Category Archives: Uncategorized

Relevant Email Content – Critical to Effective Airport Marketing

Air Deals – Relevant Email Content that Attracts and Engages Readers of Airport Communications

If you don’t present relevant email content, you are wasting your time producing your Airport email campaigns.

This is like a tree falling in an empty woods. If no one is reading your emails your messages will not get through. You don’t want to put  the effort to communicate information that won’t engage your audience.

Airfare Deals - Relevant Email Content

Airfare Deals – Relevant Email Content

So…what are some examples of Relevant Email Content?

First, relevant email content engages the reader. It’s content that helps them solve a problem but also leads them to having a better airport experience. Furthermore, relevant content  benefits your users on a very personal basis.

Therefore, I consider the following are relevant email content examples:

  1. Information about Parking or other Airport facilities or services. This includes discount promotions.  Consequently, If the content will help save the traveler time or money, you should definitely share this information.
  2. Information that conveys and educates on the value of your airport when compared with alternative transportation options. This includes comparisons with alternate airport options.
  3. Education on the economic and quality of life contributions of the airport to the local community. Hence, sharing the facts that support the airport as a strong asset to the community will help garner public support of the airport in the future.
Make Your Email Content Relavant

Make Your Email Content Relevant

Not All Email Content has Equal Relevance to your Airport Users and Readers

While the above content examples will interest some of your readers some of the time, they are not as effective in attracting reader engagement when compared with Airfare Deal Notices.

When you can help flyers save on their flights, this excites passengers. Saving them money is very personal. Therefore, the above content, I’ve found, will attract your users/readers attention less often than Air Deal Notices.

Note: The other examples listed above, may also help save the traveler money. They do, however, save the travelers less money or save them money less frequently.  Parking rates are not likely to change often. Neither will ground transportation rates change frequently etc… Airfares, however can sometimes change multiple times within an hour!

The Air Deal

The Power of The Air Deal

The Power of Airfare Deal Notifications in Your Airport Communications

1. Airfare Deals are highly dynamic content therefore they offer many communication opportunities. Flyers want to catch air fares at the low price end so will want relatively frequent notices.

2.  Air Deals Engage Flyers Long Term. Flyers will be engaged with searching for air deals over
long periods of time. People want to save on flights on every possible trip!

3.  Your readers will also often share this information with others. As a result of this, you
can gain new readers of your airport communications. Readers can also see the topics you
cover not related to air deals.

4.  The increased readership by more connected and engaged flyers will help the airport
combat 
misconceptions about your airport and its contributions to the community.
Due to this, Air deal content can help create users  who become strong advocates for your
airport.

Summary:

Delivering relevant email content, Is highly critical to successful airport public communications. While various airport and air service topics can be relevant, Air Deal Notifications are the most relevant content for Airport users. Airports that leverage air deal notifications in their e-newsletters and social media can create a strong engagement with airport users. This effort can help build a strong relationship with these flyers. This relationship can often create active flyer support of the airport. Hence, this helps create an environment where the airport is more successful in its mission. Finally, your public can understand how much your airport is an asset to local economic initiatives and in providing convenient air access in the US and Globally.

Community Flights

Community Flights

About Community Flights

Community Flights is an air service support, development and management company. We offer an Airport Email with Social Media Marketing Program that has helped communities increase their passenger capture. We’ll track the airports air fares, identify the markets served that offer the best air deals and help build airport communications around the draw of these air deal notifications.

Scott Stewart-[email protected]-970-759-3559-www.communityflights.com

 

 

Airport Social Media Integration with Email Marketing Programs

Social Media Integration with Email Marketing

In an earlier post, we discussed prioritizing, creating and executing an email marketing program from your airport. We shared how a regular conversation with your airport users and potential users could be mutually beneficial. In this post we’ll share how to build a more effective communication program through social media integration with email.

What about the Airport Facebook account that we haven’t posted on in a year. Or the twitter account that you last tweeted on two and a half years ago, you may be asking yourself? Should I be using these communication vehicles? If so How? Why?

Social Media Integration with Email

Social Media Integration with Email Marketing

Yes…you absolutely should use Facebook and Twitter. Social media integration will help you to develop a comprehensive campaign to educate and inform your airport users. This will also help you reach potential users on issues and information important to you and them. People in today’s world, use different vehicles for their communication. Participating effectively on a diverse set of these communication vehicles (Social Media Integration) will help you maximize communication reach.

