In order to offer low-fares, a low-cost/no-frills airline such as easyJet is required to keep costs to the minimum wherever possible. The Internet provides easyJet with the most cost-effective distribution channel and plays the most important role in the company’s business plan. A key part of easyJet’s strategy therefore, is to encourage its passengers to book online. It does so by offering a i?? 5 discount for each leg of the journey when booked online. The closer a booking is made to the departure date, the more expensive the fare tends to be.
As bookings of more than two weeks before the flight departure date are only available online, those who book over the Internet have first choice (easyJet website-information pack-internet, 2002). When booking online, passengers have a range of flights to choose from which are offered at the best available fare on each flight. The passengers have the flexibility to choose the flights that best suit their needs and budget since fares are quoted one way (O’Neil K, 2001).
Web User reviewed the easyJet. com website and gave it a 4/5 rating. It commented that “easyJet’s site is beautifully quick and very easy to use, and the flights are of course astoundingly cheap. All your booking details are confirmed by email, and in our experience the email turns up very quickly indeed. Which always helps” (User W). A five-step approach is taken when booking a ticket online and passengers are able to exit the process at any stage.
Essential passenger information is remembered, thus eliminating the hassle of re-entering basic details when the passenger is viewing different dates and times. Registered users benefit from speedier booking as their details will be remembered from each booking session (O’Neil K, 2001). easyJet has enjoyed dramatic growth in its online sales since it first started selling seats over the Internet in April 1998. This has been partially due to the number of households going online and the growth of easyJet, through the acquisition of GO.
Appendix 2 shows the growth of the Internet since 1998. The number of households online has increased five fold to about 48 million. At present, easyJet sells approximately 92% of its seats online every week. This percentage is higher than any other airline which supports its position as the “web’s favourite airline” (Mintel Report, 2003). The dramatic growth in easyJet’s web sales has led to confidence in its Web Strategy and it is taking steps to become the first ‘Web-only’ airline.
This would eliminate telesales completely and has already been achieved by easyRentacar. easyJet changed its advertising on its airlines from its telephone number to its website address. This has illustrates their strategy to become a ‘Web-only’ airline. This Web-only approach is made possible due to the development of consumer attitudes and integration of Internet and mobile telecommunications technology in everyday life over the last decade (O’Neil K, 2001).