South African domestic travellers are generally less satisfied with airline industry service when compared to their counter parts in countries measured using the globalised customer satisfaction index ACSI.
The South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi), a licensed ACSI operator released results for the airline industry this week showing domestic travellers indicated their level of satisfaction with the South African commercial airline industry as a score of 68 out of 100.
SAcsi noted that local airline industry scored the lowest customer satisfaction score to date of the ten industries already measured by SAcsi this year.
Added SAcsi beyond the industry score, the results show a clear split in domestic travellers’ levels of satisfaction with national carrier SAA, and SA’s low-cost carriers, Kulula and Mango.
Kulula, Mango, and SAA were included in SAcsi’s web based and telephonic customer satisfaction survey based on their market share. Low-cost carriers lead the industry with Kulula and Mango scoring 5.7% and 5.1% above the industry average respectively. SAA scored 6.6% below industry average.
“The past decade has been a turbulent one for the local commercial airlines industry, characterised by SAA’s government bailout and plans for further improvement, as well as the bankruptcy of four low-cost carriers (Nationwide Airlines, Interlink airline, 1time and Velvet Sky)” says Prof Adre Schreuder, founder and chair of SAcsi. “Despite this, the airline companies do seem to be generally satisfying their customers. The score of 68 out of 100 is our lowest industry score so far, but it is still an acceptable satisfaction score. The point is that this score can be improved and this is where the SAcsi aims to provide helpful strategic information to industry players,” says Schreuder.
SAA’s satisfaction score is influenced strongly by the fact that its passengers report a perception of receiving a low value given the price paid. In the case of Kulula and Mango, customers report satisfaction with the total experience across all SAcsi model components (expectations, quality, value, satisfaction, complaints, and loyalty).
SAcsi holds a licence with the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI.
Relative to the international ACSI scores, South Africa’s commercial airlines ranked sixth among the seven countries measured by the ACSI—Indonesia being the international benchmark with a score of 78 out of 100. South Africa’s score was only just above the USA (67) and was beaten by South Korea (76), Singapore (73), Turkey (73), and the UK (69).