You are on page 1of 17

London Metropolitan University

Turkish Airlines Marketing Plan (Portfolio)


Summer/Winter 2010/11
UK

By Nikola Georgiev
Student ID: 07059973

EMAIL: NIK_SINGERSTR@YAHOO.COM

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction

2. Business Strategy
2.1. Airline Overview
2.2. Existing Market
2.3. Competitors Overview and Situation analysis
2.4. The Competitors
2.4.1. British Airways
2.4.2. Pegasus Airlines
2.4.3. Easyjet
2.4.4. Competitors products
2.4.5. Competitive advantage of Turkish Airlines.

3. Strategic Marketing Focus.


3.1. Mission
3.2. Goals and Objectives
3.3. Values
3.4. Core competencies
3.5. External Environment -PEST Analysis
3.6. Internal Environment – SWOT Analysis

4. Marketing Plan
4.1. Target Market
4.1.1. Market Share Estimates by Class
4.1.2. Load Factor
4.1.3. Turkish Tourism and Business segments
4.1.4. Expatriates in Turkey
4.1.5. Transit Passengers of Istanbul

4.2. Intended Strategies


4.2.1. Market Penetration (Improving In-flight services)
4.2.2. Market Development (Extending new routes)
4.2.3. Product Development (First class private suite)
4.2.4.Cost reductions

4.3. Marketing programmes


4.3.1. Product
4.3.2. Price
4.3.3. Promotion
4.3.4. Place
4.3.5. Customer Service

5. Conclusion

6. Appendices (Tables and Charts)

7. References

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

1. Introduction

A comprehensive marketing plan for Turkish Airlines, particularly focusing on its


services, product differentiation, target markets and customer segments is vital to ensure its
survival against the existing services provided by its competitors - British Airways, Pegasus
Airlines and Easyjet.

The objective of this marketing plan is to further develop Turkish Airlines market
share in summer 2010 and winter 2010/11 period through marketing programs and
initiatives. The task undertaken begins with overview of the company, its products for the UK
market and competitive advantage, followed by an in-depth analysis of the current situation
on the London, Manchester and Birmingham to Istanbul routes, by providing extensive
analysis of overall capacity between the city pairs and analysis of the competition. These
actions are being performed in order to better understand where Turkish Airlines should
focus its marketing campaign and how it should differentiate its product. The report also
looks at the airline internal strengths and weaknesses through SWOT analysis and identifies
the airline external operating environment through PEST analysis. Marketing promotions
highlighted in this marketing plan serve to increase market share in the short term while the
advertisements seek to increase product and brand awareness in the long term. Finally, the
report will be concluded with an overall summary of the company situation, market share and
evaluation of its future marketing activities.

2. Business Strategy
Turkish Airlines has pursued a strategy focused on growth and development for many years
and is now one of world‟s fastest rising airlines. A clear measure of Turkish Airline‟s rise is its
status as one of the world‟s 4-star airlines, as measured by Skytrax(1), which has covered
the airline sector for 18 years. Turkish Airlines now has its sights set on a 5-star rating.
Constantly seeking innovation, which it passes onto its passengers through high quality
service, Turkish Airlines is an airline that rapidly implements transformative solutions in
support of growth and development. Acting on these values, the airline will continue to build
upon its success as it advances towards becoming a global airline and a Turkish brand
name recognized around the world.

2.1. Airline Overview


Turkish Airlines, Turkey‟s national flag carrier, was founded in Ankara on 20 May 1933 as
“State Airlines Administration,” under the direction of the Ministry of Defence. In 1955, it was
restructured into “Turkish Airlines”. 25% of the company was sold via an SPO under a
privatisation programme in 2005. Today 50.9% of the company shares are public, while the
rest remain state-owned.

