Clickair is a low-cost carrier that is based in Barcelona, Spain. The LCC operates services from Spanish cities to 40 destinations in Europe. That is pretty impressive by any standard. However, unless you actually have flown Clickair or based in any of the destinations it serves, you most likely never have heard of the airline.
eTN asked Clickair CEO Alex Cruz why his airline is not as well known as its two media-hungry counterparts, Ryanair and easyJet. Bluntly put, why the Spanish low-cost carrier isn’t as aggressive in its marketing push as the other two very well known LCCs. He said: “ You know, one of the things that I really dislike, I have to admit, is how much we talk about Ryanair and easyJet. We have to talk about them, but the fact is we give them so much airtime. I think both easyJet and Ryanair have taken different strategies particularly in the last years. “
He added: “You begin to see easyJet behaving much more like a Southwest, as you were describing. I saw great new things that I would never have expected them to do, and I do expect easyJet to go into assigned seating … I do expect easyJet to feed into larger carriers in the not-too-distant future. And I do not expect Ryanair to do any of those things. I think there’s a significant difference between Ryanair, Tiger Airways, etc., and the rest of the low-cost carriers, which are moving more in the common sense: hybrid direction. “
According to him, aggressiveness is measured in many different ways. He said: “If Clickair is able to maintain a local space where the only difference are the airport charges … with the airports flights to and those airports, our main airports, I think that’s pretty aggressive.”
He added: “We are unlikely to do some of the attention-calling. It is not our strategy to act and to do things such as Ryanair does it, although we admire their audacity to do it. But, we don’t believe that our customer base accepts those types of behavior in the markets that we serve and our customer, and that might be something that will change.”
According to him, there are different ways “to manage aggressiveness and growth and product definition and product presentation.” He said: “We adhere much more by the two, I think overwhelming, actions that we’ve been discussing. One is absolutely conscious to retain the low, low, low, low, low cost operating cost and to absolutely ambitious about not ever stopping adding more and more and more services.”
Cruz was a speaker on the subject “Low-Cost in a High-Cost World,” which was one of the topics at the recently held Airline Weekly’s Airline Strategy Summit in London.