The Marketing mix of Kingfisher Airlines analyses the 7Ps of Kingfisher Airlines, which includes the Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Physical Evidence, and Process of Kingfisher Airlines. Kingfisher Airlines was a major Indian airline based in Mumbai. It was founded in 2003 by Dr. Vijay Mallya’s United Breweries Group. It was known for its high-quality service, luxurious in-flight experience, and innovative marketing strategies. Operating both on domestic routes and international flights, Kingfisher quickly became synonymous with opulence and comfort in air travel, aiming to redefine the standard for airline service in India. Despite its initial success and popularity among passengers for its premium services and extensive network, Kingfisher Airlines faced financial difficulties and ceased operations in 2012. Its Kingfisher class legacy remains a notable example of an attempt to provide a differentiated and high-end experience in the competitive airline industry.
About Kingfisher Airlines
- Type: Airline
- Industry: Aviation
- Founded: May 9, 2005
- Founder: Vijay Mallya
- Headquarters: Mumbai, India
- Area served: India and abroad
- Number of employees: 6,000
- Major products: Air travel
Table of Contents
Kingfisher Airlines Product Strategy
Kingfisher First (International & domestic routes) Kingfisher Class (International & domestic routes) Kingfisher Red – formerly known as Air Deccan (Domestic routes) Flying Chef.
- Flight Classes: Kingfisher First (Business Class): Offered premium services with features like total flat-bed seats, in-flight entertainment, gourmet meals, and lounge access; Kingfisher Class (Economy Class): Aimed at budget travelers, providing comfortable seating and in-flight entertainment options.
- Frequent Flyer Program (King Club): This program rewarded loyal customers with points based on travel frequency and distance, which could be redeemed for upgrades, free flights, and other benefits.
- In-Flight Services: Entertainment: Personal screens with various movies, music, and games. Dining: Both classes enjoyed a range of meal options, with Kingfisher First offering a more luxurious dining experience; amenities: Comfort kits, including essentials like blankets, pillows, and toiletries.
- Kingfisher Lounges: Exclusive lounges at major airports, providing services such as comfortable seating, food and beverages, Wi-Fi, and business facilities.
- Cargo Services: Transport of goods and cargo, benefiting from Kingfisher’s extensive domestic and international network.
- Charter Services: Offering private aircraft charter for individuals, corporations, and other entities requiring personalized travel solutions.
- Alliance and Partnerships: Collaborations with other airlines and companies to expand reach and provide additional benefits to passengers.
Kingfisher Airlines Pricing Strategy
Kingfisher Airlines implemented a multifaceted marketing mix and pricing strategy that was competitive and designed to take and gain market share and cater to different market segments. Here’s an analysis of Kingfisher Airlines started from a complete marketing strategy and mixed perspective:
- Dynamic Pricing Model: Kingfisher Airlines employed a dynamic pricing strategy, adjusting fares based on demand, competition, seasonality, and booking timelines. This allowed them to maximize revenue on popular routes during peak times while remaining competitive during off-peak periods.
- Premium Pricing for Kingfisher First: For its business class segment, Kingfisher First, the airline adopted a premium pricing strategy. This was justified by the superior service, luxury, and exclusivity, targeting corporate clients and affluent travelers willing to pay more for comfort and convenience.
- Competitive Pricing in Economy Segment: Kingfisher’s pricing was competitive with other economic segment carriers. They balanced affordability with value-added services, attracting a broad customer base from budget travelers to those seeking a premium experience at a reasonable cost.
- Promotional Offers and Discounts: The airline frequently rolled out promotional campaigns, offering discounts and special fares to stimulate demand, fill seats during less busy periods, and attract price-sensitive customers.
- Loyalty Program Incentives: The King Club’s frequent flyer program was crucial to their pricing strategy. Offering points, upgrades, and rewards incentivized repeat business and loyalty, effectively reducing the travel cost for frequent flyers.
Kingfisher Airlines Place Strategy
Kingfisher Airlines operates services to 80 destinations, domestic and international. International operations of Kingfisher Airlines started on September 3 3, 2008, with a flight from Bangalore to London. One of the reasons for acquiring Air Deccan was to gain entry into the more international flight circuit by gaining an advantage on Air Deccan’s eligibility to fly domestic routes internationally (as per DGCA rules). It also plans to further international operations and add several international destinations such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur, Lahore, Malé, and Singapore in 2009.
The place strategy of Kingfisher Airlines is as follows:
- Extensive Domestic Network: Kingfisher Airlines strategically covered a wide range of destinations within India, connecting major cities and regional centers, thus tapping into a broad market base of both business and leisure travelers.
- Selective International Routes: The airline focused on key international routes that connected India with major global destinations, such as London, Singapore, and Dubai, aiming to capture both outbound and inbound international traffic.
