AviationBringing back the sexy in flying.

Air travel needs a makeover

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Trying to bring back the joy in flying.
Trying to bring back the joy in flying. Photo Credit: Manuel-F-O/GettyImages

Customer experience has taken the rear seat when running an airline. “When it comes to a customer, airlines have been pretty bad. The customer is way down the list after safety and operational excellence,” Timothy O’Neil-Dunne, co-founder of Air Black Box, said at WIT Japan & North Asia 2018.

Air travel is in desperate need of a makeover.

Customer experience has taken the rear seat when running an airline. “When it comes to a customer, airlines have been pretty bad. The customer is way down the list after safety and operational excellence,” Timothy O’Neil-Dunne, co-founder of Air Black Box, said at WIT Japan & North Asia 2018.

“It’s not a bus, travel is still sexy… but we’ve made it really complicated and difficult to appreciate. Our view is ‘let’s bring travel back to something that is quite pleasant,’” he added.

O’Neil-Dunne joined Miami-based specialty finance investment firm 777 Ventures to run its two new airline businesses. 777 Ventures associate Adam Weiss, who brought O’Neil-Dunne and his startup, Air Black Box, into the venture, wants to put both digital and customer at the heart of the airline experience.

It acquired Flair Air, a struggling low-cost airline in Canada, and World Airways with the intention of launching it as the first US low-cost long-haul airline. 

Weiss believes there is now an emergence of private equity stakeholders excited at the growth potential of an LCC market.

Explaining the acquisition of Flair Air, he pointed out that with a population of 36 million, 20 million Canadians have not flown on a Canadian airline because air fares are three times those in the US. With affordable fares, Flair could encourage more Canadians to fly.

World Airways’ plans to fly to Asia are as yet undecided, but O’Neil-Dunne said there were lots of lessons to be learnt from Asia given the rapid emergence of low cost long-haul models in the region. 

They are watching carriers based in Asia very carefully with news that a new Seoul-based low cost long-haul carrier, Premia Air, is planned and Japan Airlines has also announced plans to launch a subsidiary by 2020.

These carriers could well stoke the appetites of Americans who want to fly trans-Pacific but haven’t had access to low cost fares and World Airways could have the home-based advantage.

Source:Web in Travel

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