Succeeding With Smarts
In what airline revenue specialists say is a first for any airline, Air New Zealand has ventured into banking, converting its frequent-flier club members into financial services clients, with the OneSmart card. The card, a debit card, stores cash as well as airline miles and foreign currency. Director of loyalty at Air New Zealand Airlines said the card gives the airline the opportunity to build a larger revenue channel. “We make money off the individual as well as the collective use of the card every day,” Pomeroy said, pointing out that the card gives Air New Zealand a revenue source unaffected by the tyranny of fuel prices. “If fuel goes up, we’ll still be making money,” he said. Airlines must learn from Amazon and “transform themselves from airline companies to e-tailers” revenue specialist at Airsavings Raphael Bejar said. “The airlines moving up and transforming themselves will succeed.” In the first month after the OneSmart card was introduced in December, 100,000 people opted to activate it.