Despite many regions of the world facing economic uncertainty at present, economists predict that the Asia Pacific (Apac) region is on track for strong growth in the near to mid term future. Growth of an average 3.9% is expected for at least 20 years. This will take the Apac share of global GDP from around 33% to over 40% during that two decade period.
Naturally this means that the aviation market will also be developing at least as fast as the wider economy, especially in India, China, and SouthEast Asia. In July 2017 the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) reported that 1,214 million passengers were carried in the region – Apac accounts for a third of all air passenger traffic globally.
In fact the AAPA predicts growth in Apac air traffic of 5.7% annually for at least 20 years meaning that in two decades Apac will account for over 40% of all passenger traffic. This demand will lead to around 35,000 new orders for aircraft before 2036. IATA also predicts that, by 2024, China will overtake US to become the largest air passenger market; by 2035, the total passenger will reach 1.3B person timers.
It is clear that growth is strong in Apac aviation and the airlines are responding to customer demands by supporting them across all their preferred channels. For example, in China the online airline booking rates are even higher than in Germany. Research by PwC found that over 70% of Chinese airline customers use their social networks to share details of their travel experience.
KLM has been using WeChat to interact with customers in China for over a year now and this allows the airline to integrate text communication directly into their CRM system, so they know more about the customer and can serve them better in future.
One interesting change in airline customer behaviour recently is their attitude towards loyalty programmes. Many customers are now more interested in better service and a wider rewards programme, rather than just points that earn free flights. Airlines need to think of the complete customer experience if they want to encourage loyalty.
With our experience of working on customer experience strategy in 74 different countries and with several major airlines, Teleperformance is well placed to advise your business on changing customer expectations. According to our latest CX Lab White paper, Overall 54% of airline customers interact using voice and it is the most preferred channel across all generations.
Let me know what you think about the airline customer service implications of such strong growth in Apac by leaving a comment here or feel free to download the latest CX lab White paper.