Qatar Airways is the national airline of the State of Qatar that has been awarded for the excellent onboard service many times and is currently considered one of the most luxurious airlines across the globe. The company started its operations as a small regional carrier in 1994 and was re-launched in 1997 to be transformed into one of the most recognizable international airlines featuring the highest level of performance.
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The company makes emphasis on people as the major corporate value. It specifically stresses its pride in Qatar, its nation, and heritage that is symbolized by the flag carried to all parts of the world. Another significant value is the customer’s satisfaction as the company believes that its clients’ needs are prioritized over any other (which is believed to be a reflection of Qatari hospitality). The ultimate goal is to leave unforgettable memories of the flight regardless of its destination. Qatar Airways promotes excellence in all the operations performed. Another value is honesty and commitment: the company guarantees its clients and employees an honest treatment concerning both financial and non-financial aspects. The employees are loyal to their common goals and seek opportunities for further improvement. The organization cares a lot for its personnel and encourages a team approach in every aspect.
As the national leader of the field, Qatar Airways strives to go beyond the best practices currently dominating the industry. The company has already launched a comprehensive change process that is aimed to achieve higher environmental sustainability through the increase of corporate social responsibility. Qatar Airways is involved in fuel research with the purpose of developing new-generation fuel and has already become one of the unquestionable leaders of the field. Not only does it use its best practices to guarantee the sustainability of its own operations but also cares for the staff, locals, and environment. In 2012, the company joined a global educational program Educate A Child (EAC), which is meant to solve the common problem of many children over the world who have no access to public elementary education. The company expressed its willingness to achieve a breakthrough in helping children who are currently suffering from starvation, poverty, illiteracy, racial discrimination, war, and other external factors that hinder education. The program has already demonstrated significant results. Such corporate responsibility and deep involvement in social problems on behalf of Qatar Airways could not help producing a positive impact on its operating margins and revenues that have increased considerably since 2011:
The following recommendations can be made towards the strategic and operational improvement of Qatar Airways:
- Develop various strategies that would manage to incorporate commercial benefits of the company with its social activities (that now constitute the so-called broader vision) arising from corporate responsibility;
- Start new practices that would better support the growth of the business along with the currently applied ones;
- Elaborate on new strategies to meet the financial goals of 2017 that would take into consideration the improvement of safety provision;
- Re-assess and improve the present-day broader-business strategy with the purpose to encompass both inner and outer stakeholders’ needs and requirements;
- Analyze, compile, discuss, and bring into action all valuable initiatives concerning operational improvement;
- Increase the speed and quality of implementations of new improvement measures;
- Provide more coherent monitoring of the new processes and revise the systems regularly to identify what changes were the most beneficial for the company at the given moment.
As far as segmentation strategies are concerned, Qatar Airways segments the market both geographically and demographically. This is done to achieve the maximum satisfaction and brand loyalty that the target audience demonstrates to the national carrier. The company is mostly focused on customers representing business and elite classes. This segmentation is performed through its pricing policy: such customers are willing to pay a significant sum of money for the excellence of service offered by Qatar Airways. For example, it will cost you $88,000 including taxes to fly from Pakistan to London. The demographic profile demonstrating market segmentation principles in Pakistan will run as follows:
Table 2. Demographic Profile.
|Sex||Both male and female passengers|
|Age||All age groups (under 12; 13-25; 26-40; 41-55; 55+)|
|Income (monthly)||Exceeding $300|
|Religion||Both Muslims and Non-Muslims|
|Degree of interest||Mostly preferred by business professionals and higher class society|
However, the company also strives to attract clients who consider Emirates too expensive and want to get service of the same quality at a more affordable price. Besides the nouveau riche customers, the company is interested in economic travelers’ commitment, which accounts for the fact that economic class prices are in most cases quite reasonable. This selective demographic segmentation ensures the unique character of the brand and reinforces its position in the market.
As for geographic segmentation, the company is much less selective and operates in most world regions linking 72 international cities (onward flights cover such cities as Dhaka, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Cochin, Mumbai, Nagpur, Trivandrum, Malé, Kathmandu, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Colombo, Denpasar, Jakarta, Kuala, Lumpur, Myanmar, Yangon, Cebu, Manila, Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Bahrain, Mashad, Tehran, Amman, Kuwait City, Beirut, Muscat, Dammam, Jeddah, Riyadh, Damascus, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Cebu, Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Seychelles).
Such a comprehensive segmentation strategy guarantees that the customer’s needs are satisfied and his/her beneficial behavior (which consists in giving preference to Qatar Airways over all the other competitors) is achieved.