11 - September 2001, the most iolent economic crisis since the 1930s and ash rom an Icelandic olcano had irtually pri ate European airlines o their most pro itable customers: that o businessmen.
Since the "businessmen" are reassembled shyly on board, through the economic reco ery. But habits ha e changed so radically and i sustainable companies ha e lost any hope to regain their past margins.
aced more reser ations in more late, companies ly to iew their marketing strategy, that plane while the spectrum o a barrel to $ 200 in the medium term, which could call into question the notion o business tra el.
Air rance-KLM, British Airways (Group IAG compete ingenuity to con ince this clientele to renounce the economic class and to return to class A airs or, at least in "premium", a class created by the companies to stop the bleeding.)
The major companies now o er more subsidized rates in Europe - to more restricti e conditions - to counter the "low cost" companies submitted howe er.
On the long-haul Emirates they get shorter stops and delays o embarkations, companies aceUL, which attract business to their "hubs" o the Middle East.
"Un ortunately nothing will be as be ore", summarizes Catherine Colbus, Director business marketing o Air rance. "To situations o be ore crisis, there are beha iors that ha e permanently changed."
Claus Becker, Director General or the rance and the Lu thansa Benelux, points out that the German company has not reco ered any o its clients business lost in Europe.
"Now, upturn but once a company has changed its policy, it will take time to return to his earlier - than did ne er return to politics," he says.
Companies do not communicate their margins on this segment o customers, but according to the Association irst and international air transportation (Iata), the clients o the business classes pro ide a quarter o the sales o traditional companies in the world that they represent only 8 o the total o transported passengers.
BANKERS IN ECONOMY CLASS
"Some institutions o the inancial sector were le t to the rear cabin, which is quite exceptional - I had ne er seen banks tra el in economy class", notes Patrick Mal al, commercial Director or Europe o the West in British Airways.
Like its competitors, Air rance has impro ed com ort o its class business and has increased the range o its tari s, including carrying 700,000 passengers since No ember 2009 in its new intermediate class "premium o ageur".
The rench company will propose October lights medium-haul to Marseille, be ore Bordeaux, Nice and Toulouse in the spring o 2012, at the time where EasyJet wea es his can as between regional rench and European cities.
"The rench regions ha e been past isolated European regions," said rançois Bacchetta, Director General rance o easyJet. "The enrichment o the network o pro ince will come rom intra-European and Euro-Mediterranean lines."
The British low-cost company, aimed primarily SMEs - SMIs, has increase by three, our years at 21-22 the share o business tra ellers in its clients 18-19, by pro iding lexible rates and accelerated boarding - the attributes o the traditional companies.
Also imaginati e and responsi e are they in their marketing policy, companies remain under the potential yoke o unexpected e ents, such as the Japanese cataclysm that has emptied light requented largely by a customer business, or the risk o a macroeconomic relapse.
"We're more con ident in all the actions that we ha e (...)" "managed to implement than strictly in the ability o the global economy does not turn back again", summarizes Catherine Colbus, Director business marketing o Air rance.
More worrying still, the rising cost o uel, which prompted Iata to di ide this week by two his orecast o bene its or the whole o the air sector in 2011 to $ 4 billion. A barrel between $ 200-300 - a le el which remains howe er ery speculati e - could be a atal blow to business tra el.
Is air transport will be subsidized to allow the customers business to mo e, either companies choose or meetings irtual, more realistic through the de elopment o 3D ideo or holographic, says Didier Bréchemier, consultant with Roland Berger.
"But it is still in the iction policy," he said. " or the moment, the le el o pain has not been su icient to see a massi e reduction in the number o trips."
Oil analysts, who see now the $ 100 as a threshold, do not exclude that the price o a barrel beat new records around 160 dollars, or e en more in the long term. He is treated in New York iew 99 $ $ Wednesday a ternoon.