Online Marketing in the Airline Industry: Expectations about Future Developments

By Frank van Soldt, Menno Bobbink and Shi Ying

The traditional relationship between an airline and its customers through intermediaries has changed significantly over the last decade. The development of the internet as a distribution channel has presented the legacy airlines with the opportunity to take out these intermediaries resulting in multiple benefits. The question is to what extend airlines can actually move all distribution to direct online sales channels, and whether this strategy would be advantageous in the first place. So our main question is: ‘What can we expect about the developments of online marketing in the airline industry?’ To answer this question, we will discuss customer relationships in the airline industry, next the drivers of e-commerce, internet strategies, critical success factors of online marketing, and finally the expectations about the development of online marketing in the airline industry.

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