In earlier posts, I’ve discussed how an airfare deal section is valuable to your readers. (Airports Should Commit to an Email Marketing Program was one earlier post). Readers love bargains and helping them to save is of big value to them. They will consider your airport fondly if you help them SAVE!

What Happens If You’ve Just sent out a Newsletter and a Fantastic NEW Air Sale comes up?

You don’t want to overkill your subscribers with too much information too often by email. You’re afraid you may see a lot of your subscribers, unsubscribe.

Chasing off loyal readers is something you want to avoid. You should send your Email Newsletters no more frequent than Bi-Monthly in most situations.

Social Media Integration with Email

Social Media Integration helps with short notice messaging

Integrating Social Media Can Help You Short Notice Messaging.  

Social media operates differently than email. When you apply Social Media Integration effectively with email, your total communication you enhance your communication effort.

In the situation above, if a killer air deal shows up just after an email send, this deal may also have a short shelf life. You’ll want to notice this information before the airlines pull it down. If you don’t you’ll lose an opportunity to inspire bookings. You want to share the information but you don’t want to overuse email. What can you do?

Integrate with Facebook

We would recommend posting information about the air deal on Facebook. Most of the people who have liked your Facebook page should have this posting appear on their personal Facebook page. Many others will receive an automatic email of this change on their personal page when your message gets posted.

Additionally, we’d also recommend having a deals page on your website. Here you can post the same air deals information. (How to book the air deal details also included). Your Facebook page post could hit on the highlights of the deal. It can also then link to your webpage for more specific and complete information. The key is providing information that can lead your readers to easily book the air deal.

Social Media Integration with Email Marketing

The Importance of “Likes” and “Follows” on Facebook and Twitter

I Don’t have Many “Likes” on my Facebook Page so I’m Worried that Many E-Newsletter Subscribers Won’t See the Deal!

This is why integration of social media and your e-newsletter and website is critical. You want to encourage “Likes” of your airports Facebook page. On Twitter accounts you want to encourage follows. Try to ask for “Like” and “Follow” behaviours in every e-newsletter you send. You also want to encourage this engagement on your website. This will build a terrific audience for these in between newsletter updates. As a first priority, provide meaningful content to your readers. A second main goal would be Cross-linking between your communication vehicles. This will help set-up a good integration of these communication tools.

What is the difference between a Facebook and a Twitter Post?

Facebook allows for more text in a posting than Twitter. A Twitter Tweet only allows for 140 characters. Due to the short nature of these messages, integration with other communication sources is critical with Twitter to completely deliver information. Both Facebook and Twitter allow for photographs and links. When promoting Air Deals or similar information we recommend you integrate photos of destinations (To Inspire. We also suggest you link to a landing page on your website with more complete details of your promoted deal.

Social Media Integration with Email - Less Reader Interruption

Social Media Email Integration Less Reader Interruption

Why Bother with Twitter and Facebook If You Are Going to Link Readers to Your Website?

Twitter and Facebook posts are less interruptive than email. Email is like someone walking into your home while Twitter and Facebook is like you’ve walked to a public place. You expect people will engage you when you’re in public. Most people are more resistant to being messaged at their home.

Additionally, airport users are sometimes on Facebook or Twitter when they will see the message. They have, in essence, opted in to receive the message by this very presence in their accounts. When you receive an auto message via email from Facebook or Twitter you similarly have opted in for this contact. You did so when you liked or followed a page or topic. You understand messaging may come more often than email and you can delete the message quickly if the topic is of no interest.

Twitter and Facebook give you the opportunity to increase engaging readers through your messaging. They both can integrate well with other communication vehicles. In between newsletters you can deliver important time sensitive information like air price deals. With Facebook and Twitter you can deliver information and not alienate your airport users.

Join Now to Receive Your Free Airport Email Guide

Community Flights is an air service support, marketing and development company. We offer a cost-effective Email Marketing Program to help understaffed airports or those strapped for time to regularly connect with their users and potential flyers. We offer value to your email list flyers through tracking and notification of airfare deals, updates on airport operations and construction and other flyer tips. We help design these communications based on airport comments and direction. These features help grow your email lists and expand your audience. We also provide social media integration strategies that can raise your engagement with your airport users and help expand the effectiveness of your communication campaigns. If you’d like more information email us at [email protected] or visit us at www.communityflights.com

Join Now to Receive Your Free Airport Email Guide

Airports Should Commit to an Email Program – Part 2

Email Marketing Program – Part 2

Email Program Part 2

Email Marketing Programs can help fill your concourse.