In 2008, Turkish Airlines has kept its position ranked as one of the fastest-growing airlines
among European Carriers in terms of capacity and traffic growth. When considering the
economical crisis affecting many European Carriers and leading them to decrease their
operations; Turkish Airlines has increased its annual passenger and the Available Seat
Kilometer (ASK) by 15% and 11,3% respectively. With its fleet of 127 aircraft, in 2009
Turkish Airlines carried 22, 5 million passengers and the number of transit passengers have
increased by 41, 3 % across a network comprised of 145 International and 36 domestic
destinations From Istanbul, Turkish Airlines operate various onward connections throughout
the Middle East and Central Asia. Turkish Airlines also have an extensive network of
domestic flights, with the shuttle service between Istanbul and the Turkish capital Ankara
being particularly well used. Since April 2008, Turkish Airlines became a Star Alliance
member enabling the company to offer even more destination through the code share flights
of its partners.

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

2.2. Existing Market


Turkish Airlines is one of the major operators connecting directly UK with Turkey (and
beyond) from London - Heathrow through its major hub in Istanbul – Ataturk Airport. Despite
there are other airlines servicing London – Istanbul route, such as Pegasus Airlines and
Easyjet, Turkish Airlines main competitor remains British Airways. Although Turkish Airlines
compete with a very strong positioned and well known operator as BA, the company remains
very stable and its market share is estimated to be 54% of the total market (Reuters 09).
Another advantage of Turkish Airlines is that the company serve the route to Istanbul
through regional airports in the UK, as Manchester (the 2 nd largest airport after Heathrow)
and Birmingham. Never the less, it also operates flights to Istanbul from other airports such
as London Gatwick and London Stansted. Table 1 below shows the current flight schedule of
Turkish Airlines from UK to Istanbul.

Table 1

Flights Per
From To
Day

Birmingham Istanbul Ataturk 1


International International
Istanbul Ataturk 2
London Gatwick
International
Istanbul Ataturk 3/5
London Heathrow
International
2
London Stansted Istanbul Sabiha-Gokcen

Istanbul Ataturk 2
Manchester
International

Source: Turkish Airlines

2.3. Competitors Overview and Situation analysis


Turkish Airlines competes with three main airlines on the route London – Istanbul. These
are: British Airways that execute flights from London Heathrow to Istanbul Ataturk (2-3 flights
daily), Pegasus Airlines serving London Stansted – Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (1 flight daily)
and Easyjet serving London Gatwick – Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (1 flight daily) (2). Based on
the above information, Turkish Airlines main competitor is British Airways – as a full service
airline providing connection from main-to-main airport, whilst Pegasus Airlines and Easyjet
are LCC executing flights from secondary airports to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen – airport
located further away from Istanbul in the Asian side. Turkish Airlines is the only company
serving airports as London Gatwick, London Stansted, Manchester and Birmingham in
addition to its main London Heathrow base.

2.4. The Competitors


Competitors for Turkish Airlines are classified as direct and non-direct threat.
Although BA is a direct threat to Turkish Airlines, the latter possess the advantage of
servicing different airports around UK, targeting local communities and businesses on a
wider spectrum.

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

2.4.1. British Airways


British Airways is the main competitor of Turkish Airlines on the route LHR – IST. It is a full
service airline – the national carrier of Great Britain. Its strong position in the UK market is
well defined. BA serves more than 680 destinations (3) around the world some of which on
code share bases with One World partner airlines.

2.4.2. Pegasus Airlines


Pegasus Airlines is a LCC servicing London Stansted – Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport. The
airline is not classified as a main threat to Turkish Airlines services as it operates from
secondary airports and its product has a low value compared to the full service of Turkish
Airlines. One advantage of this carrier is the fact that it has extensive route connections in
regional Turkey.

2.4.3. Easyjet
Easyjet is a Low Cost carrier servicing London Gatwick - Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport.
The airline is not classified as a main threat to Turkish Airlines services, even though it
operates from the 2nd largest airport in London – Gatwick. Its product has a low value
compared to the full service of Turkish Airlines. The airline is better positioned with flight
services within mainland Europe and has no regional connections within Turkey.

