Looking Beyond The Horizon

Innovative Technologies & Services

A service innovation in the air – SKYBUS

Posted by evolvingwheel on August 28, 2007

When I read the article in popular science, the first thing that crossed my mind was PAY-AS-YOU-GO! SKYBUS is a Columbus, OH based airline startup that is providing airtravel at a very affordable cost – with some trade offs. There are several elements of consideration that the company has implemented. To name a few:

  1. No connecting flights.
  2. No 800 numbers and phone customer service.
  3. Automated check ins.
  4. Fly out of small airports in big cities.
  5. Pay for the services you need – which even include checked baggage.

One particular idea that I liked is – Why should you be made to pay for all those sodas and blankets that other people use that you don’t?  That’s truly a personalized service proposition. Another interesting thing is the ability to handle customer related issues without any live phone accessibility. However, live CHAT online may be a option. For PDA enabled customers, one can connect to customer service over the web. I am not sure if they have that kind of service. Another factor of efficiency added to the model is by accessing smaller airports in big cities. With lower air traffic, there are less chances for bottlenecks and hence delays. However, if the company plans to expand its service 4-5 fold over next 5 years, then they also need to find airports (or improve them to) that can support bigger jets, longer runways, higher volume of baggage processing, and air traffic control. One of the challenges will be when few other competitors start copying this model. Skybus Plane

From the operations standpoint, another consideration will be outsourcing of line maintenance. On the service side, if these kinds of airlines have contract based support crews (air hostess, cleaners, bagage porters), then they have to create a very efficient service-based-resource management systems to track availabilities of workers on a per-demand basis. This just creates a whole new area of business process and efficiency. As time comes and competition increases in this sector, it will be worth noticing the business dynamic. I will definitely keep my eyes open!

Check the following link for SKYBUS rules 🙂


[Read the article here]


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