Kelvin Osa Okunbor
FOR the air transport industry to gain its full potential by 2025, operators including airport authorities and airlines must review their business models to focus on competition, safety and customer service.
The Director-General, Consumer Protection Council (CPC), Mr. Babatunde Irukera, who made this known in Lagos, over the weekend, said global dynamics in the air transport value chain now revolves around improved customer experience.
He said improved customer relations, promotion of safety and cost management have become the new thinking by businesses that are targeting growth for 2025, warning that those who are not thinking along such lines are likely to be left behind.
According to Irukera, air travel is becoming increasingly dynamic because investors and players in the value chain are latching on improved service delivery to step up safety both for passengers on board and on the ground.
To optimise the growth of air travel business, the CPC boss said airline and airport operators must adopt new business models that put customers’ needs first.
Besides changing the business models, Irukera said technology in the form of electronic commerce is also changing the operational landscape.
His words: “The airport experience must change in a manner that the airport is now seen as a comfort zone rather than a travel port.
“Commercial managers are focusing more on how to optimise opportunities at airports as opposed to the responsibilities of security and immigration officials put together.
“For countries that want to tap into opportunities in the aviation sector, operators and investors must look at how to create more shops and offices around the airport and retail businesses, which have more opportunities in excess of what aviation fees could offer.”
Irukera also said regulators and governments must strive to make airports places of attraction for passengers, where there are minimal flight delays and other distortions.
He said airport authorities must improve on the airport premium class seating experience to make the terminals more welcoming to improve trade and stimulate business.
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