Freedom Air takes off online

Freedom Air is getting so much traffic through its site that it's doing away with phone numbers in some advertising, preferring to promote its URL.

Freedom Air is getting so much traffic through its site that it’s doing away with phone numbers in some advertising, preferring to promote its URL.

Last week it started offering its cheapest domestic fares only to people booking via its website. Vice president in charge of Freedom Air, Wayne Dodge, says nearly 40% of Freedom Air tickets are now booked online.

“Every time we repaint the planes we make the address larger and larger,” says Dodge, who is happy with the results.

“We’ve had a week where we broke $1 million in sales - we’ve had a $250,000 day. There can’t be many sites like that in New Zealand.”

Dodge, says the decision to move online was made for one very good reason: it’s cheaper.

“It’s a transaction based site and that’s easy enough to automate. We’re a very simple airline with simple point-to-point traffic - we don’t fly you to Afghanistan or things like that. We have no bells and whistles and we made the site reflect that.”

Dodge says having access to information and booking 24-hours a day, seven days a week is important, as is cutting down on the number of calls handled by Freedom Air’s call centre.

“The fares are cheaper for customers if they come through online and that seems to be incentive enough for them.”

Dodge says research conducted by Freedom Air shows most of the traffic through the site comes from Australia and New Zealand customers and many of them are surfing from work.

“Certainly the majority of those who look and book come from Australia New Zealand and some from the US.”

Dodge isn’t worried about people who don’t own a PC or who don’t have internet access.

“There are very few people these days who don’t have access to an internet connection somewhere. We don’t miss out on the grandparents for example because they can always find someone who has a connection, family or friend, to book for them.”

Dodge’s research says 71% of customers have their own connection to the web.

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