Sunday, November 30, 2014

Lufthansa A380: The Bigger Perspective

"Those vigilant eyes that mumble….
The quixotic onus that twinges…
The bruise of intersecting dreams…
The choked face of fate…
Too many dreams…
And the dearth of elbow room…
Your ‘wish’ becomes a delusion…
And wings deformed before you fly…
Still they ‘dare to dream’…
And sing along in carousal….
Up above the world so high, 
Like a diamond in the sky…..."

Since sky is the limit, perhaps we are on the right track here…we are on the verge of creating history in the field of Indian Aviation. Before I proceed, let’s take a look at one of the analytics drawn from one of my good old studies on “The Indian Conveyance and the Preference Factors” as a part of a management curriculum. The rationale behind this study was primarily to assess the change in preferred modes of transport and communication over the years, & the result of one of the survey’s (as conducted in 2013) has been furnished below. The 3 main parameters of analysis primary revolves around the 3 C's of the travel-framework- Cost, Comfort and Congeniality; it goes without saying that the contest prompt has given me the leverage to variegate & add a new twist to my groundwork. The interesting aspect is, I got a chance to revisit my unfinished study & this time the reach was better owing to the bliss of sophisticated social networking websites, the results might be deemed to be fairly accurate. The 3 C's are :-

Survey Analytics: The basic framework of the study that is based upon 3 essential components:
Cost, Comfort and Congeniality 
Analytics Copyright: Sammya Brata
The survey that was floated around 7-8 days managed to attract responses from over 200 people coming from different socio-economic strata and as a result the divergence, to some extent has been catered to. I did try to keep the questions simple with a limited number of answer options so that a pin pointed response could be tracked down. The survey results say the number of passengers travelling via air is increasing exponentially with every passing year; with an average of 10 million people across the globe flying daily, you can well imagine the enhanced level of popularity of this ‘advanced’ mode of transport. However, as per CAPA’s (Centre for Aviation) stats, India’s domestic air passenger growth has slowed to 8% in Dec-2011 to less than half the pace of growth experienced in calendar 2011 and down from the 17-22% growth rates seen between Jun-2011 and Oct-2011. According to their research, India’s domestic passenger numbers increased 16.6% to 60.7 million passengers in 2011, averaging out at 5.1 million passengers per month, and up 74% from 2006 levels. Yes, there have conceptualization of schooled principles ranging from using data inputs in form of passenger arrivals, baggage volumes, immigration/customs risks per flight to form decision oriented business cases for efficient flight management, making worthy use of simulations to regulate aviation resources, staff augmentation to leveraging technology for the benefit of the passengers…we taken it to the next level nevertheless. However, the ticket prices have risen by a substantial 12% in the last 5 years…the obvious question here is whether the passengers find it “worthy” enough to travel via air, or is it more of an exigency in terms of saving ‘valuable time’. Believe it or not, even my dad expresses his displeasure when it comes to the price-vis-à-vis-assuagement assessment when it comes to domestic air travel. “Things have changed”- He says…”And I’m not liking it….paying INR 8K for a one way travel with almost zero entertainment, average quality of the exorbitantly priced sandwiches and absolutely crammed passage? Where is the balance?” – He resented. Well, I have similar opinions from my team-mates as well. Seems like there’s a piddling quandary in here, and that, my friend prompted me to float this survey. Infact, I randomly interviewed my co-passengers during my last business trip to Delhi last week. Let’s see what the Indians have to say…

