The U-Fly Alliance was launched in January 2016 becoming the world’s first LCC alliance. Linking up initially HKExpress (Hong Kong), Lucky Air (Kunming/Chengdu), Urumqi Air (Urumqi) and West Air (Chongqing/Zhengzhou), U-Fly Alliance soon expanded to include EastarJet (Seoul, Jeju) of South Korea, and has another 3 LCCs undergoing preparations to join. Combined fleets across the 5 LCCs exceed 125 aircraft, offering fares to over 100 destinations.
A variety of LCCs have launched across Asia, quickly reaching mid-size status (25+ aircraft). But with expansion outside their launch bases compromised by severe infrastructure constraints across most airports in Asia, each LCC has faced the challenge of how to significantly increase the range of destinations it offers to its customers to better compete with early mover LCCs.
Solution: establish the world’s first LCC alliance initially prioritised towards the huge and expanding Chinese market offering a far greater range of destinations than each LCC could achieve on its own through interline one-stop connections. Thereby getting around the significant political, financial and executional challenges of expansion through new bases and joint ventures.
- Alliance structure design and implementation.
- Partner selection, sign-up and on-boarding to achieve geographical coverage in key target markets.
- Development of customer focused master umbrella brand aligned and underpinned by each LCC local brand.
- Identification and procurement of key technologies capable of supporting alliance commercial execution.
- Assembly of alliance management and cross-functional implementation team drawing on local and international talent and expertise.
- Cross-airline working group set-up and management to enable:
- Identification and implementation of network synergies;
- PR & marketing activities to promote awareness and take-up of alliance travel opportunities;
- Build of sales and distribution infrastructure to secure sales across alliance itineraries whether booked direct, via OTAs or GDS’;
- Achieving revenue and cost synergies across partner airlines. Particularly in ancillary revenue and cost areas such as fuel and ground handling;
- Standardisation, design, drafting and implementation of policies and procedures across participating alliance LCCs.