Welcome to another installment of PAYFORT’s merchant of the month series where we sit down with some of the region’s leading businesses and get their insight on how to find success in the Middle East.
This week we caught up with flyEgypt Team to learn what it takes to build a regionally focused airline business and just as importantly, how to stay completive. flyEgypt began operations in 2014 as a single class charter operator and within a year began commercial operations between Cairo and Jeddah. Today, the airline connects to nine regional airports putting new destinations within people’s reach at affordable fares and enabling people to discover the world around them.
If you’re looking to learn what it takes to standout in the world of regional travel keep reading!
What was the inspiration for flyEgypt?
flyEgypt was borne out of a passion for travel and an appreciation for what accessible airfare means to a country. On a social level travel brings together cultures and helps to promote understanding, on a personal level it fuels development and enriches one’s lives, and on a business level it expands opportunity and drives growth.
What problem are you solving?
With Egypt’s tourism industry on the rebound, we believe there’s a need for a reliable airline to support local regional travel. It’s an area that has traditionally been underserved in Egypt and we are very excited to have an opportunity to not only build a successful business, but also support the recovery with a different kind of product that addresses a very specific niche.
What is your target market?
Regionally, our target consumers are everyday Egyptians and Arabs looking to fly in and out of various locations across Egypt and the Middle East. Our charter operations are more targeted towards leisure travellers and are more focused on Western and Eastern European travellers.
What differentiates you from other competitors in the region?
Where flyEgypt really stands out from competitors is in the strategies we apply to solve unique market challenges. The airline industry is a challenging space, and with billion-dollar companies vying for market share, it can sometimes feel like the playing field isn’t level.
We’ve had to become more innovative with our problem-solving strategies and as a result we’ve found a niche space where we can deliver a new, more modular product that connects regional hubs and ultimately brings costs down. Our plan is to continue to innovate our hybrid model in a way that gives Egypt-bound passengers the best travel experience possible at an affordable price point.
How much time did it take you from conceptualization of ‘your venture’ to actually launching it in the market?
From the initial concept stage, it took about 3 years to begin our operations but with that said it’s important to note that our ‘venture’ stage isn’t finished yet. flyEgypt still has a number of upcoming launches and we have a way to go before we would consider ourselves ‘Fully Launched’.
Are there any obstacles that are impacting flyEgypt?
The airline industry is one of regulations and as result, we’ve had to jump through a wide range of regulator hoops to get to where we are. This is not unique to flyEgypt of course but it is certainly something that must be considered by any organization looking to enter the industry.
Beyond the legislative challenges, one of the biggest challenges we face is a lack of local and regional talent, particularly employees that understand our LCC (Low Cost Carrier)/hybrid business model.
What role has social media played in growing your business?
At this point in time, social media isn’t a major consideration for us and as a result it doesn’t really contribute to our business growth.
With that said however, it’s undeniable that social media plays an important role in the modern marketing landscape and in the future, we anticipate that social media will find its way into our marketing efforts.
What sort of support and feedback are you looking for from the community?
Any feedback about the services we provide is valuable feedback, but one area that we’re always looking to learn more about is what our customer’s idea of ‘perfect air travel’ is. Everyone has new and interesting ideas about how to make the travel experience more pleasant. While some of these ideas are more difficult to implement than others, they are all equally valuable and give us something to aim for in the future.
What advice would you give to new start-ups in the region?
Invest in talent, it’s any company’s greatest asset. As an airline, it’s not our aircraft that make us successful, it’s the people who work hard everyday and our own constant effort to help our team members improve and grow.
Check out our latest Public Release with flyEgypt to learn more. Or maybe you have a question for flyEgpt? Leave a comment below or even better reach out to them on LinkedIn. And if you’re looking for more of our merchants great stories be sure to check out our last Merchant of the Month post on Family Pass.