In this way, SAS can repair the relationship with passengers – SAS – Business


The pilot associations and SAS met on Wednesday for further talks. After negotiating for more than 24 hours, the parties still do not agree, and the strike now lasts six days.

But the parties are more optimistic than they have been for a long time. It may mean that the end of the strike is closer than before.

"What SAS is likely to do when the strike is over is to try to sweeten the market, both in the form of cheap tickets and good deals for its Eurobonus customers," said airline analyst Hans Jørgen Elnæs at Winair.

He points out that although the SAS has lost a lot of money on strike, for example, DNB Markets estimated that every day with strikes can cost up to NOK 90 million in lost revenue, so it is the market, ie the passengers who accepted the noise.

One way to show that they want to give something back is to make some offers, so I think they have in their planning book. And then the Norwegian will match, so there may be a lot of cheap tickets after the strike is over.

Read also: (+) So much that the pilots of the SAS serve

There has been little news about progress after state broker Mats Wilhelm Ruland reported moving but still considerable distance on Wednesday night.

Not being decent

– Patches in the wound for patients affected? It is questionable whether they can pay after this expensive strike, says professor and aviation economics expert, Frode Steen of the Norwegian School of Economics.

He points out that if cheap tickets arrive after the strike, it is not primarily because SAS will be happy with its customers.

– SAS lives well with its loyal customers. In that image, these campaigns will be about getting those aircraft back and filling up, he says.

– Does SAS 'reputation have a bang now?

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"People basically forget terribly fast. I think this has little effect on consumer choice of air tickets, but if someone gets another SAS strike from another occupational group, that will be remembered, "Steen says.

– SAS should make an effort

NHH colleague Tor W. Andreassen, professor of marketing and innovation, says the SAS brand is negatively affected. The question is how long.

It is especially the loyalty of business travelers that SAS should be concerned about, he believes.

– This is a major group for SAS. Assuming that this group of customers that travels a lot has 95% loyalty to SAS, but because of dissatisfaction it reduces to 90%, this will mean halving the volume of business for this segment of customers. When business travelers account for about 70% of SAS 'turnover, this can be in large numbers, he explains.

So Andreassen thinks SAS should make a big effort – and they do – to show that they really work to help this group.

Read also: (+) The crisis that almost lowered the SAS seven years ago, and that pilots never forget

"If salary expenses and other costs now increase for SAS, and that customer segment loses some of its loyalty, I think it's starting to hurt SAS," he says.

Two scenarios

Hans Jørgen Elnæs therefore believes that there is a frustration reduction offer from SAS. The outcome of today's negotiations will determine to a great extent how necessary they become, he believes.

– We have two scenarios: if they agree today and the deal seems reasonable, the market will think it was good for both parties and accepted. The alternative is for them to separate again, and it does not look like they have approached particularly together, so I think the market reacts negatively. And that could have an effect, says the air analyst.

He points out that Andreassen says 12% of SAS customers, where a large proportion are business travelers and other large corporate clients, account for up to 70% of sales.

"It says how vulnerable this market is," Elnæs says.

To have done what they can

With hundreds of thousands of affected passengers, SAS naturally has a lot of frustration, especially on Facebook.

Elnæs, however, is of the opinion that the company has done what it can, and very well.

– Those who are in the telephone service can not take peaks like this, there are no companies that are capable. I have the impression that SAS has entered into the resources it has, both on the phone and through physical presence at airports, so SAS can not be criticized for its customer service.

He adds:

– It also helps that they have, on a larger scale, started using automated processes, including in connection with ticket reimbursement.


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