In a recent conversation with a chief technology officer, he asserted all digital technology changes in his organisation were being led by IT and not by marketing. It made me wonder: How long a marketing function like this could survive?
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announced the airline will be making further investments in order to leverage record levels of customer engagement.
As part of Qantas' full year report, Joyce revealed customer satisfaction reached record levels in FY2015, which he said was borne out by strong retention of corporate accounts.
Qantas Loyalty reported record underlying EBIT of $315 million, up from $286 million in FY2014 and maintained record customer satisfaction, while continueing to have a clear lead over competitor loyalty programs.
"Qantas Frequent Flyer added 33 new partners and grew its membership to 10.8 million," he said. "At the same time, Qantas Loyalty continued to diversify, with adjacent businesses contributing around 30 per cent of overall earnings growth."
With customers at the heart of the airline group's strategy, Joyce said the $2 billion Qantas Transformation Program has been accompanied by ongoing investment in aircraft, lounges, training, and technology.
"For instance, the refurbishment of Qantas’ A330 fleet is approaching the halfway stage, with 10 already flying across Australia and internationally," he said. "We have new first and business class lounges in Los Angeles and will open our new business lounge in Perth this month. New Brisbane lounges will open from 2016."
Later this year, Jetstar is set to move into a brand new terminal at Melbourne Airport, which Joyce said will make life easier for thousands of customers.
"And we are rolling out new technology, including SMS check-in, a new system to improve handling of flight delays, and a mobile travel app," he added. "
Eight new Boeing 787-9s will also be joining the Qantas International fleet from 2017, to gradually replace five 747s.
The transformation in our industry must be a constant," Joyce said. "The key to sustainability is being able to adapt, and that means we have to maintain the momentum."
Qantas' underlying Profit Before Tax was $975 million for the financial year ended 30 June 2015, representing a turnaround of $1.6 billion compared with FY2014.
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