Back to the future
33 years ago, an entrepreneur said he would start a value-for-money airline in just three months. And he did it. Today, we need to move quicker than ever before to snap up business opportunities. Where will the travel industry be in 30 years’ time?
Today, if someone would tell their board of directors that they would start “a high quality, value-for-money airline within three months”, the board would probably think he or she was nuts. If the same person got all the certificates, aircraft and crew ready for take-off within three months, I bet the board of directors would raise an eyebrow or two.
According to their website, this is how Virgin Atlantic Airways was born. And, the person who said this to the Virgin Records’ board of directors was, of course, Sir Richard Branson. The year was 1984.
Who would believe that a record company managing big names like The Rolling Stones and Janet Jackson would ever come up with an idea to start an airline?
If something is missing - create it
Personally, my knowledge about the music industry is very limited. I can only assume that it is a fast-moving business where it’s extremely important to be close to the audience’s heart and where quick decisions are the key to success. It probably means embracing what people love to listen to, and searching for new musical talents. Keeping in tune with new trends and adapting to them. Or, if there is something missing, to create it.
This pretty much sums up what the travel industry is about too.
Together with our customers from all corners of the world - and with many different travel technologies and products – Amadeus has been developing innovative solutions for our customers every day since 1987. And, we’ll continue doing so as we shape the next thirty years of travel.
Just go for it
But, we can’t sit back and rest on our laurels. We need to be humble.
Regardless of whether a customer loves to travel or not, we always need to remember that the customer comes first and we must embrace what he or she needs.
By using historical data, profiles and personalization, we have a great opportunity to fulfill our customers’ needs and expectations. And, if we are lucky, we might even exceed them. At Amadeus we continuously use our experience from the past when looking ahead and invest in exploring future demands. Just like we have always done!
This requires creative and ‘out of the box’ thinking. I believe Sir Richard Branson thought so back in 1984. And probably now too, when looking at the vision and future for Virgin Group.
I am curious where the travel industry will be in 30 years’ time. Will Virgin Galactic have scheduled flights to the Moon or Mars? Will you and I be able to afford them?
I will be over 80 years old by then, so, even if can afford it, I hope I am healthy enough to join and experience the ‘Overview Effect’ of seeing the Earth from Outer Space! I hear it is amazing!
About the author
Stefan Eng has a wide experience with some 35 years in the travel industry. Currently he is working on evolving the content portfolio at Amadeus Scandinavia. He also writes blogs, articles and is an active Linkedin user.