So you’re still considering how an Email Marketing program can help your airport…

Imagine this scenario for a moment: A person who is considering a flight trip is exploring your website. She looks around a few pages, but leaves with no further action planned. Maybe she’ll at some point buy a plane ticket from your airport website (If you offer this). Maybe she’ll purchase a ticket from a competing airport or on another website. Maybe she’ll move on to other personal tasks and forget about taking a flight altogether.  

Growing Your Airport Enplanements with Email Marketing

Now imagine she hears from you again because she’s subscribed to your e-newsletter. She has signed-up because you’ve provided valuable information like airfare deals that can help her save money.

This time, a few e-newsletter’s in, she sees a specific air deal from your airport. Or, she see’s that the price has gone down on a trip she had looked at earlier. She click’s on the newsletter booking link or goes to another source. She search’s, confirms the good rate and books. Prior to this email she had considered using an alternate airport that offered better pricing for her trip. Your email newsletter has just helped you reverse some of your airport leakage.

Email Program Part 2 Wingshot

Email provides info your airport users want and need.

Provide Information Your Airport Users Want

Use Email Marketing to Provide Information Your Readers Want. This includes Information that shows your airport has a better total travel price to a destination. This is important information to get out. When you magnify the above situation by many more passengers you entice to subscribe to your newsletter, you expand the positive impacts. You might just win more passenger trips or even convert passengers to more regularly fly from your airport.

Email becomes so much more than just another way to throw your Airport name before travelers. Email builds connections with people. You can both develop trust with your users, you can also present the value of your Airport  services.

And that’s what sets email marketing apart from traditional advertising. Instead of just telling potential passengers about your airport and hoping they make a buy, you’re making real connections.

Let’s imagine one more scenario. Think about Jim, a 55-year-old business person has been a road warrior as of late. He’s been feeling strains in his marital relationship due to his being away from home a lot. While scanning your email he sees an incredible flight deal to Las Vegas for $149 round-trip. He wasn’t planning another travel trip. Het figures at this price, however, why not take a  weekend trip to Las Vegas with his wife. Make flights a fun thing for he and his wife. He thinks he may turn a negative view of his travel by his wife, into a positive by including her. Your Airport e-newsletter has now inspired an extra trip. This trip wasn’t planned. This trip also gained a couple more enplanements for your airport!

Email Marketing Program Part 2 Airport at Gate

Email Marketing – A great opportunity to connect with Airport Users.

Summary

Email Driven Airport User Connections Are Mutually Beneficial. Considering that most people prefer to communicate with brands through their inbox, email marketing is a no-brainer for airports. When your email messaging solves your customer’s problems or otherwise provide value to your customers, you develop connections. These connections are good for both the airport and the airport users.

Why Airports Should Integrate Social Media with their Email Marketing Program

Community Flights is an air service support, marketing and development company. We offer a cost-effective Email Marketing Program. This program can help understaffed airports or those strapped for time, to regularly connect with their users and potential flyers. We offer value to your email list flyers through tracking and notification of airfare deals. We also, update on airport operations and construction and other flyer tips. We help design these communications based on airport comments and direction. These features help grow your email lists and expand your audience. If you’d like more information email us at [email protected] or visit us at www.communityflights.com

Why Airports Should Integrate Social Media with their Email Marketing Program
Why Airports Should Commit to an Email Program – Part 1

Join the Community Flights Email List

Receive the FREE Email for Airports Guide

Airports Should Commit to an Email Marketing Program – Part 1

Email Marketing Program

Airports are often competing with other airports, trains, buses and cars for travelers. Airports also compete against other Airports for scheduled commercial airline service. Entities that compete, should act like a business in regards to this competition. They should execute an email marketing program.

For many small airports, managing the daily operations of your airport is a full-time, borderline 24/7 job. While you may try to play the Jack of all Trades, you’ve probably felt like there’s never enough time or staff to do it all.

Email Marketing Program Airport

Airports Should Commit to an Email Marketing Program

As a result, it’s common for a robust and regular email marketing program that can help you to compete, to become an afterthought. It becomes a challenge to meet for many Airport managers. You’re already struggling with the “essential” tasks, how could you possibly add another thing to your work list?

With email marketing, however, promoting your Airport and connecting with customers becomes a lot easier – and that’s only a snapshot of the bigger email marketing picture.

“Email marketing delivers a return of 4300% and is more cost-effective
than other forms of marketing!”