2.4.4. Competitors products


Pegasus Airlines and Easyjet, as low cost carriers have well defined product structure mainly
targeting the leisure market. Their product value refers to the low cost model with fewer
services on board -product that can mainly be directed to travellers on a budget (no seat
allocation, paid snacks and baggage allowance, etc.). Their flights are operated either
from/or to secondary airports which are no attractive to wider group of passengers
(especially business). Therefore their product and marketing strategy differs from the one of
Turkish Airlines.

British Airways is a full service airline that provide similar product to Turkish Airlines and
therefore is considered as the main competitor. They provide the economy (leisure traveller)
product along with the upper economy and business class experience. BA‟s main advantage
on the route IST-LHR is the onward connections they provide to the rest of the world from
their operating hub LHR or through its One World airline partners. They also operate 2-3
flights daily feeding their extensive routes worldwide.

2.4.5. Competitive advantage of Turkish Airlines.

The most important factor separating Turkish Airlines from its competitors is its success in
maintaining reliability, speed and timeliness without compromising service quality. Flying
Turkish Airlines is an experience of its own, always associated with the Turkish hospitality –
experience of comfort, quality pre-boarding and onboard services and great customer
service.

Turkish Airlines competitive advantage in UK is based on its flight operations from three
London airports and two regional operations - Manchester and Birmingham, enabling the
company to increase its market share and passenger network. Flights frequencies are
another advantage that boosts passengers flying the airline to increase enormously.
Regional connections from its main hub in Istanbul, as well as more than 145 onward
connections to the Middle and Far East and Asian countries(and further 940 destinations
with its code share partners), enables Turkish Airlines to be one of the most desirable
airlines.

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

The onboard product combining economy service focused to the leisure passengers,
together with the unique business passengers‟ product, providing services, such as
dedicated check-in points, exclusive security gates and effortless passport control at low
fares assign the airline as one of the most preferred among different group of passengers.

3. Strategic Marketing Focus

The strategic marketing plan for 2010/11 is focusing on promoting Turkish Airlines as the
most favourable airline in the UK by empowering its brand name and creating better
awareness of the airline website and its products amongst the British public, local Turkish
communities and businesses.

3.1. Mission
To become a preferred leading European air carrier with global network coverage, thanks to
its strict compliance with flight safety, reliability, product line, service quality and
competitiveness while maintaining its identity of the flag carrier of the Republic of Turkey.

3.2. Goals and Objectives


Turkish Airlines main goal is to become the most preferred operator on flights to Turkey
(and beyond) for both leisure and business travellers. Another major goal for the company is
to be the bridge between the Asia and European markets through their Istanbul hub. This
goal will be achieved by strong focus on transit passengers.

The main objective of the marketing plan for Turkish Airlines is to increase the generated
revenue in the business segment in order to secure the financial sustainability and future
growth of the company and its premium product in the UK market. This will primarily be
achieved in three stages; firstly by defining the market to narrow the market focus to
consumers and businesses that are qualified to or are already users of business class air
travel, secondly by further identifying the available market from London and the rest of UK to
Istanbul and finally targeting the potential market for additional leisure and business travel on
the route. Each segment of the market will be targeted to increase Turkish Airlines sales and
improve the airlines load factors. Table 2 below summarises the marketing objectives:

Table 2

Objective Time period


Increase revenue in business segment by 15% Summer 2010/winter 2010/11
Increase market share by 4% to 58% By the start of Summer 2010
Increase market share to 62.4% During Summer 2010
Increase load factor from 68% to 72% By the start of Summer 2010
Further increase of load factor by 5% to 77% During Summer 2010/Winter 10/11
Promote thy.com for bookings to reduce cost Throughout the whole period
Promote first class product and onward flights Throughout the whole period
from London to the rest of the world via Istanbul

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

3.3. Values
With flight safety and customer service quality as its two indispensable values, Turkish
Airlines acts with the awareness of being the flag carrier of Turkey. Another important value
that the airline tries to maintain on a regular basis is value for money – cheap tickets with no
compromises on services provided. As the 20th Star Alliance member, Turkish Airlines took
its place among the giants of the world‟s aviation sector, having completed an array of
membership steps in areas ranging from information technology infrastructure, marketing,
sales, customer service and ground operations. Turkish Airlines quality and safety have
received global exposure through the Star Alliance broad network, leading to sharp
increases in passenger numbers.

