Mike Barrera Mike Barrera

LCCs urged to have retail mindset

Low cost carriers need to differentiate themselves to remain relevant to travellers, delegates at the recent Aviation Festival Asia in Singapore heard recently.

Mike Barrera, vice-president product management, low cost carrier segment with Sabre, says it is no longer enough to simply offer the lowest base-rate fare to attract passengers.

‘The LCC market is going to be the fastest growing in the next five years. The high number of new LCCs that are entering the market are dramatically changing the environment,’ says Barrera.

‘They need to have the mindset and the technological support to act like an online retailer, to offer passengers what they need when they need it.’

Barrera says traveller expectations are higher than ever as consumers have come to expect personalisation from all their retail interactions. But despite challenges, there are significant opportunities for those who are prepared to capture them.

‘Many consumers would prefer to book their whole combined trip with one vendor if they are able to, representing a major opportunity for airlines with a retail mindset.’

He says Sabre and its company Radixx have taken the opportunity during the pandemic to accelerate their technological transformation. LCCs now also need to take the time to look at their own business models and the technological support they need for success, Barrera adds.