The Malta Independent 7 May 2021, Friday

Air Malta aims to take the fight to low-cost airlines while retaining value

Jacob Borg Friday, 7 August 2015, 10:08 Last update: about 7 years ago

Air Malta is aiming to take the fight to low-cost airlines by offering cheaper fares without compromising on the quality of the service offered.

It will soon be launching a three-tier fare option in economy class, with the entry level ‘Simply Fly’ fare including a 20kg baggage allowance and a light snack.

Ursula Silling – Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer, recognises that customers are increasingly price sensitive and have embraced digital technology, which makes fares offered by airlines more transparent.

The aim, she says, is for Air Malta to influence the market rather than simply respond to low-cost carriers.

 “We have realised that many of our customers travel for leisure, whether they are leaving from Malta or coming to Malta, and 92 per cent of our customers travel with checked-in luggage. We decided that instead of following other airlines’ models, we will do what is right for Air Malta and include a free piece of checked-in luggage even for our entry-level product.” Air Malta, she explained, will also offer a further three fare options in club class.

She said Air Malta aims to compete with low-cost airlines by understanding what customers really need and adding more value and flexibility, at a lower cost.

“Customers know that if they travel with Air Malta they can do so with peace of mind, they know what they are paying for and there will be no hidden costs.”

The other two economy class packages allow customers to add further ancillary services such as seat selection, child discounts, booking flexibility and other choices.

Air Malta’s Head of Corporate Communication Stephen Gauchi explained the tier structure in economy and club class give customers a much wider choice.

“Basically these three tiers in economy class and three tiers in club class will specifically have benefits tied to different fares. If for example you want more flexibility in your travels you simply choose the next tier up, which offers you more facilities such as choosing your seat or allowing you to change your flight date should the need arise for a reduced fee.

“Right now the choice is almost non-existent, you simply choose between economy and club class,” Mr Gauchi said.

The online and mobile check-in facilities have been improved, in order to ensure that all customers are offered a superior service.

A complete revamp of the fare structure has taken place.

The differences between the fares offered for the same fight will be much narrower, and the new fare structure will ensure greater competitiveness  with better lead-in fares, Ms Silling said.

Despite promising to offer lower fares, Air Malta will still be retaining its one-off promotions offering discounts on multiple flights.

Antoine Vella, Air Malta’s Manager for Direct Sales, encourages customers to subscribe to Air Malta’s newsletter in order for them to be the first to know about new promotions.

All the upcoming changes to Air Malta’s products have been driven by customer feedback, he says.

They promise that Air Malta will not resort to the sort of upselling techniques characterised by their low-cost rivals.

“We are not going to take customers for a ride. This is why we have retained the checked-in luggage for all fares. Of course we want to generate additional revenue, but this has to tie in with the customer experience. We want to offer customers both lower fares and peace of mind,” Ms Silling said.

The new fare structures will be officially launched by Air Malta in the coming days.

 

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