Email Marketing frees up your time so you can get back to running your airport. And consumers love it. Take a look, the statistics are very compelling:

74%

Of consumers prefer to receive commercial communications thru email

 

66%

Of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of receiving an email message.

 

138%

More is spent by consumers who receive email offers than those who don’t.

Email Marketing – A Powerful Tool

At its simplest, email marketing is a powerful communication tool for building relationships with current and potential airport users. Email marketing gives you a chance to speak to a lot of people at once and even expand your reach when recipients send your email communications to colleagues, friends and family.

Email Marketing Program Schedule Board

Email Marketing: Stay Connected with Airport Users.

Email marketing allows you to stay connected with loyal airport users and those who may often use alternative regional airports. These alternative airport users might consider flying from your airport, an airport that should be their home airport, if they understood the benefits. Email marketing can help you educate both users and potential users about the benefits of using your airport versus the competition.

More on Why Airports Should Have an Email Marketing Program will come in Part -2 soon.

About Community Flights

Community Flights is an air service support, marketing and development company. We offer a cost-effective Email Marketing Program. This program can help understaffed airports or those strapped for time, to regularly connect with their users and potential flyers. We offer value to your email list flyers through tracking and notification of airfare deals. We also, update on airport operations and construction and other flyer tips. We help design these communications based on airport comments and direction. These features help grow your email lists and expand your audience. If you’d like more information email us at [email protected] or visit us at www.communityflights.com

Other Current Airport Marketing Posts

Why Airports Should Commit to an Email Program – Part 2
Why Airports Should Integrate Social Efforts with their Email Marketing Program

Join the Community Flights Email List

Receive the FREE – Email for Airports Guide when you Join

Airport Competition

Airport Competition – Present Airport Value!

Airport Competition: Passengers are up for Grabs!

There is airport competition for passengers…Whether your airport is actively competing or not.

Airports are like Baseball Stadiums. The build it and they will come philosophy does not apply. Passengers will use airports that they perceive will offer the best value and convenience for their flight trips. If passengers aren’t up to speed on your airports value, you can lose them even when your airport value is better than alternative airports.

“American has said that 87 percent of its passengers — accounting for half the airline’s revenue — flew on the carrier just once last year.

For those people, air travel was probably purchased just on the basis of price, meaning 50 percent of the company’s revenue was up for grabs; “We have to compete for them.”

American Airlines President
Scott Kirby

Airlines Compete and there is Airport competition for passengers
Both commercial airlines and airports, are in the airline business. Airlines have come to understand that operating a successful airline requires more than scheduling and operating flights. Airlines need to create value with their flight service and regularly present the value of flying their airline versus their competition if they are to maximize flight revenues and profits.

Like the airlines, airports have Airport competition for potential flyers living in or flying to their region. This competition includes nearby regional airports, the automobile, bus and train service. Just obtaining air service is not in and of itself Airport competition for passengers.

Long distances to alternate airports – Will not always help your airport retain passengers
Low Fares and more flight options offered by alternate airports, can help another airport capture your passengers. Denver is 267 miles away from Grand Junction, Colorado and 128 miles away from Pueblo, Colorado yet Denver carries about 20% and 52% of these airports passengers.

What about passenger drive time and cost?
These factors are not always considered. Nor is the concept of productive time lost, the tendency of longer security check-point wait times at larger airports and other air travel factors…especially if your airport is not out in the market regularly communicating your airports relative value.

Can an appeal to support the local airport help?
Yes…but it can’t be just a “Support Local” message.

Air Passengers are consumers and like consumers will vote with their pocketbooks. You can’t overcome an extremely large price difference by just asking your passengers to support your local airport. True airport competition requires you to regularly present your airports value proposition in your passenger marketplace.

Convey your Airports Value:

  • Note travel time savings and the value of your passenger’s time
  • Provide cost savings versus your competition on parking, gas, automobile and hotel
  • Share how support of your local airport helps you acquire more air service
  • Emphasize how use of your airport aids your community economic health
  • Reveal how flying from your airport can help lower local taxes
  • Through airline sales and deals, and specify good times to buy local flight tickets

While most small airports will likely always lose some passengers to larger and lower flight cost airports with more schedule choice, there is typically an opportunity for your airport to recapture some of these passengers. Actively advising your passenger market about your airports value will help to recapture many of these flyers and is effective airport competition.

Scott Stewart is the principal of Community Flights. Community Flights is an airline support, development and management company that has helped small airports compete successfully for their passengers. Community Flights offers an Airfare Club air deal notification service that helps small airports regularly convey their value to both their local and inbound destination flight travelers as well as other passenger capture services.

