Hahn Air op­ti­mistic about 2018

In­dia fea­tures among the top five mar­kets for Hahn Air. Kim­berly Long, Vice Pres­i­dent, Sales & Agency Dis­tri­bu­tion, Hahn Air, tells TRAVTALK what makes In­dia an in­cred­i­ble mar­ket and their plans to grow it fur­ther.

TravTalk - India - - MOVEMENTS - NISHA VERMA

Q How does Hahn Air per­ceive the In­dian mar­ket ?

We have a strong pres­ence in In­dia and we have es­tab­lished Hahn Air as the lead­ing tick­et­ing spe­cial­ist in the mar­ket. How­ever, we still see that there is great po­ten­tial here.

We have 10 peo­ple work­ing in In­dia for Hahn Air and it’s our largest lo­ca­tion out­side our head of­fice in Ger­many. We have four Ser­vice Desks glob­ally, in­clud­ing one lo­cated in In­dia with its own ded­i­cated toll­free num­ber. Cur­rently, we have 343 air­lines which can be sold in this mar­ket, while Hahn Air of­fi­cially works with over 350 air, rail and shut­tle part­ners glob­ally.

Q Why are the rest of the air­lines not avail­able for In­dian agents?

Usu­ally, it is the air­lines that tell us if we can sell their flights in a mar­ket. It’s their de­ci­sion and, if they feel that Hahn Air con­trib­utes to their in­cre­men­tal rev­enue, they al­low us to sell their ser­vices.

What is also in­vig­o­rat­ing for the In­dian mar­ket is that in 2017 we ex­pe­ri­enced un­prece­dented growth with many new air­lines join­ing our port­fo­lio. There have been many changes in the In­dian mar­ket last year, in­clud­ing de­mon­eti­sa­tion and GST. How­ever, de­spite these changes, it’s im­por­tant to note that air­lines are not see­ing them as hin­drances.

Q Have you signed any other air­line in In­dia af­ter SpiceJet?

Dis­cus­sions like that take a lot of time to ma­te­ri­alise. SpiceJet is our lat­est In­dian part­ner. When an air­line like SpiceJet joins Hahn Air’s H1-Air net­work, we help them ex­pand their busi­ness by en­abling GDS con­nec­tiv­ity. The air­line must let us know in which GDSs they want to be rep­re­sented. While they might want to work with us in cer­tain mar­kets and GDSs, they might want to do busi­ness on their own in oth­ers. In SpiceJet’s case, the part­ner­ship with Hahn Air has helped the air­line be­come es­tab­lished and pro­vided it with a greater vis­i­bil­ity for in­ter­na­tional pas­sen­gers.

Q How have you seen the In­dian mar­ket grow from what it was ear­lier?

I joined the com­pany three and a half years ago. And at the time, we had one per­son in Mum­bai and two in Delhi. In my first year, we saw con­tin­u­ous growth, and that hasn’t stopped since. One of the is­sues that Hahn Air faces is that not ev­ery­one knows us, as we don’t have a name like other legacy car­ri­ers. Thus, we need to teach peo­ple and we need to be given the op­por­tu­nity to train travel agen­cies, so that our rep­u­ta­tion and trust is es­tab­lished. While we are well rep­re­sented in North­ern and West­ern In­dia we re­alised we needed to do more in the South. Hence, two years ago, we started op­er­a­tions in Ben­galuru as well. We have seen lots of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment from Chennai and Ben­galuru as a re­sult. This has re­ally helped us.

Q How dif­fer­ent is it work­ing with air­lines, rails and bus ser­vices?

We have more ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing with air­lines, so we can im­ple­ment them quicker. When we talk about rail ser­vice providers, those are more com­pli­cated. They are not setup the same way as air­lines in GDSs. Nev­er­the­less, we are still de­vel­op­ing this area of our busi­ness and look for­ward to bring­ing more rail part­ners on board. The ferry busi­ness is also some­thing that we are look­ing into in­creas­ingly be­cause we have seen that in cer­tain parts of the world, this trans­porta­tion is a pre­ferred al­ter­na­tive and we want to en­sure our cus­tomers have that tick­et­ing choice.

Q What would be your strat­egy of growth in In­dia now?

We have peo­ple and sup­port teams to as­sist travel agen­cies when­ever they have ques­tions. If agents see the codes HR, H1 or 5W in their GDSs and don’t un­der­stand what they are, they can al­ways call us. We even have a new in­ter­ac­tive web­site to han­dle queries and ad­dress train­ing

We have peo­ple and sup­port teams to as­sist travel agen­cies when­ever they have ques­tions. If agents see the codes HR, H1 or 5W in their GDSs and don’t un­der­stand what they are, they can al­ways call us. We even have a new in­ter­ac­tive web­site to han­dle queries and ad­dress train­ing re­quests. Kim­berly Long Vice Pres­i­dent, Sales & Agency Dis­tri­bu­tion Hahn Air

re­quests. When there is trust in the mar­ket, peo­ple will au­to­mat­i­cally choose us be­cause they un­der­stand our prod­uct and know it is good. There are other ad­van­tages of work­ing with us too. For ex­am­ple, we have Se­cur­tix ®, which is the in­sol­vency in­sur­ance in case any of our part­ners hap­pen to go out of busi­ness. It’s some­thing that we have in­vested in and it’s a part of our strat­egy to en­sure travel agen­cies feel more com­fort­able is­su­ing our part­ners on Hahn Air’s ticket stock.

Q What are your ex­pec­ta­tions this year?

We are very op­ti­mistic about 2018 and we hope it will be a very good year for all our part­ners in In­dia. We will def­i­nitely con­tinue to sup­port our agents to en­sure strong rev­enue growth in 2018. Keep­ing the travel agents in mind, we have kicked off the year by in­creas­ing our net­work from 300 to 350 air, rail and shut­tle part­ners which can be is­sued on our HR169 doc­u­ment.

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