On September 11, the co-founder of the GetJet project Alexander Koninsky sat on the panel as a speaker at the annual Aviapages Workshop in Moscow. During the discussion panel it was possible not only to talk about market trends in the last summer, saving customers, merges and of course about Avinode restrictions, but also to make first proposals on how o make joint work more efficient.
No doubts, Aviapages Moscow Workshop is one of the largest and most attended conferences held for the Russian business aviation community. For the fourth year in a row the organizers gathered eminent brokers, operators, as well as representatives of other companies in the hall of famous historical Volkhonka mansion.
This years discussion was dedicated to the brokerage services. Speakers attended were Mikhail Kirillov (Avangard Aviation), Grigory Ioffe (Peremena Avia), Alisher Elmuradov (LL Jets) and Alexander Koninsky (GetJet).
How clients, brokers and operators have adapted to Market conditions
First of all, experts were talking about the main market trends of the passed summer season. Speakers saw eye to eye that private client’s “requirements” are quite different now. They want not just to save some money, but to ensure they spend it wisely. Of course, a broker can not ignore such wishes.
“On the one hand, brokers are forced to adjust to the client, when the client has an understanding of the price he is willing to buy a flight for, on the other hand, there are many brokers who understand what price they can sell to a charter for to a client. <...> It means that there are more real professionals. Such a broker realizes immediately what the client is not willing to pay for: he is not ready to pay for a flight with empty legs, he is not ready to put up with them " - says Alexander Konisky.
"The market is pushing prices down" and both brokers and operators have to become creative. So new products appear- “Seat sharing", "charter for two families", “merged flights” - all this is the result of searching for new methods of work.
But not only professionals have changed their approaches to work. Experience has proven that, the customers are also ready to make compromises. Before the time of departure was a clear advantage of renting a charter, but now "customers are increasingly allowing time limits."
“Earlier if we informed a client about any time restriction, we could hardly to sell the flight. Now if we give clients a good price but with time restrictions as well, more and more people are ready to agree with these restrictions. They realize they might have some difficulties if to break this regulation. <...> For the sake of price, they are ready to adjust to the schedule. " - says Mikhail Kirillov (Avangard Aviation).
Cancellation fees. Whose pain in the neck is it?
A special place in the conversation was given to cancellation fees, and namely, who is / or should be responsible for the canceled flight. So, Grigory Ioffe (Peremena Avia) believes that "Russian clients always disliked paying fees, but in general, some kind of intelligence and understanding grows. The trend called "I cancel and I do not pay" is now less, people became more educated in the field of charter booking and conditions".
There is a question about interaction between a broker and an operator if a client refuses to pay cancellation fee. Alexander Koninsky is sure there must be a fair game between brokers and operators:
“As our market is very tight, we know each other, so, we should play a fair game. An operator should say: “"Guys, I'm selling you a flight and I will not take any cancellation, or I'll take some minimum sum." And this is very valuable. It seems to me that such things should be cultivated by ourselves. As for me personally, I’m against 100% cancellations <...> replaceability should become a basic principle of approach. <...> Cancellation fee is not a reason to cash in.”
All the participants of the discussion panel agreed that
Certain rules of the game must be worked out, which are sufficiently clear and transparent. It is necessary to strive for dialogue, it is necessary to meet and define these rules for all parties. We need to find solutions that are not just intermediary, but first of all, honest and fair.
Avinode and 20 allowed requests. Is there life outside the frames?
In the end of the talk, experts talked about Avinode restrictions regarding the amount of requests a broker could make. Representatives of the Avinode explained that the main reason for the restrictions and blockages were the excessive number of requests for the same flight, sometimes the figure reached 300. To reduce the number of "spam" requests, such a decision was made.
However, according to Alexander Koninsky, the increased number of requests is, rather, a consequence, not a reason. "The consequence of an incorrect algorithm or, let’s say, correct quotings from the side of Avinode. Brokers don’t just "click" and re-ask. They do it for specific reasons. "- explains Alexander.
His colleagues (speakers) were unanimous in the opinion that indeed, operators often give out the wrong prices. But it becomes incomprehensible why in this case, responsibility falls solely on the shoulders of brokers. "Perhaps it makes sense “to open a window” for dialogue with brokers, so that Avinode could also receive a feedback from brokers regarding the work of operators and Avinode itself" - added Mr. Koninsky.
In a specially prepared letter to Avinode from the brokers, brokers talk about their opinion of the situation, as well as their desire to build a constructive dialogue. Mikhail Kirillov, as a representative of a commercial operator, suggested to think about how to improve the product, so that it meets the needs of users. For example, it might be technically possible to summarize inquiries in directions and so on.
The conversation lasted almost an hour. At such events, changes are particularly evident in comparison with previous meetings. And it is safe to say that business aviation, like doing business in it, becomes completely different, changing for the better.
People, colleagues, competitors in the past and partners in the present have become much more flexible, they are open for discussion and joint solution of issues. They are no longer interested in just selling, today they want to create and develop a really new and useful product, move the market and move with it. This is how business aviation is changing, so business is changing in it.
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