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The low-cost airline company
Pegasus Airlines is based on Turkey and it was founded in 1990 by having
business of a joint venture company in the beginning. Since 2005, domestic
flights service has started and the company which has been owned by ?evket
Sabanc? and his family took the fourth place among all airlines in Turkey. The
company of Pegasus Airlines, which has been shared by Borsa Istanbul (34.5 %)
and Esas Holding (65.5 %) that is owned by ?evket Sabanc? and his family,  has their mission of belief in rights for
everyone to fly, and their vision in having innovative, responsible, principled
approach for being the leading low-cost airline in their region (,
2017).How the company of
Pegasus Airlines show their maturity in digital, financial and technical
progress is explained in the following by years. To begin with, in 2006, they
have started international flights with Stuttgart followed by Amsterdam,
Dusseldorf, Copenhagen, London and Zurich in 2007. Besides, they added the
value of Pegasus Cafe in 2006 and providing travelling online insurance in
2007. Moreover, they have become the sponsor of the PWA Windsurf World Cup, and
made their biggest investment on delivery of first aircraft named ‘Hay?rl?’ in
Turkish aviation industry. Meanwhile they have continued widening their flights
to more international and domestic cities and their delivery of new aircrafts,
the flight and shopping card ‘Pegasus Card’ was introduced with the partnership
of HSBC in 2008, and started their online car hiring platform on their website.
Furhtermore, how they showed cabin safety was introduced by the film made and
played by the children of Pegasus family members, which differs Pegasus from
other airline companies. While expanding their destionations in Europe and
Asia, they have started a service of pre-ordered meal before flights, and the
number of Pegasus guests has raised to 8.6 million. They have kept improving
the company in digital platform by serving the first mobile phone check-in
using barcode, and allowence of extra luggages and seat selections online
optionally in 2010. The number of international flights showed 30 cities in 22
countries, and 19 cities for demostic flights in 2011. This year has become one
of the peak points for digitalization of the company and put the company in 10
% in the world by building a flight training centre that has the latest flight
simulation technology. Moreover,  their
success has increased more with the technology of integration Grondlink End to
End Solutions System and fleet, which makes them be the first airline that uses
this technology in the world. In 2012, financial success is revealed by $12
billion contract by investing the engineering of aircrafts by 100 new Airbus
A320neo and A321neo aircraft in their fleet. Lately in 2016, for better and
feasible security scenarios, they have acquired a new cabin simulator. Thanks
to their ambitious plans and successful growth reaching 92 destinations in 37
different countries,  the company of
Pegasus airlines believes their 20 years experience of being established
private airline, their experienced crew, low-fair policy caring customer
experience and quality and embracing cutting-edge technology (,
2017). What is more, the customer journey of an airline industry can be
demonstrated by the steps shown in the following Figure 1 ::                     Figure 1:
Journey in Airline Industry (Dent , 2017) The customer journey for Pegasus starts
with inspiration of customer, and planning the trip by researching on the
airline website and on the sites that include several low fare airlines and more.
