Airlines focus at route expansion to up market share
Posted Monday, July 23 2012 at 01:00
With an increase in competition airlines are on the look out for new passengers and retaining old ones.
To retain and increase their market share as well as outpacing competition, airlines have moved towards expanding routes in addition to offering subsidized flight fares. FastJet early this month announced a plan to use its Airbus A319 to launch its low-cost operations in Africa, with a travel ticket going for as low as $20 (about Shs50,000).
Kenya Airways too is reportedly planning to launch low-cost carriers in the East African region.
However, others airlines including Emirates are expanding their route network as part of a wider plan to up market share as well as entering new markets.
In a period of about seven months Emirates has expended its route network by 12 in new areas including Perth – Australia, Lyon – France and Poland.
Mr Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the chief executive officer of the Emirates Group, said in a statement that the new routes will ease global trade and travel as well as linking the world to some of the world’s busiest business centres. He said: “The new additions are a demonstration of our commitment to boost growth and link global businesses.”
Kenya Airways has in the last two years embarked on a massive expansion plan boosting its global routes’ network especially in East Africa and Africa. Apart from expanding its routes’ network, the airline has also boosted its fleet numbers with a plan to acquire 16 Embraer jets from Brazil.
Emirates with a current fleet of 176, recently launched nine new destinations including Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Dublin, Lusaka, Harare, Dallas, Seattle and Ho Chi Minh. Lisbon, Erbil and Washington are some of the new destinations that the airline plans to launch.
For this, Airlines plying the East African market will need to prepare for harder times lest they lose their market share to new competition.