Airfare pricing process & strategies

irfare Pricing Process & Strategie Dr. Wali Mughni Federal University, Karachi AFFILIATED WITH


Airfare pricing process & strategies

Transcript of Airfare pricing process & strategies

Page 1: Airfare pricing process & strategies

Airfare Pricing Process & Strategies

Dr. Wali Mughni

Federal University, Karachi


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Learning Outcomes






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Types of Fares

o Normal fares

o Common fares

o Joint fares

o Promotional fares

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Types of Fares

Normal fares (also called standard or basic fares)

are the backbone of the fare structure in that they

apply to all passengers at all times (without

restriction) and are the basis for all other fares.

Separate normal fares are provided for each class

of service: first class, coach, and economy.

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Types of FaresCommon fares are an unusual application of normal fares in that they apply a specificfare to points other than the points between which the fare is determined.

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Types of Fares

Joint fares are single fares that apply to transportation over the joint lines or routesof two or more carriers and that are determined by an agreement between them. Joint fares are becoming very popular between the major and national carriers and commuter (regional) airlines

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Types of Fares

Promotional fares are discounted fares that supplement the normal fare structure.They are always o ered with some kind of ffrestriction, such as minimum length of stay,day of the week, or season. Restrictions serve to minimize the risk of diverting full-fare traffic and maximize the generative benefit associated with the fare reduction. Examples include family-plan fares, excursion fares, group fares, and standby fares.

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Pricing Process

(1) Monitor, analyze, and respond to hundreds, sometimes thousands, of daily fare changes implemented by competitor airlines and,

(2) Routinely develop pricing initiatives to strengthen and/or fortify their company’s position in the marketplace.

• Responsibility of Airline Price Analyst

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Pricing Process

Established in 1940 Airline Tariff Publishing Company is a jointly owned and funded by 19 U.S. and foreign carriers.

The ATPCO serves as an electronic clearinghouse for fare information and changes. Seven days a week, ATPCO accepts fare changes submitted by all participating airlines, consolidates and processes the changes overnight.


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Pricing ProcessEach year, the ATPCO processes millions of domestic fare changes. An average day mayinvolve over 130,000. For each carrier, this could mean several thousand each workday, which requires some degree of analysis and, in most cases, some type of competitive response.ATPCO's serves as the airfare data provider for more than 450 airlines worldwide, which together represent 97 percent of scheduled commercial air travel. With customers on six continents in 165 countries

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Pricing Strategies Airlines pursue, from simple survival pricing for cash, to fighting for market share, to pricing at a premium over competitors to complement a superior product or service quality. Applying these textbook strategies to the airlines is complicated, becausecarriers don’t charge only one price for their services. Instead, they o er a hierarchicalffarray of fares designed to appeal to both price-sensitive leisure travelers and less price sensitivebusiness travelers.

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Market Characteristics(1) the predictable seasonal pattern of demand, especially for leisure travel,

(2) the influence of override commissions that many airlines pay to travel agencies,

(3) the dynamic nature of airline schedules and the strong relationship that exists between schedule frequency and passenger demand,

(4) the tendency for individual carrier pricing strategies and objectives to vary by market and over time.

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Pricing Tactics

Pricing tactics can be broadly categorized as:

(1) Fare actions and, (2) Adjustments to fare rules and/or restrictions.

Normally, daily pricing activity involves both tactics.

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Fare Actions

Fare actions involve changes—increases or reductions — to actual fare levels, in contrast to the rules, restrictions, and/or footnotes that accompany most fares.

Changes can be market specific, regional, or mass market in scope.

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Fare Actions

Introductory fares. When a carrier begins service in a new market, it typically o ers ffunrestricted low fare – also called Market penetration pricing

System excursion-fare. During seasonally weak traffic periods, carriers frequently o er a system ffwide sale of excursion fares. (7 to 10 days)

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Fare Actions

• System business-fare sales. • Connect market sales. • Target segment pricing. • Flight-time-specific. • Mileage-based pricing.• Zone pricing.• Value-added pricing.

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Rules & Restrictions

Adjusting Rules and Restrictions. This second set of tactics involves the periodicadjustment of rules and restrictions that accompany most fares rather than the dollaramount of the fares.

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Rules & RestrictionsCommon rules and restrictions tactics include the following:• Advance purchase requirements. • One-way versus round-trip purchase.• Minimum or maximum stays. • Fare penalties.• Directional pricing.• Peak and o -peak pricing.ff• Sales, ticketing, and travel windows.

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Pricing AnalysisThe decision to use any one, or a combination, of the tactics is essentially a decision to raise or lower a fare. For example, increasing the advance purchase restriction from 3 to 7 days on a discounted business fare will force a certain number of passengers to buy the next higher fare.

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Steps in Pricing Analysis1. Subtract dilution. Dilution results from those passengers willing to pay full fare.2. Subtract refunds. Airlines normally obligate themselves through the so-calledguarantees to pay back.3. Subtract advertising. To the extent that previously unbudgeted funds are catered.4. Subtract additional variable passenger costs. Traffic liability insurance, food, and reservations fees are the expenses

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Steps in Pricing Analysis5. Add spill. When a newly introduced fare is especially low and is matched by allmajor competitors in the market, it has the potential to stimulate primary demand.

6. Add rejected demand by other airlines. At times, certain airlines will tightly restrict thenumber of seats sold at a particular discounted fare.

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Steps in Pricing AnalysisSteps in Analyzing a Fare Increase. In the case of a fare increase, there are fewer factors to consider in estimating the net economic impact. The formula becomes simply: revenuegain or loss from elasticity plus passenger variable costs avoided. With the introductionof a fare increase, spin and rejected demand are irrelevant. Likewise, there is no potential

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Role of Inventory Management

The objective of inventory management is to maximize individual flight revenue. In thesimplest terms, inventory analysts face the task of selling as many seats as possible at the highest possible fares. This usually means making available an adequate number of lower-fare seats far in advance of the departure date in order to accommodate price-sensitive business travelers. It’s a tricky balancing act that requires a keen understanding of the competitive dynamics and traffic composition of individual markets and flights.

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Reference Books

Pricing Behavior and Non-price Characteristics in the Airline Industry (Advances in Airline Economics) by James Peoples 

The Future of Pricing: How Airline Ticket Pricing Has Inspired a Revolution by E. Andrew Boyd 

Air Transport by John Wensveen

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