Budget airlines are trying to lure more business travelers

Pic: Jordan Tan/Shutterstock

LOW-COST carriers (LCCs) in Asia-Pacific are scrambling to transform their business models to woo business travelers amid a global economic slowdown.

As company budgets are slashed, more budget airlines are implementing aggressive strategies to hit full-service airlines where it hurts them the most – business class seats.

For instance, flight schedules are being redesigned to “peak hours” when more business travelers are found to be flying.

On top of that, more LCCs are introducing apps that encourage managing bookings on mobile devices, priority check-in services, and flexibility to change flights without penalties.

Business travelers are notorious for last-minute bookings and cancellations, so the latter is a definite pull factor.

SEE ALSO: Will Singapore Airlines be forced to cut back on luxury services and amenities?

Aussie airline Jetstar has launched a Business Hub on its website for companies to register for free and get access to business travel features including monthly expenditure reporting, the ability to hold seats prior to payment, and flexibility of booking revisions.

Leslie Ng, regional general manager – Southeast Asia at Jetstar, told TODAY, “We have put in place dedicated teams to further develop our offerings to the business traveller. We want to be the stand-out LCC in the business space.”

Meanwhile, rival airline Scoot (a Singapore Airlines subsidiary) is also ramping up efforts to draw more business travelers including tapping the corporate travel segment through travel management companies as well as other sales platforms.

A Scoot spokesperson told TODAY that passengers can access additional options for one flight name change up to 24 hours before the time of departure, and travelers also get to rake in KrisFlyer miles.

Business travelers will also get three-hour access to the SATS Premier Lounge where they’ll be treated to complimentary WiFi, shower facilities, work stations, and massage chairs.

SEE ALSO: Singapore’s budget carrier Tigerair to operate under Scoot brand