3.4. Core competencies


Over the past five years, Turkish Airlines has shown a tremendous development by
becoming one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. In 2009 Turkish Airlines celebrated
its 75th anniversary. It is an important milestone in the company's history as the company
joined one of the most prestigious airline alliances in the world - Star Alliance - the world's
biggest airline marketing partnership, but also was awarded 4-star quality assurance by
Skytrax. Summing up the company experiences, Turkish Airlines is today a 4-star airline with
a fleet of 130 aircraft flying to 145 destinations around the world. In addition, passengers can
benefit from more than 940 destinations on Star alliance partners network.

3.5. External Environment - PEST Analysis*

Political Economical
Turkey Turkey
50.9% of the company shares - public, dynamic economy;
the rest remain state-owned ; relatively large geographical area (780,000
strong political/governmental backup; sq km);
increasing disposable income among its
UK population;
Possible political instability that could worsen
the relations between the 2 countries ; UK
Economic downturn can result in decline of
air travel – particularly for business traffic;

Sociological Technological
Turkey Turkey & UK
unique growth opportunity;
population of 75 million; New fleet ;
e-ticketing ;
UK e-services ;
Huge presence of Turkish community ; e-customer care;
Growing UK population and increasing
demand for travel products ;

* Please refer to Appendix 1 for detailed PEST Analysis

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

3.6. Internal Environment – SWOT Analysis*

STRENGTHS OPPORTUNITIES

Turkey Turkey
Expanding home market economy and A growing market, despite the economic
favourable demographic; crisis;
Strategic geographic position; A popular tourism destination;
Substantial cost advantage over rivals; Benefiting from liberalisation policies;
Rising market share;
Star Alliance membership and close UK
relationship with Lufthansa; Extend coverage into Scotland;
National Flag carrier – European Capital of
UK Culture 2010 Airline;
Substantial market share; Business customers focus;
Great flight frequency; Drawing passengers into onward flights from
3 London airports + 2 regional services; Istanbul hub;
Great product and customer services;

WEAKNESSESS THREATS

Turkey Turkey
Higher risk organic growth strategy; LCCs increasing their presence ;
Massive fleet growth to fund; Currency shifts may inhibit profitability;
Under-utilising the potential of a strong
alliance;

UK UK
Market adaptation product; LCCs increasing their presence;
Product differentiation; British Airways product differentiation;
Brand/ specific product awareness; British Airways coverage expansion;

*Please refer to Appendix 1 for detailed SWOT Analysis

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

4. Marketing Plan

4.1. Target Market


Market segmentation will allow Turkish Airlines to concentrate its resources in markets
where its competitive advantage is at its greatest and hence its returns are highest.
The market segmentations strategy will focus on attracting three different types of
passengers although the overall product offering in each case will be virtually identical on
service, they will vary on price. Distinct marketing techniques will be used to create a
competitively distinctive place for the product and the Turkish Airlines brand in the minds of
the targeted consumers.

The primary target market for the airline is corporate business air travel. The main need of
this type of customers is the corporate discount available in return for volume. The company
product will be positioned to these customers to provide significant cost savings over
competitors. Both London and Istanbul are cities with many multinational companies and
businesses, which create a vast market for corporate travel. Corporate travellers that Turkish
Airlines should be targeting include, Deutsche bank, PwC, Delloit, Shell and several other
prominent corporations with links in Istanbul and London who fly business class and has
significant volume of business travel between the pair cities.

The secondary target market for the airline is the small business and independent business
travellers who typically fly from Heathrow to Istanbul but also from the industrial cities –
Manchester and Birmingham. The product will be positioned for these customers by
providing a FFP and a business class fare that is significantly lower than most traditional
fares (the two main needs of business travellers according to surveys). The product will also
be positioned to this target market as the one with the highest levels of service on board the
aircraft, significantly higher levels of comfort offered by the seats and a higher degree of
luxury compared to the competition.

