Malaysian Airlines just announced today that they are going to cut back on routes and instigate a hiring freeze for the time being. There are probably some other things that they are doing to save money. I don’t know if there are going to be dramatic reprocussions with the passangers, but I think that they will probably take a hit soon. (Yet to be seen if they are going to pull an American [Airlines] or not.)
I wonder if there is a way for airlines right now to take advantage of the situation with the gas prices rising? I wonder if an airline could stick it to the gas prices and to some extent “look the other way” and start increasing service and training their staff better and improving in all the areas where the customers are going to see a marked difference? What would happen? It would be a bold move and the airline would have to possibly jeopordize their budgets even more (but aren’t they having to do that already?), but I’m pretty sure that you could win over some competing airlines customers and increase your market share while every one else in down.
It would take a lot of guts to do this. And a lot of money….but maybe not as much as we’d think. Willie Walsh at BA decided not to take his bonus check this year (which was estimated to be around 1 million pounds), so I think if some of the CEOs out there would cut back on what’s going in their pocket right now, then they’d have even more money down the road will all the growth and customer loyality that they had won during this time.
I think it could work. Roll out the best customer service possible right now. Be innovative in how you do it in order to “buy” customers on the cheap and reap the rewards later. Just a thought.