Now that the dust is settling over Qantas' extraordinary three-day shutdown, which grounded all domestic and international aircraft along with some 70,000 passengers, the Red Roo is gearing up to win back customers.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says the airline will move into a ''recovery phase'' aimed at getting the revenue wheels rolling once again, convincing Australians to once again fly with Qantas and also to win back those who switched to Virgin Australia during the past few months of industrial troubles.
It's expected the airline will kickstart incentives such as a range of discounted ticket prices, especially to international destinations, and even more flexible fares. Another sweetener might be a 'double status credit' promotion under which frequent flyers can earn twice the usual number of status credits for each booking.
At the same time, Virgin Australia will fight to hang onto the many new customers it's picked up in recent months. This week the challenger airline beefed up an existing double status credit promotion offered to a wide group of its Velocity frequent flyers, although the deal isn't yet available to all Velocity members.
Under the promotion, travellers can earn double the usual number of status credits on flights booked through to November 13 (the previous close date was October 24) for travel through to January 31, 2012 (previously November 18, 2011).
The deal also now encompassed Virgin partner airlines rather than Virgin Australia alone: including Etihad Airways, Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic and Malaysia Airlines.
The chance to score twice the usual number of credits will appeal to many Qantas frequent flyers who took advantage of Virgin's canny status match offer, as the extra credits will help them quickly boost their status credit balance with an eye to retaining their Velocity status when their renewal period rolls around.
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.