The final target market for the airline is the luxury travel market that exists from London and
Manchester to Istanbul. The product will be marketed and positioned to these customers as
a „first class service at business class fares’. These customers are generally uninterested in
the frequency demanded by business travellers.

4.1.1. Market Share Estimates by Class


The leisure passengers are the main income generator for Turkish Airlines, whilst business
passengers remain at a lower level.
The following table represents the market share estimates by passengers‟ class for flights
from London (3 airports), Manchester and Birmingham (in total).

Table 3

Leisure 54%
Business 32%

Source: Reuters

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

4.1.2. Load Factor


The following table 4 shows Turkish Airlines traffic (RPK), capacity (ASK) and load factor in
% from 2005 – Sep 2009.

Table 4

Source: Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation and Turkish Airlines

Based on these figures and the growth on previous average load factors of 68%, the
marketing plan main objective will be to increase the airlines‟ average load factors to around
72% towards the start of the summer period, giving the airline a substantial 58% market
share of the total business and leisure capacity offered on the London to Istanbul route.
Through increased marketing and focused advertising campaigns, the marketing objective is
to further increase load factors by 5% over the summer period to 77% (so the airline will be
operating with very healthy, profitable load factors) and thus increasing Turkish Airlines
market share to 62.4%. (Figures calculated from Table 3 and Table 4)

4.1.3. Turkish Tourism and Business segments


Istanbul as Turkey's cultural and financial centre, extends both on the European (Thrace)
and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus and is thereby the only metropolis in the
world which is situated on two continents. The city has always been the centre of the
country's economic life because of its location as an international junction of land and sea
trade routes. The opening of specific markets in the city during the 1980s further
strengthened the city's economic status. Istanbul is also Turkey's largest industrial centre. It
employs approximately 20% of Turkey's industrial labour and contributes 38% of Turkey's
industrial workspace. It is one of the most important tourism centres in Turkey. There are
thousands of hotels and other tourist oriented businesses in the city, catering to both
vacationers and visiting professionals. In 2009 a total of 23.1 million tourists visited Turkey
(TurkStat), most of whom entered the country through the airports and seaports of Istanbul

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

and Antalya. It is also one of the world's major conference destinations and is an
increasingly popular choice for the world's leading international associations. The city is
becoming increasingly colourful in terms of its rich social, cultural, and commercial activities.
While world famous pop stars fill stadiums, activities like opera, ballet and theatre continue
throughout the year. During seasonal festivals, world famous orchestras, chorale ensembles,
concerts and jazz legends can be found often playing to a full house. The Istanbul
International Film Festival is one of the most important film festivals in Europe, while the
Istanbul Biennial is another major event of fine arts. Istanbul have been selected to be the
European capital of culture for 2010, which gives further opportunities for Turkish Airlines as
the flag carrier and official ambassador of the city as a travel destination. Istanbul generates
55% of Turkey's trade and 45% of the country's wholesale trade, and generates 21.2% of
Turkey's gross national product. In 2008 companies based in Istanbul made exports worth
$41.4 billion and imports worth $69.8 billion; which corresponded to 56.6% and 60.2% of
Turkey's exports and imports in that year (TurkStat). Further to that, many multinational
companies have branches, which brings in and out a lot of business traffic. The city is very
familiar to expats that have chosen it for their new home.

4.1.4. Expatriates in Turkey


The latest statistics from TurkStat, the Turkish Statistics Institute, reveal that there has been
a steady increase in the numbers of expats going to live in Turkey year by year. Whilst exact
TurkStat figures relating to the number of expats coming from UK are not available, their
latest findings do show that now around 235,000 Britons moved to live in Turkey in the last
couple of years as the appeal of the nation grows and becomes more widely appreciated.