Community Flights email:  [email protected] / phone 970-759-3559

Potential Passengers

Potential Passengers: Competition Among Regional Airports

Potential Passengers: Competition Among Regional Airports
Knowing Your Target Customer Is Critical

To many airports and communities, it’s clear that they are not the only choice for potential passengers traveling to or from their geographic proximity. Most airports are close to alternate airports and have competition for passengers. To effectively compete for potential passengers in the air travel industry, knowing your target customer is critical. You also must know about passenger airport decision factors.

Every Airport Has At Least One Competitive Advantage Over Alternate Airport Options
The amount of air service offered, lower airfares, and other features offered at alternative airports may seem daunting to compete against at your local airport, but you will always have the advantage of closest proximity to many potential passengers, This competitive advantage can help you capture certain passenger types. Of the factors affecting flying travelers when making their airport choice, you will see more than one feature and benefit that you can use to convince potential passengers to select flights to/from your community airport. Airports that maximize their passenger enplanements, promote all of their best sales features and communicate these effectively in their community and to inbound destination travelers.

Tailor Your Messaging To The Right Potential Passenger Segment
Once you’ve determined your airport’s competitive strengths, the most effective way to maximize your passenger capture is to find the right passenger segment(s) to target. In general, you shouldn’t communicate location convenience and low airport hassle factor airport features to a leisure traveler who only flies when stimulated by super-low fares. You also shouldn’t focus on promoting low fares to business travelers to whom flight time choices, low total travel time, flight convenience, and service reliability is more important. For the business traveler, you might want to advertise in the local chamber/economic development newsletter or the local business newspaper with your messaging mentioning the reliability, time and convenience factors most critical to them. Potential passengers not necessarily planning a leisure trip, can be stimulated to take a trip due to super-low fares. You might look at communicating low-fare opportunities through the local newspaper or direct email announcements through the local tourism agency and social clubs to low fare driven passengers.

Not All Passenger Types Value Air Service/Airport Decision Factors The Same
While business or leisure passenger segments can often share priorities within their passenger type as it concerns how they weigh airport choice factors, there are many subsets to the segments with different valuation concerns as it regards their air travel. While business travelers are less resistant to high airfares, some business travelers may decide to meet customers via conference call or Go to Meeting instead of flying, based on the high cost of airfares. While many leisure travelers make travel choices based on low fares; where convenience and travel time weigh less in their travel choices, some leisure travelers are willing to pay a higher fare for more convenience and shorter total travel time based on the nature of their leisure trip.

Situations Also Drive Potential Passengers Air Service/Airport Decisions
It is important to note that the specific travel reasons involved in a potential travel decision is more important to the airport/air service choice than the passenger segment type making the choice. A business trip to close a big business deal, may place more weight on travel time and convenience over cost, than a trip to an industry conference for business travelers where cost might be a bigger factor in their decision. A flight to a family wedding may raise the price these leisure travelers are willing to pay for their air ticket while a flight for a vacation may need a lower air cost, or total air and lodging cost to trigger a passenger buying decision.

Does Your Airport Know What the Potential Passenger Mix is? The Best Sales Features of your Airports Current Air Service? Which Passenger Type(s) Should Be Targeted?

Potential Passengers

Potential Passengers

Note: The above generalizes air customer type trends. Individual passengers within an air customer type can vary on the weight they place on various air service/airport decision factors.

If your airport doesn’t know who is currently using the airport, nor who could be using the airport based on competitive features, your airport is likely not maximizing passenger capture. The road to maximizing potential passengers capture (to/from your region) is in identifying the airport’s strengths and then effectively targeting and communicating with the passenger target segments these features will benefit most.

If your airport doesn’t have strengths for a passenger type you are looking to acquire, you need to build-up these strengths before you can successfully attract this passenger segment.

Regular Comparative Regional Airport Competitive Analysis
You need to analyze not only your local airport but also the relative strength of your local airport against the alternative airports in the region. While the major hub airport 200 miles away with many non-stop flights to different destinations may seem a tough egg to crack in competing for potential passengers, your airport always has some competitive advantages (proximity, easier access into the national transportation system, etc.). The key to maximizing your passenger usage of your airport is in effectively identifying your strengths and playing up those strengths to the right passenger segments.

Has your airport identified its strengths and weaknesses in relation to air passenger segment targets in your regional airport competition lately?

