The Africa Travel and Nature Library


The Mega Event 2010

Profitability Beyond Baggage Fees: The Sustainable Airline Business Model

The Airline Profitability Summit is a must-attend event for airline industry leaders

 Montreal, Canada, August 17, 2010 - The Mega Event 2010, the airline industry's largest event dedicated to ancillary revenues and loyalty, will be held in Montreal, Canada, from October 12-14.  This year's gathering, which combines the premier ancillary revenue conference (ARAC) with the FFP loyalty conference, adds for the first time a third track, the Co-Brand Partnership Conference.  Together under a single banner, the three-track conference is destined to be one of the most important airline events of 2010, focused on the most important theme for airlines today: profitability.

And it couldn't come at a better time.  The airline industry, finally starting to shake off demand-depressing effects of the Great Recession, is facing a new round of skepticism over its fees and other ancillary revenue streams.  The 'new normal' of consumer spending habits is forcing more carriers to compete on price.  Emerging markets like Latin America and Asia are grappling with ways to sustainably grow their regional air transit business while avoiding the mistakes made by more mature markets.

Reversing the cycle of commoditization

That is one of the hot topics that host Airline Information and official co-host ATPCO will be examining at the 3-day conference as they bring together executives from the world's foremost airlines, thought leaders and innovators in ancillary revenue development and loyalty fields, as well as experts in the payment, marketing and branding arenas at the Mega Event 2010.

This year's keynote speakers include:

Tony Fernandes, Founder & CEO, AirAsia;

Rupert Duchesne, President & CEO, Groupe Aeroplan;

Simon Hickey, CEO, Qantas Frequent Flier;

Líbano Barroso, CEO, TAM Airlines;

Patrick Murphy, former chairman, Ryanair.

Beyond the baggage fees

The ancillary revenue track (ARAC) will feature speakers addressing significant topics such as merchandising of onboard retail offerings, bundling options & services with airfares versus unbundling and cross-industry best practices. Ancillary revenues have proven to be a crucially important aspect of airline operations, but they are also an aspect that is still undergoing much evolution and controversy. The ARAC track will emphasize sustainability - versus simply charging fees - and new, innovative ways forward, as well as how best to optimize existing ancillary revenue programs.

Loyalty: a recession-proof business model

The Mega Event will also address the importance of loyalty programs as a source of airline profitability.  As consumers increasingly book with little regard to airline brands, an effective loyalty program is more important than ever. The sustainable sale of miles to partners such as co-branded credit card banks is also a key part of an ancillary revenue program. The loyalty track will feature sessions examining how the recession impacted loyalty initiatives, whether independent travel rewards programs pose a threat to proprietary loyalty programs and what effects new accounting rules may have on program revenues.

To co-brand or not to co-brand?

The newest track, Co-Brand Partnership, examines co-branded credit cards in the airline and travel industries.  Co-branded credit card programs are a huge revenue generator for airlines, but this source of revenue is under assault from a lack of "free" seats, new financial regulations and new competition from hotel, cash-back and bank reward cards. This event is a must-attend for airlines looking to maintain and increase co-branded credit card revenues.

Being held at The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Montreal, more than 400 airline industry executives and travel managers will be attending the three-track conference to find out what commercial trends will improve the bottom line of the airline industry. To view the Mega Event 2010 agenda or to register, please visit http://www.airlineinformation.org/AI_conferences/MegaEvent2010/index.html.

To request a media pass, or to schedule interviews with attending airlines and keynote speakers, please contact Vanessa Horwell or Jennifer Rodrigues at 305.749.5342 ext. 232/234 or vanessa@thinkinkpr.com / jrodrigues@thinkinkpr.com.