Per DM

Per DM

December 29, 2010 05:55 ET

"Business Air Travel Demand Will Remain Depressed While Airlines Continue to Devalue Their Product Offering in the Interests of Boosting Profits" Says Jesse Young CEO of Per DM Group

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 29, 2010) - "The Golden goose has been killed and the product quality and service offering has been sacrificed by airline operators" believes the CEO of Per DM Group, one of the UK's leading outsource sales groups. Latest statistics to emerge show that demand for business air travel fell by almost a quarter during the downturn and is unlikely to regain pre-recession levels a new report has found.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has reported that international business travel to and from the UK fell by 4.4pc in 2008 and 22.2pc in 2009, with a further slide in the first half of 2010. Travel between the UK and the European Union was the hardest hit with a decline in volumes reaching 25pc. The next biggest fall in the industry was between the UK and North America. "It has been easy to pinpoint the crisis in the financial services as being at the route of this decline," says Jesse Young. "However this does not recognise the airlines' ongoing reduction in their service offering before the recession struck."

Per DM's CEO believes that airlines have to get back to basics and engage with their business customers in a more personal way. "It just isn't good enough to send out direct mail pieces offering 'deals' on routes for first and business class travellers that just don't stack up."

Recently an international airline's direct mail shot offered business class travel to Tokyo 'from £2,229'. On inspection it transpired that they were only offering this deal for a limited number of seats on flights which were the least popular departure time wise. "That turned me off to them as I felt that they had sucked me in and wasted my time" said Jesse Young.

It is precisely this tactic that needs to be changed. Business travel customers want to be valued and will pay a premium for that value. Loyalty schemes need to be boosted and smarter ways of rebuilding relationships found. What is not smart is reducing the in flight service and dumbing down the extras that make the difference to a business traveller.

Companies like Per DM Group view long haul business travel as an essential for getting its executives to their destinations as refreshed as possible.

"We believe that paying a premium for comfort means less downtime recovering and a better business case all round" says Jesse. "My message to the airlines is think about the direct sales route and engage your customers and your competitors' customers earlier. There are many companies out there who would be predisposed to a personal contact seeking their business." 

Per DM Contact Marketing Limited was established in August 2005 in response to the UK markets' need for a field sales organisation capable of delivering high quality results with consistency and reliability.

The company was formed by a group of former UK financial services executives and senior executives from the leading North American field sales agency and since 2005 we have continually recruited leading figures from the B2C and B2B business arena.

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