build on the air­line's re­cent an­nounce­ment to al­low cus­tomers to ac­cess board­ing passes for 19 other car­ri­ers through its mo­bile app.

The air­line has car­ried over three mil­lion cus­tomers on more than 12,700 flights be­tween India and the US over the past decade. “We ex­pect our non-stop India-US flights to con­tinue

United has a mod­ern fleet and is the most fuel-ef­fi­cient among US net­work car­ri­ers

to per­form well. Load fac­tors on our In­dian routes are broadly in line with those for our transAt­lantic routes as a whole – about 75 per cent for Oc­to­ber 2017,” Fuchs re­veals. When asked whether United is plan­ning to add an­other city or ex­pand its cur­rent fre­quen­cies, he says that while United mon­i­tors the de­mand in all the mar­kets it serves and re­views po­ten­tial new-route op­por­tu­ni­ties on an on­go­ing ba­sis, the air­line has no fur­ther new-ser­vice an­nounce­ments to make at present in India.

Fuchs also un­der­lines the role that the travel trade com­mu­nity plays in its India sales. “Our team in India, led by Harvin­der Singh, has long-stand­ing re­la­tion­ships with the com­mu­nity. We con­tinue to en­gage the travel trade com­mu­nity across India. In my re­cent visit to India to cel­e­brate our 10th an­niver­sary for our Mum­bai – New York ser­vice, I met a num­ber of our busi­ness part­ners. It was clear to me that these re­la­tion­ships are vi­tal to us as we build greater suc­cess for United in the mar­ket,” Fuchs adds.

MOD­ERN, FUEL-EF­FI­CIENT FLEET

United has a mod­ern fleet which, Fuchs claims, is the most fuel-ef­fi­cient among US net­work car­ri­ers (when ad­justed for cabin size). The air­line is con­vert­ing 100 air­craft of its cur­rent MAX or­der to Boe­ing 737 MAX 10s, mak­ing it the largest MAX 10 cus­tomer in the world. “We have 161 737-MAX air­craft on or­der. De­liv­er­ies of our 100-MAX 10s will start in late 2020. In ad­di­tion, we have con­firmed or­ders for four ad­di­tional Boe­ing 777-300ERs, three of which will be de­liv­ered and in op­er­a­tion for sum­mer 2018 and the fourth of which will be de­liv­ered in late 2018. In 2017, we have re­ceived four more 777-300ERs, one 787-9 and four 737-800s."

Mar­cel Fuchs

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