4.1.5. Transit Passengers of Istanbul


There were 2,706,614 transit passengers at Istanbul Ataturk Airport in 2009. This is an
increase of 6.4% compared to the preceding year. As the main carrier at Ataturk Airport,
Turkish Airlines have the opportunity of a bigger exposure to transiting passengers, that
could choose the airline for their onward travel or in near future. Turkish Airlines main goal
for 2010 is to create a bridge between Europe and the East through its Istanbul hub,
focusing on all transit passengers.

4.2. Intended Strategies


The marketing strategy serves as a foundation for the marketing plan and sets out the
strategic approach that the plan will apply in reaching the marketing objectives set.
Promotions like companion free offers, advanced in-flight technology and world class cuisine
are all marketing strategies that Turkish Airlines competitors embrace to capture premium
travellers. The airline marketing strategy therefore has to be designed to promote the airlines
superior service and product at a price lower than the competitors‟ inferior product to attract
consumers. Once the airline, via its unique product, has established a relationship with the
consumer its goal is to retain those customers by enhancing their experience through
increased customer service and higher level of quality offered, as a single bad experience on
Turkish Airlines will drive customers back to British Airways (and other airlines).

4.2.1. Market Penetration (Improving In-flight services)


Improving in-flight services is a major move that could separate Turkish Airlines from its
competitors. Providing a different in-flight product, such as catering that influence the Turkish
tradition (cuisine) and hospitality, and specific product tailored for the business travellers
focusing on their needs and wants, would attract more passengers looking for enjoyable and
influential travel experience. Entertainment and communication in-flight systems are major
advantage of Turkish Airlines.

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

4.2.2. Market Development (Extending new routes)


A great opportunity for Turkish Airlines, as the largest carrier for Turkey in the UK market is
to expand its presence and extend the route network into Scotland. This will enable the
company to draw huge amount of traffic, knowing that the Scottish travel market is a
lucrative opportunity.

4.2.3. Product Development (First class private suite)


Turkish Airlines is one of the very few airlines in the world that implemented private suite on
its long haul fleet. This is a unique product focused towards the needs of superior customers
and awareness of this product in the UK market will increase the passenger demand for the
onward flights of Turkish Airlines from Istanbul.

4.2.4. Cost reductions


Cost reductions can be achieved by reducing the office premises and ground staff the airline
use. Focusing on online bookings, e-customer services and e-technology will be a major
objective in achieving cost cuts. Thus, the benefit would be given to consumers in the way of
cheaper tickets or special discounts.

4.3. Marketing programmes


Turkish Airlines marketing promotions will be designed to enable the airline to exceed its
marketing objectives by increasing interest in the product and the willingness of consumers
to buy it. This section of the report proposes several marketing promotions for the airline to
increase their sales, brand awareness, and loyalty from existing customers beyond that
which can be provided by advertising alone.

Advanced Booking Price Promotions

The main aim of the price promotions will be to reduce the number of empty seats on the
aircraft and hence to maximise revenue. Assuming that the existing target load factors are
sufficient to generate significant profit additional seats which otherwise would be empty
could be sold at significantly reduced prices, however they must still yield a profit for the
service provided. Turkish Airlines price promotion will provide significantly low prices for
customers who are able to book an anytime seat over one calendar month in advance. This
promotion will be targeted at leisure travellers as it is assumed that a majority of business
travellers book their seats close to the required date of departure as they are required to
leave on short notice.

Three for Two

The main aim of this promotion is to generate additional revenue while not overbooking the
aircraft or undermining the passengers who have not utilised this promotion, which would
most likely be the case if a buy one get one free promotion were offered. This promotion is
based on a consumer or group of consumers purchasing two full fare return tickets and
receiving a third one free. This promotion could enable three consumers to travel at once for
the price of two, general trends of leisure travellers, or enable a single consumer who
purchases two tickets within a month, general trend of a business class consumer, to be
offered the third one free. The free ticket will be restricted and must be used within a period
of one month. This promotion will be designed to run in May, June, July and August when
target load factors are less than 60%.

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

Promotional Items for On-line Bookings

All consumers who book flights in August through to December directly through
www.thy.com will be offered free Istanbul sightseeing tour cards or similar organised tours.
This is designed to increase load factors above target load factors for these months but also
to reduce distribution costs of tickets. For all business passengers on onward flights from
Istanbul, 1 or 2 free nights at luxury hotels will be offered.

