It’s Time: Virgin & Qantas to Reimagine Air Travel with AI

Ask the market what the future of air travel needs to be using the world’s online market data.

Bain Capital, a private equity firm affiliated with a global Tier 1 management consulting firm, was announced as the winning bidder for the acquisition of Virgin Australia, Australia’s 2nd largest airline.

Qantas just announced 6000 jobs lost and a further 15,000 to be stood down, 200 of their fleet to be retired early and international travel to not resume until next year.

COVID has changed the WORLD of air travel FOREVER.

Why? Because our lifestyle habits and behaviors around travel have been forced to change. According to health psychology researchers at University College London,

a new habit takes 66 days and as much as 254 days to fully form.

Our habits around travel have changed and new habits will be fully formed by the time we take the skies again. A hiatus from the skies of this length and this drastic in nature guarantees that we will never look at travel, holidays, connection, the same ever again.

However, of course, air travel is still relevant, but in what form? It’s time to reimagine air travel and we should use the world of market online data for the answers.

This is an opportune time, and the best excuse, to dramatically make some strategic game-changing decisions to reposition brand Virgin and Qantas in the travel industry.

The Old Way – A management consultant’s case study:

Review internal data, understand cost structures, review customer datasets, enlist expensive industry experts, trim the fat, restructure business model, squeeze out inefficiencies, engage market agencies to dream up a ‘new message’, and then repackage the same into a different flavor.

Are they going to ask industry experts for their biased opinions? Are they going to ask a few 100 or 1000 people questions about what they think they would do?

This has been done thousands of times. It’s not the first time airlines have been hit by industry and financial shocks. Remember Ansett? I still have a $300 credit voucher for a flight they canceled in the 90s as a 19-year-old uni student.

Old Way doesn’t work.

The New Way – Harnessing market data with AI:

We have oceans of market data outside these businesses that will tell you what the market wants for the future of air travel. We have advanced technologies like, AI using machine learning to process petabytes of online data to measure the engagement and how people, in their natural environments, think and feel about air travel, Virgin, Qantas, and holidays. We don’t have to ask a single question from people and we can get these insights in days.

Widen the lens of your world, outside what you currently know about air travel and uncover the ESSENCE of what truly matters to people.

We have petabytes of data at our fingers in this snowglobe. Pick up this situation and shake it around, like that snowglobe and see what comes out of the process.

People are human, driven by emotions.

We make decisions based on emotion. Emotions drive behavior and strong emotions change behavior. What will engage people to take to the skies again, even when isolation is lifted? How will the industry recover if people still hold fear and anxiety around air travel?

Knowing what I know in working with data, I know what I would be doing. There are market insights waiting to be uncovered in this snow globe. I’ve done it countless times before – this is my zone.

So I wish to ask Bain Capital, the new owners of Virgin, that here is an opportunity to RE-IMAGINE the world of air travel. Just like how Cirque du Soleil RE-IMAGINED the traditional dying circus industry to recreate a relevant and engaging circus entertainment product, that allowed them to exponentially grow by a factor of 22 times over 10 years, in a declining market.

Shake the snow globe.

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