East African carriers, such as Ethiopian Airlines, RwandAir and Kenya Airways, are scoring significantly more for customer satisfaction and loyalty ratings among their frequent flyers than carriers in the rest of Africa – and well above the global average.
The findings were revealed in a Net Promoter Score (NPS) study that global technology provider, Sabre Corporation, conducted for a group of African airlines.
The study looked into strength of brand, customer satisfaction and loyalty within African Airlines Association (AFRAA) member airlines from North, East, West and Southern Africa.
“Despite economic, political and societal challenges in Africa, airlines – particularly in the East – have invested in customer experience, satisfaction and loyalty to cultivate a positive brand reputation among travellers,” said Dino Gelmetti, vice president, EMEA, Airline Solutions, Sabre.
“This has worked well for them and now the focus is on unlocking more profits by investing in the latest customer experience technology and benchmarking their service levels against the world’s best carriers; everyone from the CEO to the gate agent must demonstrate a consistent, customer-centric approach. Air travel on the continent is expected to increase by as much as 24% after the pan-African passport is rolled out in 2018, so there’s no better time to be investing for future success.”
The study found that the highest-ranking attribute among passengers of African airlines was the quality of service from cabin crew. Areas that received the lowest scores centered on customer effort – including check-in, ease of booking ancillaries and website experience.
“We are committed to helping our airlines tap into an increased demand for travel services in the continent, and have been able to set a clear path for growth by partnering with Sabre on this study”, said Dr. Elijah Chingosho, AFRAA Secretary General.
The study was the first of its kind performed in the region. It aimed to help African carriers identify how to improve in order to compete with global rivals and increase revenue.