Come Fly With Me

Higgins, Kevin T.
November 2005
Marketing Management;Nov/Dec2005, Vol. 14 Issue 6, p14
The article presents an interview with Tad Hutcheson, director of marketing at AirTran Airways. AirTran's 2004 revenue increased by 12%, its growth in passengers increased by 14% and most impressive was its profitability, as the carrier posted profits four of the last five years, when many other airlines suffered record losses. Hutcheson believes shrewd financial management and fresh marketing innovations are the keys to AirTran's success. To distinguish themselves from other low-fare scheduled airlines AirTran offers assigned seating, a business class, and a frequent flyer program with a twist. AirTran's development of a user-friendly Internet site has been one of its most significant improvements Hutcheson reports. The lowest fares and unadvertised Web specials are reserved for the site. The use of new, highly fuel-efficient airplanes also helps to keep costs down for AirTran. The X-fares program, where passengers between the ages of 18-22 can book one-way standby fares for $52, has proven immensely popular with college students and their parents.


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