DYNAMISM MAKES AIRBLUE A TRENDSETTER IN AVIATION BUSINESS
Today, the company is operating with 5 aircraft and 26 flights to mark its second anniversary on June 18
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
June 12 - 18, 2006
"Continue to grow" is the open secret behind the success story of Airblue, said Syed Nasir Ali, Director Commercial while talking to PAGE at his simple but impressive two-three room office at the second floor of FORUM in Clifton.
Despite having a strong financial base worth $100 million, Airblue does not believe in princely show off and waste of resources on luxurious office paraphernalia only for personal ego, said Nasir and added that our Head Office in Islamabad is even smaller than Karachi office.
In fact, it is the sense of achievement, which gives true happiness and not the attractive office decorations. Coming back to the slogan of 'Continue to grow" Syed Nasir quoted Jehangir Khan, who ruled the squash world for over a decade, as saying" it is comparatively easy to achieve a higher position or to reach on top. The real challenge is to retain that position". Top is generally considered as the beginning of the end.
Taking lead from Jehangir Khan's passion, Airblue has tried to generate a spirit in its workforce, that is never allow complacency to creep in their rank and folds, instead continue to grow and that very spirit is reflected in two years performance of the company.
Airblue had started its flying operations with two aircraft and three destinations. Today, the company is operating with 5 aircraft and 26 flights to mark its second anniversary on June 18.
On the completion of the first year of its operations, Air blue had introduced the concept of E-ticketing for the first time in Pakistan, while the occasion was marked with the addition of International route of Dubai last year.
Airblue has a plan to begin the third year of its operations with some innovative products aimed at facilitating its customers. In fact, it is the innovative and friendly customer service, which provides an edge over others. The New Year will begin with a new SMS service to inform the customers about flight schedule and to abreast the customers from any delays to avoid any uncalled for embarrassment after reaching the terminal.
Air blue is also introducing another customer service product from June 20, 2006.
This new product would be a self-check in facility at the departure lounge. This would be a counter installed at the departure which a passenger can avail self check in through ratification of his traveling documents which requires his identity in the computer counter. This would make a hassle free check in for those travelling with hand-carries only.
Nasir decline to disclose yet another new product the Airblue intended to introduce to mark the second anniversary of the airline. " I am avoid to make it public at this point of time because the pre-mature disclosure would not be in the business interest of the company.
In its third year of business, the company has a firm plan to acquire another 4 aircraft in its fleet. Out of the four new aircraft two of them would be A330 and two of A321, besides introduction of a prestigious destination of Manchester (UK) in December 2006.
To begin with the celebrations, Airblue is going to hold a gala dinner in Lahore on June 18 followed by colorful a musical show at Al-Hamra Arts Council.
On 25th of June, the occasion will be marked with a walk with a message "Love Karachi" the walk will start from Kothari Parade Clifton to Mohatta Palace at 7.30 in the morning. The participants then move to Amir Khusro Road Park for a breakfast, Nasir said.
Efficient and dedicated staff is the secret of cost effectiveness which has made Airblue a going concern, earning profits even in the face of sky high oil prices giving tough times to the aviation business.
Replying to a question regarding suspension of flight operations by another private airline, Nasir said Airblue has its own targets to tap the customers. We never chase any particular segment of the customers, actually it is the innovative, competitive services, which speak louder than claims. It is quality of services which attract people to fly with Airblue, he said in a firm tone.
Sitting besides him was Sadaf Ali, a young lady working for Airblue as the Manager System support.
Sadaf said besides using IT as an effective solution provider to the satisfaction of the customers all over the country, her responsibility is to impart in house training to the fresh staff to deal with the customers effectively and in a friendly manner. Once a person joins Airblue, he or she would hardly thing to move from here. Women's share in the total strength of its workforce is about 70 percent not because of any discrimination but they are capable to meet challenges, Sadaf looked quite happy over what she said the efficient and friendly working environment providing opportunity to grow with the airline.