The challenges faced by Real Tonga Airline are familiar and have been persistent over the last 6months. These include the ever-increasing Fuel prices and High direct operating costs. Airport infrastructure is not being built fast enough especially in the outer islands like Ha’apai, and the Niuas, constraining the airline’s services to these destinations. The Kingdom of Tonga’s local market is also very price sensitive with a booking behaviour to travel dominantly within 48 hours after booking. There is also the seasonal passenger demand for air travel.
Despite the hurdles, Real Tonga were able to deliver better traveller experiences, increased customer loyalty, and offered more capacity to the market. The dynamic reaction by the airline to address these challenges produced a 20% growth in total number of passengers that travelled between January to June-2019, in comparison to the same period in the last financial year.
The 1st half of 2019 was typically a low season, however Real Tonga provided an additional 16% in passenger carrying capacity as compared to the same period last year. The increase in passenger carrying capacity brings the airline’s products closer to satisfying the demand from seasonal and directional passengers.
Tongans enjoy an air transportation service that is safe, reliable, and affordable with less time travelling and more time with family. With the implementation of successful pricing strategies and optimal seat allocation, Real Tonga was able to influence the customer behavior at the micro market and enticed them to travel by air. Even the local ferry and leisure travelers now have the option of an affordable air service.
(Source; Real Tonga Airline 15th August 2019)