After deciding on reasonable scheduled flight, booking and purchasinf process
follow the journey. Before trip, the process has check-in online which can
occur on portable devices or desktop or check-in at airport. After departure
process which is expected to be on time that has indicated on the boarding
pass. After departure, flight time is important for customer satisfaction and
followed by post-trip for the company to have positive feedbacks and keep
customers happy as well. In Turkey, there are 11 national passenger
airlines and 4 cargo airlines within the country. Pegasus’ most powerful
competitor can be said Turkish airlines which has own also Anadolujet airlines
that serve as a passenger airline. AtlasGlobal, Borajet, IZair, Onur Air,
Borajet and more can be said the competitors of Pegasus Airlines in the airline
industry. It is known that Pegasus has a remarkable growth in digital world,
which is proven by their first international award in digital marketing field,
the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) MIXX competition in October, 2016. The
award of a Bronze Mixx has empowered Pegasus Airlines in international digital
advertising field. Furthermore, there is another award of they have in the same
competition for Turkey leg, which is Gold Mixx Award in the previous year. The
category of Bronze Mixx Award they have is in the Search Marketing for the  campaign of Google Customer Match with Google
Adwords named ‘To be or not to be, which resulted into an 52% increase in the
click through rate, 13% decrease for cost per action, 12 % increase for pay per
action and so on (, 2017). According to research of Kazanço?lu Y., and Kazanço?lu,
?. (2013), identification of service quality of firms in Turkish airline
indsutry which is examined by questionnaire, factor analysis, and benchmarking
the quality with Fuzzy TOPSIS. It is said that Fuzzy TOPSIS as a benchmark tool
is beneficial for comparison of airline companies by both functionalities of
ranking and guiding managers in qualitative identification of each criteria’s
success degree and so on. Another benefit of this study to provide
understanding of relative positions with their competitors and developing
better strategies for customer satisfaction, meaning that the service quality
assessment is based on customer approach.The company’s analysis can be explained
shortly in the following. Pegasus has clear strengths regarding its secure and
safe airline, crew training is high and well experienced, proper market
segmentation and their low fare offers whereas the weaknesses are high breaking
down rate as an ariline firm, expensive aircrafts, scheduling flights with
difficulty, and existing in large areas. Also, the opportunities they  have can be demonstrated in terms of
embracing high technology in their business, their expanding continuously,
collaboration with other carries to obtain more passengers, while the threats
the company has are being easily affected by global economic situation, price
of fuel, government decisions and unexpected disasters such as terror attacks. Importantly,
the main challenge of the company of Pegasus airlines is based on attracting
new customers and retaining the existing ones. Mainly to say, it is related
their customer service regarding their unsatisfactionness. According to
customers’ opinion, the company regarding its being worst on time performance. However,
there are efficient solutions that the firm can embrace for their better
customer service. In order to retain new customers can be done by advertising
and special offers, and for the loyalty of customers, airline club that has
offers miles and rewards can be actioned, like the one of the strongest
competitors Turkish Airlines has. Moreover, since it is has an business
objective based on low fare flights, the aim is to sell flights as many as
possible by selling the first seats in a cheaper price and last seats in a
higher price for the maximization of the revenue (Serrano et al., 2017). As explained above the main challenges of
Pegasus Airlines can be overcome by loyalty programs by offering miles and
rewards for higher custpmer satisfaction. This can be realized on their
optimized website, embracing the digital marketing strategies more often
eventhough they have been awarded already in this area. Furthermore, since the challenge
Pegasus Airlines has is in customer relationships in terms of attracting new
customers and retaining existing ones, there is a beneficial and efficient
approach to be used for  both company and
customer side, which is called customer journey mapping. This approach is a
strategic tool that provides data identification for understanding the roles of
each departments in customer-based strategy for company whereas customer
experienceand satisfaction is higher for the whole journey. Moreover, for
customer journey mapping startegy tool in airline industry, the focus of
customers is important by serving each persona separately based on their needs
because in airline industry satisfying all people in the same way is not
possible as a strategy. Idenification of different personas can be explained as
business travel persona, leisure persona for adventure holiday travelling,
family/group persona persona for the family of four members including two
children under 10, special needs persona for who is single traveller and needs
wheelchair. It is crucial to differentiate the personas because of their
specific and various needs; for exmaple, families with children needs different
service than business or leisure personas in-flight or pre-flight steps. It is
also found that the importance of personas is different and it is determined by
the number of elements that are important to customer during the journey’s each
step. In airline industry, business traveler persona is the most important
target segment which has 13 significant elements whereas leisure persona has 8
element, family/group has 5 and special needs traveler persona has 3 important
elements. Another crucial fact is determining the customer value for the
airline company which can be realized in several ways such as passenger’s
recommendation, the passenger’s historical data based on the number of trips
and the price of flight, and customers bringing additional revenue for the
airline company. Besides, what customers want is supposed to be known by the
airline company which regards to customized, relevant and social information in
the online world. In another words, customer wants to be known by the company
personally and they require right information, respect and expect company’s
help and consistent customer experience across channels which can be realized
by customer journey mapping by providing important touchpoints to the company.
