It is not surprising to find that the low-cost or the budget carriers make a beginning on the domestic turf of their respective countries and then move on to the international routes that just fit into their business model. Normally operating on sectors of a few hours duration, the LCCs seek to operate the cheap international flights to the destinations in the neighboring countries. For the destinations that are at a distance of same number of hours as the domestic destinations, there might not be significant change in the services offered in-flight.
More and Better Services
For going any distance farther off which takes a lot more time for the direct flights, the LCCs have to change their basket of offerings to the passengers to provide for their greater comfort and entertainment requirement.
Since, reasonably good in-flight experience is important for LCCs to hold on to their customer base, the longer duration international flights need to have better services than the ones offered on the short-haul ones. Better and comfortable seating, entertainment facilities and even the provision for meals might be made aboard the aircraft. This will require a revision of their business model to provide for these services on the international flights.
Faster Planes-Are These Viable for LCC Operations?
However, there is another way out if the LCCs need to provide the cheap air tickets to the customers. The LCC can still keep on providing the more or less same price cheap international flights to the customers by using the faster aircraft.
However, the faster the aircraft, the lesser could be the levels of efficiency in operations and even the capital costs could be higher.
Towards Becoming Full Service Providers
Another point worth considering for the LCCs to ply on the relatively longer duration routes is that whether this would lead to the dilution of their own brand identity. Since there has to be upgrading of services provided to the passengers, the LCCs move towards becoming the full-service providers and, in the process, lose their brand identity. Therefore, whether the international flights will dilute their brand identity and whether the same would be a good thing to happen need to be well considered before providing the cheap international flights to the customers.
There is no disputing the fact there will be a rise in the costs of international flights tickets even if there is no appreciable increase in the services as compared with the domestic segment. This is so because there are increased costs of meeting the stipulated laws of land of the source and the destination countries.