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Air Travel Needs to be ‘Redesigned’ in Post-Covid Era, Says Industry Expert

Photo source: @Aegean Airlines

Air travel must be ‘reinvented’ as people discover travel again after more than two years of Covid-19, AEGEAN Airlines Corporate Affairs Manager Marina Spyridaki said during a hospitality and tourism conference in Athens on Thursday.

Titled “Hospitality goes live Athens. The future is now”, the conference was part of the COCO-MAT Road Show Business Events.

“We receive positive messages that step by step we will manage to get out of this crisis and remember air travel as it used to be,” Spyridaki said.

She stressed, however, that the redesign and transformation of air travel is paramount in order for airlines to offset the severe impact that the coronavirus pandemic has had both to companies and customers.

“Its not only about recovery and forecast… Travelers have changed, airlines have changed, tourism has changed… We need to go along with the transformation that is already happening,” she said.

As highlighted by Spyridaki, the post-Covid air traveler seeks for:

safety: cleaner cabins, safer crews
information: real-time notifications/ways to stay connected
flexibility: flexible booking options, more control of the traveling experience
– a shorter booking window
contactless services
minimum interaction: limited flight duration and air connections, short stays
sustainability: Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF), minimum environmental impact
less crowded experiences.

Ways of reinventing air travel

Spyridaki said that in order to reinvent travel airlines must:

– create a new travel experience (a contactless and seamless customer journey)
– meet the new and constantly changing needs of customers (personalized offering, dynamic pricing)
– find innovative ways to harness loyal customers (creative approach, benefits, new experiences)
– maintain health & safety standards (adopt global standards, biometrics)
– move towards sustainable aviation (SAF, plastic-free options)
– invest in operational efficiency (optimize fleet, network and distribution strategy)
– seek for economic enhancement and synergies.

Photo sourcce: AEGEAN

To meet the new challenges, AEGEAN is already investing in the renewal of its fleet with the purchase of 46 Airbus 320/321neo aircraft.

“This is the most efficient way for an airline to reduce its environmental footprint. AEGEAN continues its fleet renewal program in order to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent,” Spyridaki said.

Meanwhile, AEGEAN is providing its customers with new and more flexible services including:

– new fare options, travel packages, miles+cash offerings
– onboard wifi
– new F&B onboard
– new lounges and more.

Today, AEGEAN’s network includes 160 destinations in 44 countries.

The COCO-MAT Road Show Business Event was also attended by Deputy Minister Sofia Zacharaki and Aldemar Resorts CEO Alexandros Angelopoulos, among others.

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About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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