Community Flights works with communities, organizations or businesses on leveraging the great economic asset that air service is for economic gain. Community Flights specializes in helping tourism dominant air service communities maximize the return on their air service investment. Scott Stewart formed Community Flights in January 2013 to help mobilize community support efforts and guide communities and clients in bridging the “air service understanding gap” with the airlines to create an airline and community win-win air service support and performance environment. You can find more info about Community Flights at www.communityflights.com . Contact Scott Stewart directly at 970-759-3559 or [email protected]

Community Air Service – What Does it Take to Succeed?

Not All Community Air Service Revenue Guarantee Program Efforts are Successful:

In an earlier post, we talked about Community Air Service success and the airport air services in Vail and Orlando. In the case of Vail, the uneven annual demand was a challenge.  The community then implemented revenue guarantee incentives to entice winter seasonal air service. Not all communities that use these incentives, however, succeed in either acquiring air service or in effectively supporting their acquired air service.

How can a Destination Marketing Organization help manage a successful air program?

1. Community Air Service Should Understand the Airlines Point of View

Understand the Airlines Point of View

             Understand the Airlines Point of View

     a. Airlines are Driven by Profit. While a DMO wants to increase visitor arrivals and
revenue an airline’s top priority is high-yield passengers on their planes. These two
goals can often conflict so DMO’s need to strategically target passenger segments that
are also the targets of the airlines. The areas where community interests intersect with
those of the airline should be emphasized in discussions with the airlines.

     b. Airline Marketing Contributions. Airlines do not usually advertise and market on a
destination basis; oftentimes, their only contribution to filling the flights is in-kind air
tickets for promotion which, unfortunately, are sometimes unavailable. DMO’s and the
community must lead efforts to fill the flights.

     c. Limited Airline Staff. Airlines typically are lightly staffed and thus often unable to carry
out intricate activities or events to support your flights. DMO’s and the community
need to carry the majority of the flight support burden and/or make participation turn-
key for airlines if they are to meet partnership success.

     d. Airlines Interact with Hundreds of Communities. The community’s message or
requests to the airlines should be clear, simple and well-coordinated. Formalize the
community air service development effort so that you have a joint-approach with the
airport, economic development organizations, local government and other air service
stakeholders. This will yield effective and efficient results.

2. Community Air Service Should Educate and Align the Community

2. Educate and Align the Community to Drive to Full Air Service Support Engagement

Educate and Align the Community to Drive to Full Air Service Support Engagement

     a. Regularly assess if you’ve aligned Air Service Performance with Community Goals. In
trying to develop air service, adhere to the principle: “if you don’t measure it, you can’t
manage it.” Determine periods of softer air service and allocate and/or reallocate resources
and marketing focus accordingly. This will help you to better support your community
flights and help you keep or grow air service.

     b. Create Realistic Air Service Expectations. Make sure that you have realistic and
reasonable air service expectations and that the members of your community
understand these expectations.  In this way, the community’s actions can focus on
effective support activity.

     c. Instill an All Hands On Deck Support Approach. When multiple community air
service stakeholders understand that they also have a role in supporting air service,
they can use various synergies to turn a lackluster program into a successful
community air service program.

3. Community Air Service Should Develop Air Service Benchmarks

Develop Air Service Benchmarks to Better Assess and Manage the Performance of Your Community Air Program

Develop Air Service Benchmarks to Better Assess and Manage the Performance of Your Community Air Program

      a. Set measurable benchmarks that are meaningful to the airlines. Increasing flight
load factor to a level that does not also increase airline profits will have little impact on
sustaining or growing your air service. This kind of growth is unsustainable and can
damage your air program efforts and/or drive a larger community air service
investment to meet growth objectives.

     b. Set measurable benchmarks that take into account your community funding
support. Strive to set performance goals that you can sustain financially. When you
have effective return on investment and cost per passenger type goals set, air program
growth will be sustainable.

     c. Set measurable benchmarks that meet long-term community air service goals.
Adopt a “feed it or shoot it” mentality with your air program. If a flight does not meet
or exceed performance goals either cut that air service market or increase your
investment and support of that market to exceed your goals.

