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Passengers’ Preferences in Choosing a Carrier for Flights to Eastern and Central Europe

  • ID: 42782
  • Report
  • January 2004
  • Region: Central Europe, Europe
  • 30 pages
  • Global Advertising Strategies
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This multifaceted study will determine the shifts in the US and global airline market share, analyze passenger preferences and satisfaction, and map the current destinations and transit points. We surveyed 3 groups of US residents: Russian-Americans, Hungarian-Americans and representatives of the general American urban market in order to examine their behavior trends pertaining to travel to Eastern and Central Europe (ECE). ECE has become a region of interest for many airlines, as they search for new niches in these disastrous times for the airline industry.

Answers to the following questions are revealed:

-During what season do different consumer groups fly to Eastern/Central Europe and to which destinations?

-Which group flies most often?

-What is the purpose for the flights?

What airline would each group be most likely/less likely to choose for flights to Eastern/Central Europe and why?

What features play the most important role in choosing the airline for European destinations?

How passengers rate different airlines based on such features as Price, In-Flight Service, Connectivity, etc.?

What are the sources of information that influence customer decision in choosing the airline for Eastern and Central European destinations?

Will passengers plan to fly more or less in 2004 compared to 2003
The study uncovers experiences, needs and concerns of various groups of the US population regarding airline services?

Despite the increased interest of US-based and major European carriers in ECE, their slow-to-respond behavior allows smaller Eastern and Central European airlines to gain a leading position in transatlantic routes to Eastern Europe. Our research showed that American consumers of Eastern and Central European origin most often use their native airlines to fly to ECE destinations. Moreover, US mainstream market consumers also turn to Aeroflot, Malev and LOT for flights to ECE, often disregarding Delta, American Airlines and other domestic brands.

Even though Delta is the most often used airline for flights to ECE (34%), Aeroflot is not far behind (26%), followed by other foreign carriers, such as El Al, British Airways, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Finnair.

When asked what carrier they would most likely choose if all airlines offered convenient flights to ECE at the same price, 25% named Delta, 22 % British Airways, 20% American Airlines, and only 18% Aeroflot. These data clearly show that those who fly with Aeroflot do so because of the lack of choice, and not because they are satisfied with Aeroflot. In fact, as many as 22% stated that they would never choose Aeroflot, if all carriers offered the same service to ECE.

The percentage of consumers using ECE airlines is dramatically higher among ethnic American groups of Eastern and Central European origin. As many as 98% of Hungarians used Malev in the past for flights to ECE, leaving Delta and American Airlines far behind (11% and 12% respectively). Russians seem to be less conservative when it comes to choosing a carrier – only 35% used Russia-based Aeroflot, followed by Lufthansa (33%). Nevertheless, when asked what carrier they would be most likely to choose for travel to ECE, with all things being equal, 33% named Lufthansa, 23% British Airways, and 21% Delta. As many as 22% claimed that they would never fly with Aeroflot. Apparently, Russians have a very high opinion of these major European and American brands – too bad those airlines do not leverage this advantage by providing extensive service to the most popular destinations of Russian-Americans. Hungarians, on the other hand, seem to be loyal to their former homeland’s carrier Malev – 72% still named it as the airline of choice for ECE destinations. Austrian Airlines, however, appears to be a strong competitor for Malev in this market – it is the next most recognizable brand and the next most popular carrier among Hungarians.

The survey also assessed airline brand recognition and brand perception by the three groups, and reveals opportunities and threats in marketing airline services to these groups.

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-INTRODUCTION
Airline Industry as of Today
EEA Market, Demographics
Methodology

-US GENERAL MARKET
Summary of findings
Frequency of air travel to ECE
Season preferences
Reasons for flying to ECE
Class of flights
Prime ECE destinations of Americans
Airline brand awareness
Airlines used for flights to ECE
The most favorable carriers for flights to ECE
The least favorable carriers for flights to ECE
The reasons for rejection of airlines for flights to ECE
Factors that play significant role in choosing an airline for travel to ECE
Preferences in ways of purchasing airline tickets
Preferences in using frequent flyer miles for purchasing tickets to ECE
Sources of information that play significant role in choosing an airline for travel to ECE
Language preferences of passengers traveling to ECE
Traveling activity in 2004

-HUNGARIAN-AMERICAN MARKET
Summary of findings
Frequency of air travel to ECE
Season preferences
Reasons for flying to ECE
Class of flights
Prime ECE destinations of Hungarian-Americans
Airline brand awareness
Airlines used for flights to ECE
The most favorable airlines for flights to ECE
The least favorable brands for flights to ECE
The reasons for rejection of airlines for flights to ECE
Factors that play significant role in choosing airline for travel to ECE
Preferences in ways of purchasing airline tickets
Preferences in using frequent flyer miles for purchasing tickets to ECE
Sources of information that play significant role in choosing airline for travel to ECE
Language preferences of passengers traveling to ECE
Traveling activity in 2004

-RUSSIAN-AMERICAN MARKET
Summary of findings
Frequency of air travel to ECE
Season preferences
Reasons for flying to ECE
Class of flights
Prime ECE destinations of Russian -Americans
Airline brand awareness
Airlines used for flights to ECE
The most favorable airlines for flights to ECE
The least favorable brands for flights to ECE
The reasons for rejection of airlines for flights to ECE
Factors that play significant role in choosing airline for travel to ECE
Preferences in ways of purchasing airline tickets
Preferences in using frequent flyer miles for purchasing tickets to ECE
Sources of information that play significant role in choosing airline for travel to ECE
Language preferences of passengers traveling to ECE
Traveling activity to in 2004

-APPENDIX

-SAMPLE QUESTIONNAIRE
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