In the end, company would have improved customer experience, revenue increase
and loyal customers (Dent, J., 2017).What the research of Dent
explains the way how to overcome the challenges that Pegasus Airlines has in
customer service which will be realized by improved digitalization in their
customer-focused strategy. In digital strategy plan of Pegasus Airlines,
business persona who prefer travelling for business purposes is targetted and
customer journey mapping is applied for their objective. The plan makes a
complete shift to customer-based strategy for the company and customers are
supported and given help more than before. The customized plan is applied in
every department as well. The objective 
of digital transformation plan for Pegasus Airlines include several
approaches. First of all, personalized profiles for business persona have the
simple and clear offers to be able to make customers satisfied and loyal in the
end of experience. For example, what the customers provide is data, meaning
that when they enter their birthdays, interests and their travel friends, the
promotions and customized offers involved in loyalty programs will be served to
them, and most importantly this improvement will be realized by digital systems
that the company embrace. Even though Pegasus Airlines’ priority is being
innovative and having high technology, it would be much better for them to
apply their high tech mission into their customer journey plan in order to keep
customers and obtain new ones too. The quality of service would be appreciated
by the customers if they receive more attention and care from the company’s
customer service. Moreover, the
business travelers adopt cutting edge technology highly in their social,
personal and business life; that’s why, while travelling they prefer having it
too. Nevertheless customized approaches are becoming normal for airlines, what
Pegasus Airlines should use the virtual and physical touch points in real time.
It is crucial and highly efficient approach for airline company to use the
customers data in real time, meaning that where they are moving in the current
time. This real time data use approach requires perfect?y use of online
services and highly improved customized service. However, this personalized approach
use customer data use can bring some doubts for customers because of privacy
and security issues. In this case, customers are responsible ones too whereas
the company should assure that the data will not be approached by third party
business partner. Notably, the trust that an airline company has from the
passengers is an added value today in digital platform, and it is necessary for
the data of customers to be protected in case of hacking digitally. In order to
gain more competitive advantage among all other airlines in the market for
Pegasus, in its own field digital strategy has an huge impact on how an airline
operates including data-driven collaboration to bring flawless customer
experience. The digital approach is supposed to have affect on each touchpoints
and departments that are involved in their business strategy. Real time
insights in customer experience has the interactions with data points of
customers that can be obtained internally such as in their reservation systems and
externally through social media channels. There is a fact that customers’
expectation is highly based on personalized offers in today’s world. Thus, the
purpose is to create customized offers to the passengers who use the loyalty
cards where the infortmation is obtained from analysis of data in customer
databases. If there is more customer interaction, the more airline will know
about their customers, which can be obtained with real-time customer insights.
To clarify, for example, to be able to know at which step the passenger is
right now, with whom the passenger is travelling, how long the trip takes for
the passenger is realized by the real time data that will customize the
experience for the customer journey. Real time insights can be determined by
using mobile geolocation technology for the purposes of guiding the passenger for
each step of the journey, also in case of flight delay some digital vouchers
offer can be made to be used in the airport restaurants, and importantly in real
time ratings order to receive constant information on board experience as well.
In brief, using real time analytics within the digital technology including
mobile, social media channels would provide on time and personalized offers for
the passengers in the loyalty system. Regarding 4Ps of company, even though their powerful product,
it is important to be able to sell it to existing and new passengers. The
product is their low-cost flight service with the offer f parking during 72
hours for Business and VIP class lounges and car rental. Place of marketing mix
represents 70 airports for scheduled flights in Europe and Asia including 19
destinations within Turkey. Promotion for Pegasus Airlines is that the
passengers’ receiving their flights’ information, and the promotion 10 percent
discount for pre-ordered meal in international flights, and on special holidays
in Turkey there is 50 percent promotion for both international and domestic
flights. Regarding price dimension, there are several ticketing strategies for
obtaining more passengers. For example, early booking is an advantage for low
cost tickets. Also, loyalty card they have developed offers the refund of
flight in case of 3 hours delay, and indeed, if the delay is more than 5 hours,
not only the refund but also free ticket is offered to customer. With the
digital transformation in real time data acquirement, the better and efficient
interaction with customers is expected. For the goal approach in digital plan,
as it is mentioned above the coming challenge can be said as privacy and
security issues. Both sides customer and the company are responsible for it