Turkish Airlines Triple Points Frequent Flyer Program

Miles&Smiles is already a rewarding and generous scheme where passengers can redeem
rewards and take advantage of many benefits. In April, June and Oct, the airline will offer
triple points on all bookings made on-line.

 Summary of Marketing Programs

Marketing Promotion Period


Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Advanced Booking Price
Promotion
Three for Two
Gifts for On-line Bookings
Frequent Flyer Triple Points

4.3.1. Product
Turkish Airlines product is providing economy and business class travel between London,
Manchester, Birmingham and Istanbul. The airline method of providing its services is what
differentiates its product and allows it to offer vast benefits, such as space, seats, comfort
and in-flight services, as well as genuine gestures such as Istanbul sightseeing cards and
chauffeur services to the existing economy and business class passengers.

Turkish Airlines product must be positioned to the target market as one that meets and
exceeds the needs of both leisure and business class travellers, who would normally fly with
LCC like Easyjet or Pegasus (leisure passengers) or British Airways (business
passengers), through increased product innovation and quality. The product focused
towards business travellers allows them to hold in flight meetings in comfort and order meals
and services to suit their timetable and specific needs. Although business class travel is not
a new product, Turkish Airlines product has improved to the highest level possible, to
compete with its major competitors mainly based on price differentiation.

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

4.3.2.Price

Table 5 below shows the online published fares of THY versus BA.

Airline Economy Fares Business Fares % cheaper than British


Airways
Economy Business
Turkish £95 (15 days £380 63.3% 70.37%
Airlines advanced)
British £150 (30 days £540
Airways advanced)
Table 5 comparison of airline pricing strategies Mon 10 to Fri 14 May 2010

The main pricing strategy of the company is to maintain price leadership. While Turkish
Airlines pricing allows the company to achieve its financial goals, i.e. make a profit, it
undercuts the realities of the marketplace for the product and service offered by its
competitor operating out of London Heathrow. Based on competitor pricing customers would
be willing to buy at Turkish Airlines prices. Turkish Airlines pricing strategies support the
products positioning, as the low price does not act as a substitute for lack of product quality,
and are consistent with the other variables in the marketing mix. The type of promotions and
advertising used will affect the price, however in order to keep prices low, the product will not
be supported by extensive marketing campaigns such as T.V. adverts, which can cost up to
£130,000 for a single advert in a prime time slot (4).

Pricing is influenced by the distribution channels used particularly in selling to corporate


customers. However, through negotiations the airline can achieve great results with its
corporate clients.

4.3.3. Promotion
Turkish Airlines promotional strategy will be carried out with the target customer in mind
preventing the waste of time and money on ineffective promotional activities such as TV ads.
Other methods of creating awareness of the airline product will include sales promotions and
presence at business trade shows, promoting the airlines directly to the target audiences, as
well as social websites like Facebook, Twitter, etc.

4.3.4. Place
A Multi-level marketing strategy will be employed to distribute the product. That is a
combination of direct sales and indirect sales through the internet, Business trade shows
and corporate travel agencies.

Business Trade Shows

Turkish Airlines will have a comprehensive premier presence at Business Travel Trade at
Excel, London. Prior to the event the trade show will provide significant media exposure that
will feature Turkish Airlines brand. The trade show will provide the airline with on site
marketing and promotional exposure.

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

Internet

In order to attract UK leisure and business travellers, Turkish Airlines will market and make
direct sales via its web site. This allows for cheap and efficient distribution costs and reaches
a wide consumer base. The website allows customers to make reservations for flights and
provides purchase and payment capabilities, as well as comprehensive information on
offers. Social websites like Facebook and Twitter could create brand awareness and can be
used as a marketing tool for promotions of the airline.

