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  • Tuesday, June 18, 2024
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Air Peace’s path to success: Strategies for dominance on the Lagos-London route

(Faced with price wars, frontal attacks, and guerrilla marketing.)

By Moses Mogbolu

In the fiercely competitive market of international air travel, Air Peace’s recent market penetration into the Lagos-London route signifies a bold step towards reshaping customer expectations and industry standards. The unveiling of competitive fare offerings has already garnered significant patronage, prompting a reduction in prices by major carriers. However, the journey towards sustained market share and profitability requires a strategic approach that learns from successful precedents, such as Globacom’s impactful entry into the Nigerian telecommunications landscape.

Air Peace market penetration into the Lagos-London route on March 30, 2024, with the unveiling of N1.2 million, N1.4 million, and N4 million fare offerings for its round trip on the economy, business, and first-class cabins, received great customer’ patronage. Before now, major carriers, including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Lufthansa German Airlines, and others, were charging as much as N3 million for economy seats. Air Peace market entry into the Lagos-London route forced most of the foreign carriers to reduce their fares to as low as N841,732.

Read also: Gatwick airport asks passengers to fly Air Peace to Lagos

YES! Competition monitoring and counter-offering are part of marketing. In the marketplace, any new offering that wins customer patronage will surely be witnessed by competitors’ reactions. What strategy should Air Peace adopt to strive, gain more market share, and increase sales and profitability? Let’s look at the Globacom case study.

Globacom’s market penetration strategy in the Nigerian telecommunications landscape in 2003 with the introduction of Glo per-second billing (PSB) was a groundbreaking innovation at the time. At that time, MTN and Econet (now Airtel) had been in operation for over 2 years, and they told Nigerians that per-second billing was impossible, but Globacom entered the market with the impossibility, which forced MTN and Econet to adopt per-second billing too to keep their customers based.

Globacom immediately went further to crash the SIM card acquisition costs that were ranging from N20,000 to N25,000 to N100, eventually offering them for free. Additionally, Globacom connected with Nigerians with the tagline “Glo with Pride.” Through market research, Globacom was able to understand the customer pain points, offered per second billing, the crash cost of SIM acquisition, and leverage the uniqueness of the Nigerian spirit in its integrated marketing communications to tell the brand stories. Today, Globacom has over 60 million subscribers.

Below are some key lessons Air Peace can learn from Globacom Market Penetration Strategy and how they can strive on the Lagos-London Route despite the intensely competitive landscape and price war:

Value for money and airfare transparency: Customers cherish value for money. Emphasise Air Peace’s commitment to offering unparalleled value for money. Let the customers know that Air Peace is the pacesetter for good, fair, and right pricing.

Nigeria’s uniqueness and exceptional customer experience: Leverage Nigeria’s rich culture to create a unique and emotionally engaging onboard experience. Air Peace can win the hearts of more customers by offering uniqueness in their on-board customer experience. Offer authentic Nigerian cuisine (local Nigerian delicacies), entertainment featuring local artists, comedy shows, and a warm, welcoming atmosphere that resonates with Nigerian travellers.

Read also: Air Peace to increase capacity on London route due to increased demands

Magic over logic in building customers’ emotional connections: The majority of buying decisions are triggered by emotions. Marketing communications should allocate 80 percent to magic and 20 percent to logic. Use storytelling to appeal to the audience’s feelings, aspirations, and desires. Focus on capturing travellers’ hearts and aspirations through compelling narratives that highlight Air Peace’s commitment to customer satisfaction and travel experiences beyond expectations.

Strategic partnership, data, and market research: Air Peace should forge strategic partnerships with government entities, influencers, and corporate stakeholders to optimise its flight load. Utilise market research and data analytics to optimise flight schedules, tailor services, and identify emerging trends and opportunities.

Loyalty programmes and group incentives: Implement robust loyalty programmes that reward frequent travellers and incentivize group bookings. Use data-driven segmentation to personalise offers and enhance customer retention.

Digital transformation and customer engagement: Invest in digital marketing strategies to enhance customer engagement and brand visibility. Leverage social media platforms and targeted advertising to reach and connect with a broader audience.

Leverage the domestic market: Link Air Peace domestic flights to international flights by helping Nigerians living in other cities like Asaba, Enugu, Kano, etc. have a seamless boarding experience right from their city of residence.

Kindly drop any other strategy you think would help Air Peace strive to increase its market share and profitability on the Lagos-London route. Let’s champion Nigerian brands on the global stage and support Air Peace’s journey towards sustained success.

Moses Mogbolu; Strategic Leader and Business Strategist: Moses.mogbolu@gmail.com

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