Thursday, September 07, 2006

Oasis Hong Kong creates a buzz

Much gushing and speculation in the mainstream press today about Oasis Hong Kong Airlines, which unveiled its functioning website this week and details of services.

An article on the Magazine section of the BBC website explores whether the launch of OHK will spearhead a plethora of long-haul no-frills routes.

The opinion from the European Low Fares Airline Association, which counts the likes of Ryanair and EasyJet as members, suggests not – “the economies of scale” are not easily transferred to the long-haul model.

In other words: the methods used by a string of LCCs in Europe, such as quick turnarounds, for example, will not work on a carrier trying to look after passengers for eight-plus hours.

Every now and again someone will bring up the possibility of when the existing European LCCs will embark on plans to fly further than the self-imposed four-five hour limits.

Istanbul, Tallinn and Marrakech are indeed at the end of EasyJet and Ryanair’s current spheres of influence.

But why not, say, Cairo? New York? Moscow?

In the meantime, at first glance the OHK website appears to work well and has all the basic information for users. In fact, compared to other sites it is remarkably uncluttered.

[Update: the curse of Travolution must have kicked in as in the last hour or so the site has ground to a halt - Ed]

But if there is one thing OHK has got right so far it is its marketing strategy.

There has created a fair bit of coverage about its service and - shock, horror - is even attempting to reach out to the trade by allowing agents to register on its website to sell tickets – something a certain other no-frills airlines has studiously avoided doing.

Kevin May, editor, Travolution

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