Malaysia Airlines targets US$129m worth of online sales
Eyeing a considerable chunk of transaction via its own site, Malaysia Airlines is targeting RM450 million (US$129 million) worth of online sales this year. (1/15/2007)
Last year, the airline recorded over RM120 million worth of online sales as customers flock to its website (www.malaysiaairlines.com), driving monthly hits to reach an all-time high of 1.3 million, far exceeding its 284,000 monthly hits in 2005. The steep increase in online transactions is attributed to the airline´s aggressive low fares promotional activities.
According to the airline, foreign transactions constitute over 60 percent of the sales while local bookings make up the rest. Local transactions were boosted by more than a 195 percent increase in the number of internet users between 2000 and 2006, which saw Malaysia hitting a 40.2 percent internet penetration rate last year.
Malaysia Airlines commercial director, Dato´ Rashid Khan said, "Online transactions are the way to go especially as we move towards electronic ticketing this year where physical tickets will no longer be issued. To facilitate this move, we have allocated RM200 million over a five-year period to create a hassle-free and efficient distribution channel. When electronic ticketing is fully implemented, customers can easily print his/ her itinerary from the comfort of his/ her home, and manage itinerary changes easier. The best thing is that they no longer have to worry about lost or stolen tickets".
On the Malaysia Airlines´ website, low airfares are available 342 days in advance. Customers who book their tickets via the Internet generally pay lower air fares.
Also, according to local media, in line with the new airfare structure that the airline will be implementing this week, it will reduce the commission it pays travel agents for ticket sales to two percent from five percent instead of pushing ahead with the zero percent commission policy. The zero percent commission policy has been deferred to Jan 1, 2008. According to Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta), the reduction to two percent was to help travel agents defray cost and help them cope with the new business model.