Direct Sales to Corporations

In order to attract large corporations and medium sized businesses, Turkish Airlines will
directly contact the travel departments of corporations and businesses in UK with links in
Turkey. To do this, the airline will manage a team who will build relations with corporations.
These direct sales will allow for a greater degree of product differentiation to be established
in the minds of corporations and allow Turkish Airlines to demonstrate and highlight the
benefits of its products compared to its competitors. Also direct sales and product
recommendation to corporations which currently fly with British Airways will increase the
airline share out of the total market share.

Direct Sales to Secretaries and PA’s

Often PA‟s and secretaries are required to book flights for managers. Turkish Airlines must
target these secretaries with direct mail so that they are aware of the Turkish Airlines
product. The first class service will appeal to small to medium business managers who can
afford to fly with British Airways.

Corporate Travel Agents

This has the advantage of offering customers a distribution channel they may prefer in
making their reservation.

Business and Travel Magazines, Outdoor Adverts

Important part of Turkish Airlines marketing strategy will be focused on advertising with
leading corporate and travel magazines, as well as outdoor advertising, such as billboards,
bus and underground posters.

4.3.5. Customer Service


Building substantial customer relationship will be the primary objective of Turkish Airlines.
That will be achieved through extensive communication with its current customers, special
discounts and incentives for regular passengers, etc. Customer care prior and after travelling
with Turkish Airlines will be another focus that will enable the airline to become very
customer orientated and friendly.

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

5. Conclusion
Turkish Airlines market presence will be achieved by relying on the strategy of identifying
and serving well both leisure and business market. Reservations will be centralised and cost
effective, by popularising the official website of the airline. Marketing will be media generated
to the business and corporate accounts with combined media and direct sales focused to the
leisure market. The marketing programs section of this report highlights the set of
co-ordinated actions that will be implemented to meet the airlines marketing objectives and
to attract existing business class travellers from competitors. The advantage of a local and
highly identifiable market is that media selections can be limited in scope. The most effective
media is expected to be outdoor billboards and posters on buses and underground, as they
have acted as a key generator of sales for other airlines. Presence in the popular social
websites would be beneficial in order to increase brand awareness and can be used as
powerful marketing tool for advertising promotions, etc. Based on all these actions, Turkish
Airlines can meet its challenges and act in order to achieve its set goals and objectives, as
well as to maintain its leadership position in the UK market.

Word count: 4712 words

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman


London Metropolitan University

References:

Textbooks:

Shaw S. (2004), “Airline Marketing and Management”, 5 th edition, Ashgate Publishing Ltd.,
UK

Doganis R. (2006), “The Airline Business”, 2 nd edition, Routledge Publishing, USA

Doganis R. (2009), “Flying off course – Airline economics and marketing”, 4 th edition,
HarperCollins Academic, USA

Web sites:

Turkish Airlines: www.turkishairlines.com (Accessed on 12 Apr 2010)

Pegasus Airlines: www.flypegasus.com (Accessed on 12 Apr 2010)

EasyJet: www.easyjet.com (Accessed on 12 Apr 2010)

Emirates Airline Strategies: www.emirates.com (Accessed on 13 Apr 2010)

(1) www.skytrax.com (Accessed on 12 Apr 2010)

(2) www.skyscanner.net (Accessed on 18 Apr 2010)

(3) www.ba.com (Accessed on 18 Apr 2010)

(4) www.chewonthis.org.uk (Accessed on 10 Apr 2010)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLDE63D176201004 (Accessed on 14 Apr 2010)

Istanbul – Ataturk Airport: www.ataturkairport.com (Accessed on 12 Apr 2010)

Centre for Aviation: http://www.centreforaviation.com/ (Accessed on 21 Apr 2010)

Turkey Tourism Authority: www.tourismturkey.org (Accessed on 13 Apr 2010)

Turkey Visitors site: www.goturkey.com (Accessed on 13 Apr 2010)

European Culture Capital: www.en.istanbul2010.org (Accessed on 13 Apr 2010)

Turk Statistic Institute: www.turkstat.gov.tr (Accessed on 17 Apr 2010)

CA3002C Aviation Commercial Planning and Marketing Tutor: Nicholas Coleman