For an airline like Continental Airlines, what are the future challenges especially in e-commerce when it comes to India and China? (5/24/2007)
Chris Amenechi, Senior Director - international distribution planning and e-commerce, Continental Airlines said, "With respect to China and India, our future challenges are:
· Be functionally ready for the market;
· Grow as the market expands;
· Give Chinese and Indian customers a befitting experience."
On the environment for expanding operations in India and China, Amenechi said, "We are moving forward with our operations in these markets and will continue to expand as you have seen with our announced service to Mumbai."
Continental had relationships with Air China and China Southern Airlines prior to its entry in China before it started flying non-stop to Beijing in June 2005. How have been the last two years like and what hurdles have been faced in expansion?
On the same, he said, "From a distribution standpoint, China continues to adapt and expand positively so we will continue to move alongside the changes and support them."
From e-commerce perspective, he said, "Engaging these diverse markets requires online/ offline strategies." Further on managing and evolving with the marketplace, he said regional international market changes will be the drivers of change. He added that cultural nuances shouldn´t be ignored but simple transactions drive adoption.
Amenechi emphasised on functionality and experience. He propagated that it is imperative to ensure consumers are engaged in their preferred language, manage their travel plans and maximise their experience. "China will be a huge e-commerce market in the near future and security will be managed appropriately to enable it move along," he said.
On payment security and eCommerce, he said, "Each country is unique with some similarities with regards to trust levels and % of credit card online purchases. Travel with emphasis on the online model will continue to be a hybrid of consumer and agency drivers in both countries."