regarding passenger’s accepting the data sharing and the company’s reserving
the rights and not sharing with third-parties. In the end, there will be no
issues emerging as long as the system is secure enough against to hacking
threats. Transforming customer experience consists of three main elements
which are understanding the customer, top-line growth regarding sales
experience, and customer touch points with customer apps offer. Understanding
customers within digital real-time analytics provides enhancements in cost structures
and portfolios in addition to obtain actionable customer insights. Customized offers
through mobile apps can be made thanks to digital interactions with customer. In
another word, real time offers to customers are critical to retain customers in
airline industry while integrating multiple digital channels with geo-localized
customer apps that improve customer touchpoints time and cost efficiently. It is
also important to have mature leadership, digital strategy, the proposed
innovation model, IT operations and technology platform in order to realize
well assessed and success factors focused digital transformation plan Besides,
the digital transformation plan bringing a cutting-edge approach to a business
strategy includes can be demonstrated by a matrix schema showing who is
responsible, accountable, consulted and informed for which tasks within this
plan. In the matrix, the responsible ones are IT department, analysts, developers,
accountant, marketing strategists, through the transformation plan processes
including determining requirements where analysts and accountants are consulted
(C), developers are informed (I), IT department is responsible, and
identification of its social media targets where marketing strategist responsible
and informed, ad marketing developer is consulted. Design process is where IT
department and developers are consulted, analysts and accountant are informed,
and also for its text content creation from digital marketing side, marketing
strategist are accountable and informed and marketing developer is responsible.
Moreover, development process has informed analysts, accountable and responsible
developers where IT department is consulted, and deployment of context on
social media has responsible social media developer, marketing developer
accountable and strategist is informed. Implementation has IT department as responsible,
accountant is informed, developers are consulted, and assessment of marketing
strategy of transformation of plan is taken responsible by marketing developer,
accountable for marketing strategist and social media developer is consulted. Lastly,
IT department and developer are responsible for maintenance and optimization
task whereas analysts and accountant are consulted.There are important success factors for the company for
digital transformation of its customer experience and journey, which can be
easy going and proper communication with customers2.       
response rate to customers across all channels3.       
customer experience in airline industry4.       
process for unified customer transaction process5.       
The use
of real time data of customers for transforming customer experience6.       
within geo-localized customer apps What is more, the product which digital transformation of
customer experience leads into is supposed to be promoted from digital marketing
view as explained above within the tasks and RACI matrix definition of strategy.
Furthermore, for digital marketers to plan and manage the tasks, the RACE model
of digital transformation plan of the airline company which covers the whole
customer journey as presented above for Pegaus Airlines is demonstrated in the
Where the marketers ‘reach’ the audience of passengers includes customized
mobile apps across multiple channels including also social media. Eventhough the
highest number of elements are carried by business persona, the audience is
mass segment for the airline including every persona. The aim is to obtain more
passenger to retain existing ones, and still need to be improved by proper and
enhanced digital marketing although they have achieved to receive an award in digital
marketing competition among all airlines in Turkey and in the world. The content
of their loyalty program including obtained insights in real time strategy
would make the company move forward.Key measures: unique visitors, value per visit to website and customized
Acting through several channels including their website which can be
optimized by collaboration with other private companies for every type of
persona, for example, in order to not to make the passenger search for other websites
like skyscanner, the multiple filtering option can be adopted, and like Turkish
Airlines cutting edge website provides, Pegasus’ website can also include useful
information for the all personas. What else, several agreements as being
sponsor for events or organizations and all information can be included in the
websiteThese features of the company’s website would help on decision making
process as well.Key measures: conversion rate of leads, spent time on
website, social media acting of visitors.3.       
Converting all actions of customers into achievement of marketing goals can
be realized on both online and offline platform by e-commerce platforms and
landing pages and it would attarct new customers which was one way to overcome
the challenge of Pegasus.Key measures: Revenue, profit, online and offline values.4.       
Engagement of plan can be done through social media channels including blog,
publishing and content marketing; newsletter that customers would be kept
updated by promotions and so on. Moreover, if the plan can be run through online
channels more effectively by obtaining customers or  passengers constant moves and opinions via
advanced predictive analytics.

Key measures: customer satisfaction and loyalty.

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