Home' Asian Aviation : AAV June 2010 Contents AsianAviation | JUNE 2010 21
seriously. But our research con rms that there is now,
and will continue to be, an appetite for premium travel
among both domestic and international travellers."
He does not, however, anticipate any return to the
1960s-style model of premium dominance. "Modern
premium flying is going through an important
evolution. Or rather, we believe it should go through
an evolution to maximise its position in a more
sophisticated and segmented marketplace," he said.
Joyce said Qantas aims to become the world's rst
'next-generation' premium carrier, by re-engineering
how its products and ser vices are delivered, "even in
"While I expect this to be a game-shi in the airline
sector and for Qantas, it is not an untested concept,"
he said, pointing out that similar strategies have been
adopted in other sectors.
Joyce takes the examples of the Ti any jewellery
brand and Mercedes cars. Both have shown "that
it is possible to create value based on their core
brand strengths, by going beyond mere incremental
improvements in the way they deliver their products
and ser vices to customers".
Reaching new customers
Mercedes has moved from two core car ranges to
multiple platforms that ser ve customers the company
had never sought to ser ve before. Simultaneously, the
company has slashed the cost of delivery and improved
For its part, Tiffany's, which has long been a
prestige brand associated with consistent quality and
excellence, has diversi ed its product ranges to cover
a variety of price points, expanding the company's
customer base without compromising its core values.
" e [Mercedes] three-point star and [Ti any's]
duck-egg blue box remain powerful symbols of
aspiration," Joyce said.
Joyce also cites Apple as an example of a company
that has reached out to niche market segments with
high-quality, elegantly simple products, while still
nurturing the strong values that de ne its brand.
"Apple fans are happy to pay a premium for the
product -- I'm one of them," Joyce said. "To ensure
Qantas retains its iconic status, global reputation and
commercial strength, we must continue in the great
tradition of our company... and keep on innovating."
e rst initiative the airline is undertaking to
achieve this goal is called 'Airports of the Future'.
"Our research with our domestic customers has told
us that airport check-in today is nothing less than 'a
point of pain'," the Qantas chief said. "Check-in takes
too long. It causes too much stress. Our customers
know what they want: speed and ease. "
The airline is approaching this problem by
developing a 'next-generation check-in' system.
All Qantas Frequent Flyers -- from Silver through
to Chairman's Lounge membership categories -- and
all Qantas Club members receive their own personal
boarding pass, with an associated permanent baggage
tag embedded with an intelligent chip.
"You'll be able to speed through check-in, simply
swiping your card on the reader, and head to a
radically simpli ed baggage drop or straight through
a smoother security process to your lounge," Joyce said.
Instead of dealing with stickers and weigh-ins at
check-in desks, passengers will just scan their personal
boarding pass and drop their bag with its permanent
bag tag on a conveyor belt. While the process will be
vastly simpli ed for the passenger, the technolog y
ensures the full range of security checks remain solidly
Bronze Frequent Flyers and non-frequent yers will
also see signi cant upgrades to check-in arrangements,
with hosted kiosks and rapid bag drops.
e programme also addresses security bottlenecks.
"We all know security is vital and none of us will
tolerate any compromise here," Joyce said. "So as part
of the project we are developing new technologies
and associated processes to speed up the security
process without compromising our rigorous security
e personal boarding pass will be a guarantor of
recognition, ease and speed throughout the airport
processes. e airline is also planning to extend that
ease into the aircra cabin. It has begun to o er
domestic advance seat selection along with pre-selected
special meals or extra luggage-allowance purchases.
e next "point of pain" being addressed is baggage
pick-up at the passengers' destination.
"We are working on a separate project to
improve that process too, cutting the time-lag from
disembarkation to baggage pick up and speeding you
on your way faster than ever," Joyce said.
e project "is genuinely a big challenge, and
especially the permanent bag tag component, because
it is an absolute world rst," Joyce said. "We are
pushing the boundaries here and we will obviously
be working in close concert with various regulatory
and other authorities and partners in the aviation
industry. But we are not afraid to step into the future
and I've asked our people to work to an ambitious
Trials of the concept were scheduled to begin in
mid-year in Perth, with Sydney to be added by the
end of 2010 and Melbourne in early 2011. e
programme will then be extended to other Qantas
CityFlyer destination airports through next year.
"Our plan is to halve check-in time. Or better," Joyce
e airline CEO insists that Qantas will never
be "Jetstar-ised" as has been suggested by some
"Qantas is our iconic, premium airline brand," he
said. "It has enduring value. Far from downgrading
out commitment to the premium status of Qantas,
we are reinforcing it."
While the airline has cut capacity during the
downturn, the core network commitment remains
and stands ready for expansion as demand requires.
"But we equally know that the next generation
premium airline cannot win if it operates in the same
way as many of the lum bering legacy businesses of
the past (and some in the present)," said Joyce. "We
must be nimble and creative."
"We see opportunities in everything from our
information technolog y processes to aircraft
configuration to fuel conser vation; from fleet
simpli cation to supply chain management," he
continues. " e evolution of Qantas as a premium
brand will involve more initiatives like this - where
we re-design processes and operations to meet the
evolving preferences of our customers." ●
The Jetstar low-cost brand has helped the Qantas Group
sustain profitability as its competitors bled red ink.
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