Nigeria’s flag carrier airline, Medview, last week commenced flight services to Dubai, United Arab Emirates in what is likely to be a strong challenge to Emirates Airlines on the lucrative Lagos-Dubai route.
For ‘daring’ to throw its hat into the ring, it appears the airline has studied factors that made two other Nigerian carriers, Virgin Nigeria and Arik Air, to fail on the route.
The two Nigerian carriers never lasted one year on the route before they ran out of it. They cited strong aero-political manoeuvrings by United Arab Emirates (UAE) to edge them out of the route.
There is no doubt that so many spanners would be thrown on the wheels of Medview to frustrate it, but the doggedness of the management of the airline to withstand similar frustration on London route would greatly assist it to weather the storm.
Once they are able to survive the first one year, many see it as further consolidating on the route that was developed by the defunct Nigeria Airways.
The inaugural flight of the airline was very impressive with about 85 per cent load factor. That shows that the carrier had done its due diligence and would avoid the pitfall of carriers before it.
The return flight was also very impressive. The in-flight service was also good; far better than the first leg.
The airline is equally luring passengers with free return tickets after five purchases. It is an incentive that could be the game changer and give more established Emirates a run for its money.
Aside that, the carrier is also courting the expertise of travel operators to help develop packages for tourists who wish to travel to Dubai for vacations and business meetings.
The entrance of the carrier could also engender low fares which are expected to be beneficial to passengers. Investigation shows that fares are as low as N250, 000 for economy class while business classes too are said to be pocket friendly.
The airline industry is highly competitive and capital-intensive. Because of its capital-intensive nature, fixed costs and barriers to exit are high. Competition in the airline industry is intense as barriers to entry are low due to liberalization of market access.
All that said, the airline needs to maintain a very high competitive edge through customer service. The only remaining opportunity to set the company apart is through extraordinary customer service.
Travelers can be fiercely loyal to their preferred brands, gladly paying a little more to be assured of a hassle-free flight.
The nearly universal use of social media has changed consumer expectations forever when it comes to how issues are resolved.
Today’s travellers expect to reach agents at any time of day or night, and they want the entire process handled through their preferred communication method.