Economic growth and the requirements of redevelopment, not to mention the impending entry of several countries in the region to the European Union, are creating increased demand for air services between Western Europe and the countries of Southeast Europe and Turkey.
The market combines a variety of elements all of which demand a higher quality of air service than often currently available:
The proposed new airline will appeal to all these distinct groups by offering better quality service (and in some cases, offering service where none now exists), at a higher level of safety, comfort, and convenience, and at reasonable fares, than currently available. The new airline also will focus on the niche markets identified in the Service Description section of this plan, enabling it to better serve and to become identified as the carrier of choice for those markets.
A complete market analysis and segmentation will require a specific passenger and destination survey, the cost of which is included in the Start-up Costs for the airline.
Preliminary analysis (based on a variety of methods, including observation, interviews with travel- and airline-industry professionals, economic segmentation, future projections based on marketing plans, and experience with the region and market) for planning purposes, however, indicates the following approximate market segmentation overall (considerable variations, of course, would be anticipated depending on route, season, and other factors):
* The seasonal/holiday travel segment of the market to some degree distorts the overall market percentages, but might initially be anticipated for two reasons: first, it compensates for the drop in business and government travel that can be expected during the peak summer holiday travel season; second, a significant portion of this traffic is likely to be carried on flights employing specially chartered or wet-leased supplemental aircraft.
The accompanying Market Analysis table and chart below show total potential markets based on estimated population in each segment, as well as potential growth rates in air travel in the new airline's target market region within those segments, but do not reflect the anticipated passenger demand from those markets. Overall make-up of the airline's anticipated passenger loads by market segment are presented above.
The overall airline industry operating between Western Europe and Southeastern Europe and Turkey consists of four primary segments:
It is anticipated that the proposed new airline would most closely fit into the second grouping above, but would compete effectively with all four main segments through a combination of a high level of safety and service, carefully selected routes, niche-market service, convenient schedules, reasonable and competitive fares, and modern, safe, comfortable aircraft. It also will offer service on under-served and unserved routes where little or no competition currently exists.
The new airline's main competitors will vary depending on market and route served, and the category of passenger. For the most part, competition can be expected as follows:
|Business and Government/IO segments to and from Southeastern Europe||For SE European Regional and Diaspora Personal and Leisure Travelers||For Western European Personal and Leisure Travelers, as well as Business and Government/IO Travelers between Western European destinations||For seasonal Holiday Travelers to Southeastern Europe and Turkey|
|Alitalia||Adria||Air France/Air Inter||Austrian|
|Lufthansa||Avioimpex||British Airways/CityFlyer Express||British Airways|
|Swiss International||Croatian||Deutsche Air BA||Cyprus|
|Turkish||JAT||KLM/KLM Cityhopper/KLM UK||Hapag Lloyd|
The larger, more established carriers often suffer from a lack of flexibility, and a focus on feeding their main intra-European and trans-Atlantic routes. The smaller regional carriers often are focused almost exclusively on their own core regional service. The Southeastern European airlines often suffer from poor service and poor reputations. And the larger, more established charter operators are focused on the holiday charter and package market.
Again, the extent of competition (and what is listed here is not comprehensive) dictates the importance of the new airline's three-prong strategy to seek out unserved and under-served routes and city pairs, key niche markets where it can effectively compete or create its own market, and meeting peak travel demands on key regional, seasonal, and intermittent routes. It also points out the importance of standing out from the crowd through offering a higher level of service and convenience, and utilizing technology and a service-oriented staff to achieve recognition and passenger preference right from the outset.