Wie gestalten wir die Zukunft des Reisens?

Interview mit Mert Dorman, Senior Vice President bei Turkish Airlines, über die Herausforderungen für die Flugbranche angesichts der Covid-19-Pandemie und der Transformation zur Klimaneutralität.

Die vergangenen Monate haben die Flugbranche vor ungeahnte Herausforderungen gestellt. Die Covid-19-Pandemie sorgte dafür, dass die Flotten der meisten Fluggesellschaften für den größten Teil des Jahres am Boden bleiben mussten. Buchungen für Geschäfts- und Urlaubsreisen brachen ein. Doch nicht nur die Frage nach der Art und Weise des Reisens in Pandemiezeiten, auch die Transformation zur Klimaneutralität treibt die Airlines um. Der BVMW hat mit Mert Dorman, Senior Vice President bei der global agierenden Fluggesellschaft Turkish Airlines, über die Zukunft des Reisens gesprochen. Was sind aktuelle Trends und Entwicklungen in der Flugbranche? Wie hat Turkish Airlines auf die aktuellen Herausforderungen reagiert und welche Weichenstellungen sind nötig, um eine stabile Zukunft für den Flug- und Reiseverkehr zu gewährleisten? Alle Antworten lesen Sie hier im Interview.

Future trends in tourism and business travel

Challenging times for the aviation sector: Covid-19-Pandemic, world wide travelling restrictions and the transformation to climate neutrality have put airlines, travel providers and customers under significant pressure. We talked to Turkish Airlines Senior Vice President Mert Dorman about how change can be managed successfully and how future travel patterns could look like.


Mr. Dorman, Covid-19 has put global travelling activities on hold for months. How have you personally experienced this period and how has Turkish Airlines managed to bridge this time of uncertainty?

Obviously, It has not been an easy period. However we took a different stance than other companies in the world by closing out the last year without cash support from the government and while not laying off any of our employees.

For the full 2020 calendar year, Turkish Airlines flew 28 million passengers, with an impressive load factor of 71%. Although down from 2019 levels, it is almost double its closest competitor in Europe via help of our diversified client portfolio. 

Not only did the airline close the year as the busiest network carrier in Europe in terms of flight numbers, it also did it as one of the top five airlines in the world. Therefore, Turkish Airlines can be considered as one of the most successful carrier in crisis management during the uncertainty.


Do you expect a lasting effect on the travelling behaviour of customers?

The Covid-19 crisis has changed already people’s transport behaviours in dramatic ways, with large reductions in aviation especially. Evidence from previous crises shows that in the immediate aftermath of crisis events, air transport behaviours will change, as people reassess the costs and benefits of different alternative transport and communication modes.

Decision-making will be partly driven by people’s perceptions of risks, regardless of whether such perceptions are well founded or not. As lockdowns are lifted, policy will be crucial in determining whether mobility changes triggered by Covid-19 are positive or negative, in terms of their impacts energy use, safety and long-term environmental and health outcomes.

Thankfully, governments designing sustainable transport policies for the post lockdown period can draw on experiences from previous crises to predict likely behaviours and design policies that are fit for purpose.


From your perspective, what are the most important characteristics of customer oriented travel offers in 2021?

I strongly believe capturing and acting on customer insights will be key to surviving at the post-pandemic period. According to this, Building new strategies for customer engagement, using customer segmentation to improve your targeting, re-mapping the customer journey using customer insights and therefore relying on your target segments to generate engagement will be highly critical in terms of customer oriented travel offers in the new normal.


Another development is the progressing decarbonisation of the transportation sector. Which strategies has Turkish Airlines developed to adapt to this change?

Of course the solution is not to fly less, but to fly more efficiently and more sustainably from this time forth. Accordingly major airlines are determined to address the climate challenge that faces all of mankind. By minimizing our environmental impact we can contribute to a more sustainable economy as well. Hence as Turkish Airlines, our sustainability roadmap shows a decarbonisation pathway that combines new technologies, improved operations, sustainable aviation fuels and smart economic measures in achieving net zero CO2 emissions determined by IATA 2050 targets.


Do you think travelling will look differently in the future? What are the biggest future trends in tourism and business travelling?

I believe there will be several major top trends driving the travel and tourism industry forward into 2021 and beyond, such as;


  • more emphasis on local destinations by passangers
  • less group travels and more individual travels (socially distant travel)
  • consumers demand increased covid-19 safety and cleanliness
  • travel tech adoption accelerates (such more and more airlines and airports are deploying facial recognition technology for less human interaction etc.)
  • consumers prefer to blend business and leisure travel more than ever (which is called bleisure)
  • the travel industry gets more serious about sustainability


Through these trends, we can see a dynamic relationship between the travel industry and consumers.


Interviewpartner: Mert Dorman, Senior Vice President Turkish Airlines
Das Interview führte Alexander Stork, Referent für Mobilität und Logistik beim BVMW


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