Passengers who fly with airlines based in the Middle East are already willing to purchase travel on the Internet, according to a survey undertaken by IBM on behalf of a group of Arab airlines.
Over 40 percent of passengers surveyed on flights with Middle East carriers said that they were prepared to use the Web to buy travel. The majority stated that they had already purchased or researched travel online, and nearly 80 percent have online access, either at home, at work or both.
IBM surveyed 2,400 passengers as part of a wide-ranging e-business strategy consulting assignment for a group of airlines under the auspices of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation.
“The IBM report shows that adopting e-business through a managed change programme will create benefits for Arab airlines and their customers, including cost savings, productivity improvements, shorter decision times and deeper customer relationships,” says Abdul Wahab Teffaha, Secretary General of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation.
Recommended steps towards maximising these benefits are:
á Achieving the momentum to change business processes and practices to fit with the electronic world.
á Build the infrastructure necessary for growth in business to consumer e-commerce, including electronic ticketing, Web sites, improved call centres and self-service kiosks.
á Ensure that the Arab airlines are represented on the major global travel portals and on the fast-growing Arab regional portals
á Adopt a thorough, phased approach to providing e-business capability to all employees, with a strong focus on helping employees to adjust to e-working.
á Create a strategy for embracing business-to-business e-commerce, focusing on strategic sourcing, e-procurement and the accompanying process redesigns.