- Hub at Major Airports: Kingfisher established its primary hubs at India’s major airports like Bengaluru International Airport and Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, facilitating accessible transit and efficient operations.
- Presence in Secondary Airports: Kingfisher also operated flights from secondary airports to capture the emerging market and avoid the heavy competition at primary airports, offering passengers more choices and tapping into under-served markets.
- Tie-ups with Other Airlines: Through codeshare agreements and partnerships with other airlines, Kingfisher expanded its reach beyond its direct service routes, enabling passengers to travel to various destinations globally.
Kingfisher Airlines Promotion Strategy
Kingfisher Airlines as a brand is promoted in many ways. When it was launched, Yana Gupta was the brand ambassador. Hoardings/ Press Release Kingfisher Red Kingfisher Airlines started to sponsor the Mumbai ATP Open KF First; Kingfisher Red sponsors the MTV Style Awards 06 promotion. Kingfisher Red Airlines kicks off Rs 1 billion campaign (On the Launch of its international flight to London) Formula 1 team (Force India) IPL team (Royal Challengers) Red Pouch The color “RED” promotion Kingfisher Airlines and Club frequent flier program Vijay Mallya himself is a brand ambassador for all his brands including Kingfisher Airlines.
The Kingfisher Airlines’ promotion and marketing strategy for its first airline is as follows:
- Celebrity Endorsements and Branding: Kingfisher Airlines leveraged the popularity of its founder, Dr. Vijay Mallya, and associated with high-profile events and celebrities, enhancing its image as a premium and glamorous airline.
- Aggressive Advertising Campaigns: The airline employed captivating advertising across multiple platforms, including television, print, and digital media, to build brand awareness and appeal to a wide range of customers.
- Innovative Partnerships and Sponsorships: Kingfisher strategically partnered with sporting events like the Indian Premier League and sponsored fashion shows, aligning its brand with luxury, style, and excitement.
Some Recent Video ads and Print ads of Kingfisher Airlines are:
Kingfisher Airlines People Strategy
Kingfisher Airlines, once a prominent player in the Indian aviation industry sector, was known for its distinguished service and customer-oriented approach. When discussing the “People” element of the service marketing mix for Kingfisher Airlines, it’s essential to focus on various aspects of the aviation industry and how the company managed, trained, and presented its staff to enhance the overall customer experience. Here are some critical points for the promotion of Kingfisher Airlines:
- Highly Trained Staff: Kingfisher Airlines invested heavily in training its staff to ensure they delivered exceptional service. The training included customer service, safety, and operational efficiency to create a memorable passenger experience.
- Customer Service Focus: The airline’s staff, from cabin crew to ground personnel, was known for their customer-centric approach. They were trained to handle inquiries and issues promptly and politely, going above and beyond to meet passengers’ needs.
- Uniforms and Presentation: The staff’s appearance was a significant part of Kingfisher’s brand image. Crew members wore designer uniforms that reflected the airline’s luxury and premium status, contributing to the overall aesthetic and passenger experience.
- In-flight Experience Specialists: Kingfisher was known for its in-flight experience, which was significantly enhanced by the cabin crew. They were trained to offer personalized service, including food and beverage service, entertainment options, and comfort measures, to ensure a pleasant journey for all passengers.
- Staff Diversity: The airline’s staff was diverse, reflecting the global nature of its operations. This diversity was not only in terms of nationality but also included a wide range of skills and backgrounds, enabling the airline to effectively cater to a broad audience.
- Employee Satisfaction and Engagement: Kingfisher Airlines strongly emphasized employee satisfaction and engagement, believing that happy employees lead to happy customers. Efforts were made to maintain a positive work environment, including rewards and recognition for outstanding service.
- Feedback Mechanisms: To continuously improve service quality, Kingfisher Airlines had mechanisms to collect feedback from passengers about their experiences. This feedback was directly used to train and inform staff about areas of improvement.
- Leadership and Vision: The leadership at Kingfisher Airlines, notably its founder, Dr. Vijay Mallya, played a crucial role in shaping the company’s service culture. All staff communicated and embodied the vision for high-quality service and exceptional customer experiences.
- Community and Social Responsibility: The airline also engaged in community and social responsibility initiatives, with staff participating in various programs. This helped build a positive brand image and fostered a sense of pride and belonging among employees.
Kingfisher Airlines Process Strategy
The “Process” element of the service marketing mix refers to the methods, recommended strategies, and procedures that a company utilizes to deliver its services to customers, ensuring efficiency, quality, and satisfaction. In the context of the international operations of Kingfisher Airlines, the first airline renowned for its premium service and customer experience, the process played a crucial role in maintaining its brand promise. Here are some key points detailing the processes at Kingfisher Airlines:
- Booking and Ticketing: Kingfisher Airlines offers a seamless booking and ticketing process through multiple channels, including online, through call centers, and via travel agents. The online platform was user-friendly, allowing customers to easily search flights, compare prices, and book tickets, including seat selection and special requests.
