India is set to become one of the largest markets when it comes to corporate travel. Jet Airways has catered to the corporate segment for over two decades. Gilbert George, Head, India Sales, Jet Airways speaks about the evolving corporate segment.
How would you explain the current status of corporate travel market in India? What is the growth prospect?
India is the world’s 9th largest business travel market witnessing double digit growth (12%-15%) over the past few years, fuelled by a healthy business climate on the back of robust economic activity. As per reports, Business travel is expected to continue growing at a CAGR of 12% through 2020 and if this trend continues, India could well become one of the top 3 business travel markets, after China and the US, in the next decade.
What sort of inefficiencies you see in corporate travel management today in terms of compliance, approvals, etc.?
An increasing proportion of organisations today have well-defined and structured travel policies. However, potential for inefficiencies exists whenever the lowest logical fare becomes the guiding mantra, ignoring or outweighing the concept and advantages of overall value. At such times, higher actual costs may end up promoting inefficiencies.
Do you think the corporates are using the mandated tools for booking? If yes what is the percentage? And how can as a vendor / Support system you can add value to this for increasing the adaption rate?
The concept of a centralised travel desk is followed in/by most large format organisations. Self-booking tools are also becoming increasingly popular with an increasing number of them. Compared to international bookings, which could involve complex itineraries comprising codeshares/ interline, the adoption rate for domestic bookings is significantly higher (70% +) for organizations that have the booking platform.
Corporate guests comprise nearly half of Jet Airways’ traffic. As a long-standing partner to most leading organisations for over two decades, Jet Airways understands their travel requirements. Over the years, the airline has adopted a host of measures such as using a simplified platform, crafting easy to understand policies and commercials, as well as the role and importance of value-added benefits such as meals, preferential seating, baggage, frequent flier mileage and itinerary changes etc., to encourage and enhance adoption by end users, in line with their internal policies.
How important is it for Corporate to have strict Compliance Policies? Do these policies support your relationship in the corporate or create showstoppers for your marketing efforts?
If a carrier is a Preferred Partner, compliance ensures that the partnership is indeed win-win for both sides, implying robust business for the airline and unique benefits for guests.
However, customers sometimes draw up contracts with multiple airlines that dilute the strength of the partnership for tactical, short term gains. Such developments have the potential to dilute the benefits offered by a full service carrier. The term lowest logical is often misconstrued and tends to be interpreted as the lowest fare- logical or not.
How important is Duty of care in your view? Are your systems and policies in sync with that of corporate to support them in achieving high level of commitment to Duty of care?
Duty of care is of prime importance. As an IATA carrier, hosted on the GDS and having mature policies, we have been committed to our clients for over two decades in helping them achieve their commitment to Duty of care
Do you think time has come to use digitization and AI to support day today repetitive activities for better support and deliverable to corporate segment? Are they any initiatives you are taking towards this?
Jet Airways has been a pioneer in embracing technology and leveraging it to deliver superior and differentiated experiences to its guests. Over the last 25 years, the airline has introduced several industry and guest first initiatives including Web check-in, Mobile check-in, a fully functional mobile app, as well as a booking engine where corporate clients can manage bookings, ticketed even through brick and mortar agents. Global linker - a platform for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) acts as a ‘linked-in for business’. The airline has the biggest social media following in the Indian aviation sectors using its proprietary channels for Customer engagement, for eg, #Jetinstant - a twitter-based platform, facilitates seamless check-in and manages basic flight enquiries. Jet Screen is a Jet exclusive in-flight entertainment experience allowing guests to stream over 330 hours of content on their personal devices, when travelling in its narrow bodied aircraft across the domestic network.
How and where do you think predictive analytics help?
Predictive analytics helps in forecasting future trends, flight loads, seasonal and directional imbalances, industry vertical growth, buying behaviour, efficacy of loyalty programs, channel and segment growth, growth markets.