4. Community Air Service Should Set-up a Community Air Service Investment Base

Set-up a Community Air Service Investment Base     that can Drive Long-Term Funding Sustainability

Set-up a Community Air Service Investment Base that can Drive Long-Term Funding Sustainability

     a. Involve as complete a group of air service stakeholders in funding as possible.
This will not only help you meet the necessary financing to achieve air service
development goals, but it will also spread the financial burden so that each
organization will be able to keep up with their level of financial contribution.
Remember, the sum is always greater than its parts. Funders also show more
ownership of air service results.

     b. Set funding levels that will help meet long-term goals. If part of your funding will
come from a local sales tax, lodging tax or similar mechanisms, be careful about
setting the tax rates and predicted revenues from these taxes.

     c. Create funding mechanisms that are directly connected to the benefits of the
service program. If tourism is the main driver of air service use, tie the tourism tax
level to the funds needed to expand service, and the estimated increase in tax
collection to the budgeted support of those flights to get to a sustainable situation.

If you want your community to meet a strong long-term air service growth like Orlando or Vail, two very successful leisure air service dominant communities, follow these guidelines in managing your community air program.  It does take a community effort to fully tap into your current air service demand and/or build up this air service demand to realize your aspirations for your community airport.

Scott Stewart is the principle of Community Flights; an air service support, development and management company. Community Flights works with communities, organizations or businesses on leveraging the great economic asset that air service is for economic gain. Community Flights specializes in helping tourism dominant air service communities maximize the return on their air service investment. Scott formed Community Flights in January 2013 to help mobilize community support efforts and guide communities and clients in bridging the “air service understanding gap” with the airlines to create an airline and community win-win air service support and performance environment. You can find more info about Community Flights at www.communityflights.com . Contact Scott Stewart directly at [email protected]

 

Strategic Air Service Support and Community Tourism Organizations

Strategic Air Service Support and Community Tourism Organizations
The Role of Destination Marketing Organizations in Community Air Service Development

Most Destination Marketing Organizations (DMO’s) understand the critical role of airline service in expanding access to specific destinations which, in turn, increases the number of visitors and their overnight spending. They understand strategic air service support is important. DMO’s also seem to understand that they need to play a role in supporting community air service and being a part of community air service decisions. The 2014 DMAI’s Destination Next Study 2014 argues that this involvement is a cornerstone activity for DMO’s.

Strategic Air Service Support:
Broad Community Organization Support Helps Drive Community Air Service Growth

Broad Community Organization Support Helps Drive Community Air Service Growth

Broad Community Organization Support Helps Drive Community Air Service Growth

Supporting and growing a community’s air service is not just the job of the airport or the airlines. DMO’s, economic development organizations, government and individual community businesses also need to align their goals with, and take part in, the community air service development effort. Their strategic air service support is essential. It is this sense of community that will help and sustain successful air service development.

DMO’s and economic development groups should actively and effectively engage with local air services. This is accomplished through strong strategic planning and by leveraging the overlapping market goals of DMO’s and economic development groups.

Strategic Air Service Support:
The Destination Marketing Organization Role

The Role of a DMO: Includes  facilitating air service access to their region.

The Role of a DMO: Includes facilitating air service access to their region.

When the DMO and key tourism entities give strategic air service support and are actively engaged in air service support, they can help positively influence the growth and success of the community’s air service. One example is Orlando, Florida. The business in Orlando International Airport has grown exponentially from just 1.3 million passengers in 1971 to over 35 million passengers in 2013. While Disney World does account for a large part of this expansive growth, this is exactly the point. Tourism helped drive the strong and sustained growth of air service to and from Orlando which was to the benefit of other businesses and industries and the Orlando community at large.

“While Tourism Helped drive Orlando Air Service Growth – 27% of passenger air trips in 2013 originated in Orlando which suggests that close to 9.5 Million trips were by Orlando Locals.”

The impact of tourism on air service growth can also be seen in smaller markets that have developed through strategic air service support. The Vail Eagle airport served only about 540 commercial passengers in 1989; by 2013, they served around 335,000 commercial passengers. Vail is a world-class skiing destination and ski resort, but it is the cooperation between the local visitors’ bureau and community members that helped the Vail/Eagle County airport to grow and develop.

In 2013, a study commissioned by the Colorado Department of Transportation Aeronautics Division found that air services contribute a total of $636 million to the local economy. Moreover, the Vail/Eagle County Regional Airport created 6,294 jobs, which paid $218 million in local wages.

Strategic Air Service Support:
Airline Service Acquisition + Effective Airline Service Support = Airline Service Growth

Strategic Air Service Support: Airline Service Acquisition + Effective Airline Service Support = Airline Service Growth & Dynamic Communities!

Airline Service Acquisition + Effective Airline Service Support = Airline Service Growth & Dynamic Communities!

