Digital and CRM soar but external shocks hit EasyJet

easyjet plots loyalty scheme take-offEasyJet has bigged up its digital and direct marketing strategy, but has had to admit that “external shocks” – including a triple whammy of Brexit, terrorism and flight cancellations – have led to a 27.8% fall in profits to £495m for the year.
The airline runs two loyalty programmes, EasyJet Plus, which costs members £170 a year, and Flight Club, which is an invitation-only scheme for its most frequent flyers.
Speaking to the BBC, the airline’s chief executive Carolyn McCall said that of EasyJet’s 73.1 million customers, 26.3 million are now signed up to the airline’s email programme, adding that more loyal customers book more frequently and spend more with EasyJet.
The business claims that it has also seen a 40% jump in membership of EasyJet Plus in the past 12 months, although declined to give exact numbers. It also would not say how many Flight Club members it has.
The Flight Club loyalty scheme was launched in November 2015; EasyJet’s direct marketing account, which includes Flight Club, is currently under review, although incumbent Havas Helia is expected to repitch for the business which it has held for the past seven years.
The airline recently hailed its use of artificial intelligence across the business, from managing its flights schedule to boosting Flight Club as well as analysing the millions of searches on its website.
EasyJet, which carries more than 70 million passengers a year, says that AI enables it to use data to make predications rather than rely on guesswork.
Head of data science Alberto Villaverde told BusinessCloud: “Traditional computing simply records and orders data whereas advanced computing using AI starts to use this data to predict and provide for future events.”

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