By Kenneth Ehigiator
To survive the harsh business climate in Nigeria and outwit one another for passengers, domestic airline operators have continued to devise internet and promotional strategies.
While all airlines, including Aero and Dana Air, had virtually keyed into internet booking for passengers to enjoy lower fares, others have introduced promotional and lower fares as well as offer for free tickets as a reward for the number of miles accumulated over time or frequent travel.
It is in this regard that Air Nigeria has just introduced a promotional offer that would enable its passengers get a free ticket for every tickets purchased through its eagleflier programme, just as Arik Air has come up with lower fares through its advanced ticket purchase programme.
Air Nigeria said in a statement introducing the new offer: “Effective February 1, 2011, Air Nigeria will be offering free tickets to its loyalty programme members in a promotion meant to reward eagleflier members with free tickets on the domestic routes for every ticket purchased.
“With the promotional “Reward Time”offer, eagleflier members have the advantage of instantly getting a free ticket whenever they buy a ticket to any Air Nigeria domestic route.
“The promotion is scheduled to run from February 1st to 28th 2011 while the free tickets are redeemable on or before the 31st of March, 2011.”
The offer is exclusive to eagleflier members and designed to reward them for their continued loyalty and patronage over the years.
“Non-eagleflier members also have the opportunity to benefit by simply enrolling as members, and with a confirmed membership number, can access the free tickets and the wide array of benefits the loyalty programme offers.
“Some of these benefits include free reward tickets, flight upgrades and payment for excess baggage using miles. Special terms and conditions apply to the promotion.”
Similarly, Arik Air, in a statement issued by spokesman, Banji Ola, said the new eagleflier offer would enable passengers pay as low as N10,000 for tickets well over N20,000.
The airline said: “The new fares apply to tickets bought 14 days in advance of the required travel date by passengers and will be the best fare available to the customer. The scheme is designed to encourage passengers, as an incentive, to book in advance rather than purchase tickets on the day at the airport where fares are highest.
“Customers will have to book and pay for their tickets at least two weeks before the intended date of travel. Tickets can be booked and paid for on-line at the airline’s website (www.arikair.com) or at any Arik Air point of sale.
“Fares for domestic destinations start from N10, 600 one-way to destinations like Jos and Sokoto from Lagos. With the new fare system, passengers can now pay as low as N14, 750 for flights from Lagos to Abuja and N11, 100 for flights from Lagos to Calabar.
Arik Air’s Vice President Sales and Distribution, Mr. John Brayford, said the new offer would give passengers greater flexibility of flights at reduced fares on all domestic routes.