How did Vail get to develop this strong air service that has helped drive the economy, employment and the quality of life of Vail Valley? Vail was one of the first communities to recognize the benefit of investing in, and managing, airline revenue guarantee programs. Vail saw that these programs would help them capture air service and provide air access to the community that they would otherwise not attract. In the process, they successfully grew their local ski resort businesses and diversified their local economy through strategic air service support while improving their air access to the national transportation system which benefits all their residents.

Scott Stewart is the principle of Community Flights; an air service support, development and management company. Community Flights works with communities, organizations or businesses on leveraging the great economic asset that air service is for economic gain. Community Flights specializes in helping tourism dominant air service communities better manage their air service programs maximize the return on their air service investment. Scott formed Community Flights in January 2013 to help mobilize community support efforts and guide communities and clients in bridging the “air service understanding gap” with the airlines to create an airline and community win-win air service support and performance environment. You can find more info about Community Flights at www.communityflights.com. Contact Scott Stewart directly at [email protected]

Follow-up Article:     What Does it take for Community Air Service Success!…

Air Passenger Capture Should be Community Air Service Priority

Air Passenger Capture

Air Passenger Capture

Air Passenger Capture Should Be Community Air Service Priority
…And The First Community Action Taken to Gain More Air Service

Success in capturing new air service or sustaining current air seat capacities, drives the successful air passenger capture of inbound flyers and the recapture of  your local flyers who are using alternative regional airports. Pursuing air service when you are under-performing with current service is a recipe for failure and community frustration.

Unfortunately the “Fun” part of community air service development is the pursuit of new air service from the airlines, not maximizing air passenger capture. If you think like the airline, however, why would you add air service to a community that is not maximizing its air passenger capture, flight revenues and profits?

On the other hand, when you maximize air passenger capture, if this takes the service to a level of strong profitability, the airlines will sometimes add service on their own initiative. In other cases, when you point out your air service performance improvements (With the help of air service professionals!) the airline will be more likely to add service capacity or new markets than with just average or worse air service performance.

Conscious and effective action to maximize air passenger capture can gain more flight markets and capacity and increase the access the global world can have to your community bringing many economic and quality of life benefits to your region.

Community Flights has developed over 35 best practices and guiding principles for communities looking to improve their air service. The above is just a small sample of a complete guidebook of best practice.

If you’d like to receive the complete guidebook for FREE: Community Flights Air Service Development Best Practices and Guiding Principles, email: [email protected] and ask that we send the full guide.

Scott Stewart is the principle of Community Flights; an air service support, development and management company. Community Flights works with communities, organizations or businesses on leveraging the great economic asset that air service is for economic gain. Scott formed Community Flights in January 2013 to help mobilize community support efforts and guide clients in bridging the “air service understanding gap” with the airlines to create an airline and community win-win air service support and performance environment. You can find more info about Community Flights at www.communityflights.com. Contact Scott Stewart directly at [email protected]

manage air service programs

Manage Air Service Programs Based on Pre-Established Benchmarks

Manage Air Service Programs Based on Pre-Established Benchmarks
Set a RoadMap to Community Air Service Success

When you manage Air Service Programs based on pre-established benchmarks and metrics you set your community on the road to Community air service success.

Community Flights believes you need to manage air service programs. The idea that if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it, is very applicable to air service development. Communities should pre-set and manage their air service to load factor, yield, cost per seat and return on investment goals to help guide themselves to air service development success.

When you manage air service programs start with knowledge of what success is in setting your benchmarks. If you know that 75% load factor will most likely drive a profitable flight then set 75% load factor as one of your target metrics. Now going forward, if you receive advance booking reports, when your flights are performing below this 75% metric you will be guided through this performance to give more flight support to help improve this metric performance and meet your goals.

Community Flights has developed over 35 best practices and guiding principles for communities looking to improve their air service. The above is just a small sample of a complete guidebook of best practice.

If you’d like to receive the complete guidebook for FREE: Community Flights Air Service Development Best Practices and Guiding Principles, email: [email protected] and ask that we send the full guide.

Scott Stewart is the principle of Community Flights; an air service support, development and management company. Community Flights works with communities, organizations or businesses on leveraging the great economic asset that air service is for economic gain. Scott formed Community Flights in January 2013 to help mobilize community support efforts and guide clients in bridging the “air service understanding gap” with the airlines to create an airline and community win-win air service support and performance environment. You can find more info about Community Flights at www.communityflights.com. Contact Scott Stewart directly at [email protected]