China?s airlines call in the ancillary cavalry
Amid clear signs that the Chinese economic dragon is losing much of its fire, the nation’s airlines are turning their thoughts to ways of boosting their ancillary revenues.
Outside China, carriers like Virgin America and Ryanair are mastering the art of ancillary revenue generation, with the latter reporting that 16 per cent of its revenues came from non-ticket sources last year. But China’s major airlines still have their work cut out to achieve single-digit results.
Improving on that performance is the aim of the new China Airline Ancillary Revenue (AAR) Summit. Sponsored by the China Air Transport Association (CATA) and organised by Shanghai-based GIS Events, this conference will be held in Beijing on April 23-24. It is the second venture into air transport by GIS Events, following the successful IFEC Summit in Beijing last June.
Airlines expected to attend with top-management speakers include Air China, Air Macau, Cathay Pacific, China Eastern, China Southern, Hainan Airlines, Shanghai-based Juneyao Airlines and low-fare operator Spring Airlines. Contributing an outside perspective will be Air Asia, which has a well developed ancillary programme, and Philippine Airlines.
The supplier line-up includes Sabre Travel Group (talking about “attribute-based” shopping), Guestlogix (onboard retail), Chinese online travel service CTRIP (exploiting the ticker sales process), Cartrawler (car rentals), Group Aeroplan (loyalty schemes), Points.com (online exchange of loyalty points), Ezrez Software (addition of ancillary revenue functions to airline Websites) and Iseatz (loyalty programme differentiation).