You don’t need to be a team captain on University Challenge to know that the aviation sector hasn’t had it easy in recent times, but with crucial input from B2B PR specialists a comprehensive recovery can be set in motion. Far too many people think that the lifting of Covid-related restrictions automatically means that everything is now back to normal, but this isn’t the case at all. While passengers are indeed getting back to the idea of travelling, there are plenty of former consumers who are finding it difficult to return.
There are several reasons for this, and one of the most apparent is the fact that significant numbers of people have simply got out of the habit of going abroad. After a break of a couple of years or so, these individuals have suddenly realised that the whole process of going to an airport, waiting around for the flight then waiting again at the other end to get through security is a little bit, well, tiresome.
It’s easy to see why. Imagine you were going on a much-needed holiday to Crete. You have to arrive at Gatwick two hours before you fly, then you have a four-hour journey, then perhaps half an hour (optimistic, I know) to get past passport control and baggage claim. You’ve been on the move for six and a half hours now and you still haven’t even arrived at your desirable accommodation, featuring hot and cold running water, tea-making facilities and an annoying mosquito that always turns up and starts buzzing at night when you’re trying to sleep.
In that same period of time, you could have driven all the way from Manchester to Penzance for a week or two in Cornwall. Now, clearly I’m not going to claim that Cornwall, lovely as it is, will offer a similar climate to any of the Greek islands. That would be untrue. The point I’m trying to make in a roundabout way is that many will have spent the last two years holidaying in the West Country instead of abroad. Swapping Benidorm for Barnstaple or Torremolinos for Torquay has now become the norm for them. These people will take some persuading before they get back on a plane.
Launch an aviation charm offensive with help from B2B PR
And this could be where B2B PR and B2C PR can come in. Airline companies are constantly looking to become more streamlined and more effective, and through various initiatives they also look to improve the customer experience. If the whole process of flying can become more enjoyable for passengers, there’s a good chance that the staycation brigade will start to think again. In short, the consumer needs to be made to feel as though flying is somehow special again.
It goes without saying that throwing money at the problem will only result in financial difficulties for the aviation sector; giving passengers a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine and a free hug as they board the plane will definitely enhance the customer experience, of course, but it’s simply not workable. If these were given out on the steps of every 737 we’d all start flying more often. What the industry needs is more in the way of practicalities.
Within the aviation sector, there are airport suppliers and product manufacturers looking to become regular clients of airline companies, and making sure their potential buyers are aware of all they can provide is vital. With a cohesive B2B PR strategy in place, these organisations can help the airlines to dramatically improve the services they provide to passengers. Then – and only then – can those stayaway travellers come back to the fold.
Given all that has gone on in the past three years or so, it’s all too apparent that the airline industry is at an important crossroads. Where it goes from here will dictate how well and how complete the recovery process is going to be. This is a good time to remember an inspirational quote from Abraham Lincoln: The best way to predict your future is to create it. Wise words, Abe, wise words indeed.
Founded by Aneela Rose in 2004, Rose Media Group is based in West Sussex. We work for clients within the aviation sector, and we take a keen interest in how the industry is recovering after the pandemic.