- Check-in Procedures: The airline streamlined its check-in processes to reduce wait times and improve customer convenience. This included web check-in, kiosk check-in at airports, and dedicated counters for business class passengers. The process was designed to be quick and efficient, minimizing hassle for travelers.
- Baggage Handling: Kingfisher Airlines had a systematic process for baggage handling, ensuring that luggage was treated carefully and delivered promptly upon arrival. The airline also offered a generous baggage allowance and had clear policies for excess baggage, which were communicated transparently to customers.
- On-Board Service Delivery: The in-flight service process was meticulously planned to enhance the customer experience. This included a welcome drink, gourmet meals, in-flight entertainment, and personalized attention from the cabin crew. The staff followed a detailed service protocol to ensure consistency and quality.
- Safety Procedures: Kingfisher placed a high priority on safety, with comprehensive processes for aircraft maintenance, crew training, and emergency procedures. Regular audits and checks ensured adherence to safety standards, contributing to the airline’s reputation for reliability.
- Customer Feedback and Service Recovery: The airline had a structured process for collecting customer feedback through various channels, including onboard forms, online surveys, and social media. This feedback was used to improve service continuously. Moreover, there was a straightforward process for addressing complaints and compensating affected passengers to maintain customer trust and satisfaction in case of service failures.
- Loyalty Program: Kingfisher’s loyalty program, King Club, had a systematic process for enrollment, earning and redeeming points, and recognizing loyal customers. This included special offers, upgrades, and exclusive services for frequent flyers, enhancing customer retention and loyalty.
- Ground Services: Beyond the flight experience, Kingfisher ensured smooth processes for ground services, including lounge access, quick boarding procedures, and assistance for special needs passengers. These processes were designed to provide a seamless and comfortable experience from check-in to boarding.
- Training and Development: Kingfisher invested in continuous training and development for its staff to support its service delivery processes. This ensured that employees were well-versed in the airline’s processes and could deliver the high level of service expected by customers.
- Technology Integration: Kingfisher Airlines integrated technology into its processes, from online booking systems to in-flight entertainment. This improved efficiency and convenience and enhanced the overall customer experience.
Kingfisher Airlines Physical Evidence Strategy
The “Physical Evidence” component of the service marketing mix refers to the tangible and intangible elements that customers interact with, which help them evaluate the service quality. For Kingfisher Airlines, known for its premium service and attention to detail, physical evidence played a crucial role in shaping customer perceptions and experiences. Here are key points regarding the physical evidence associated with Kingfisher Airlines:
- Branded Aircraft: Kingfisher Airlines’ fleet featured distinctively painted aircraft with the brand’s logo and colors. The exteriors were well-maintained, reflecting the airline’s commitment to quality and attention to detail.
- Airport Lounges: The airline offered access to luxurious airport lounges designed to provide comfort and exclusivity. These lounges featured elegant seating, premium food and beverages, Wi-Fi, and other amenities, manifesting the brand’s upscale positioning.
- In-Flight Interiors: The cabin interiors of Kingfisher Airlines were outfitted with comfortable seating, ambient lighting, and high-quality materials. Business and first-class cabins offered lie-flat seats and privacy screens, contributing to an exclusive travel experience.
- Uniforms: The staff uniforms, especially those of the cabin crew, were stylish and professional, reinforcing the airline’s image of sophistication and high service standards.
- In-Flight Meals and Beverages: The presentation of gourmet meals and a selection of fine wines and beverages served on board provided tangible evidence of Kingfisher’s commitment to quality. The use of branded cutlery and crockery added to the premium experience.
- Boarding Passes and Baggage Tags: Even the boarding passes and baggage tags were designed with a distinctive Kingfisher Airlines aesthetic, contributing to the overall brand experience from check-in.
- In-Flight Entertainment System: The state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system offers a wide range of movies, music, and games on personal screens. This technology not only served as physical evidence of the airline’s modernity but also enhanced passenger experience.
- Marketing Collaterals: Brochures, magazines, and safety cards onboard were not just informative but also well-designed, aligning with the airline’s branding and serving as physical evidence of its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction.
- Website and Mobile App: The airline’s online presence, including its website and mobile app, was designed for ease of use, aesthetics, and functionality, offering customers a seamless digital experience that matched the quality of its physical services.
- Cleanliness and Maintenance: The cleanliness of the aircraft and the attention to maintenance were visible indicators of the airline’s standards. This included clean lavatories, well-kept seats, and spotless common areas.
- Signature Experiences: Unique services like personal valet at the airport, limousine transfers for first-class passengers, and onboard chef services in premium classes provided tangible proof of Kingfisher’s luxury service offerings.
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