Survey Analytics: An excerpt from one of my old studies on the various preferred modes of transport, 
the respondents being Indian passengers / Analytics Copyright: Sammya Brata
Survey Analytics: An excerpt from one of my recent surveys on the 3 favorite picks on-air services,
the respondents being Indian passengers / Analytics Copyright: Sammya Brata
Survey Analytics: A comparison between domestic and international flight services, 
the respondents being Indian passengers / Analytics Copyright: Sammya Brata
Well, well…as expected there have been some staggering revelations through the comparative analysis as stated above. The point is, when we drill down…we do observe that the ‘infrastructure’ and the quality on-air services are of prime importance when we calculate the ‘overall satisfaction quotient”. And it is interesting to note that people, on an average are ready to pay more when it comes to availing services ameliorated services in any form. I remember one discrete incident when a person stationed at the window seat of a domestic airline, threw up on the seat itself just because the leg-space was too small for him to quickly move out and head over to the washroom; that, my friend, could be pretty annoying for the co-passengers. In-fact, the regular ordeal in terms of lack of ‘stuffing’ space for hand-baggage’s doesn't leave a good note either. The “concern” con-volutes in-case of the senior citizens and the infants; peace and comfort are perhaps their only prayer. Why not? These are the same people who struggle hard to catch the last over-crowded bus / metro on the way to school or office; they are crammed for standing space…literally sandwiched in the mobbed freight-age. Yes, we are desperately in need of ‘breathing space’. By the way, I have often seen the air-hostesses facing considerable quagmires in their quest for walking space during the “Swadisht Jalpan Sewa” phase; deplorable is the word. I had read somewhere that the legendary Salil Chowdhury had written the iconic song “আমি ঝড়ের কাছে রেখে গেলাম আমার ঠিকানা” (I leave my address to the incoming storm) while sitting in an aeroplane….perhaps that sense of ‘re-assurance’ and contentment can bring out such glorious specimens of creativity.

Coming back to the abstraction, the major highlight of the survey outcome shows that in their subconscious mind, the Indian migrants have an underlying ‘trust-factor’ in favor of the International air-carriers; yes.. some of them through personal experience, some through word-of-mouth and some through the ‘general perception’. Either way, the implication is ‘collateral’… they prefer “world-class-amenities” at an affordable price that includes luxury, comfort, gratification and of course ‘warmth’...

Survey Analytics: Outcome of an independent survey done by a professional agency on the on-board activities
Voila!! Seems like the good people of Lufthansa have been paying utmost attention to all these qualms for a long, long time. In-fact, they had chalked out the mitigation plan keeping the pre-defined 3 C’s in their mind. No points for guessing, the headlines that read “Lufthansa will fly Airbus A380 aircraft on Frankfurt-Delhi route from November 8 2014. Lufthansa is the third airline to fly A380 planes to India after Singapore Airlines and Emirates, which ply the super jumbo aircraft to Mumbai” marks the red-letter day in the history of Indian aviation. And why not? The world’s largest commercial passenger jet, with a seating capacity of 525 passengers (with a maximum of 853) in a typical three-class cabin layout, that gives top-most priority to the passengers’ comfort and receptiveness is indeed a classic addition. Let's take a look at what's 'cooking' inside...this should be a thrilling ride....

The Esteemed Lufthansa A380: 'Innovation and sophistication personified'
Collage: Self Created / Picture Courtesy: Image 1- Image 5
The introduction is the perfect follow up, post the Singapore Airlines admittance; the first carrier to operate A380 to India with the launch of a flight service to Delhi and Mumbai on May 30 earlier this year..Lufthansa’s intervention is another feather to the cap.  Equipped with the suave GP7200, RR Trent 900 engines, with a thrust range of 70 000 lb slst…this high flier brings in a bunch of commercial advantages. The overall length of 240 ft coupled with geometric wing span of approximately 262 ft is tailor-made for frugality & appeasement. The cockpit is equipped with the latest advancements in the field of technology, including larger interactive displays, advanced flight management system & augmented navigation modes. The optimized landing functionality is a boon; soothes those nerves to some extent, it's in effect a "safer" option anyday. "With a new wing design & composite materials accounting for 25 per cent of its structural weight, A380 is a much more efficient aircraft all around."-say the experts, it's a very exciting prospect. And guess what, writing this post has tickled the engineer in me; folks...why wait, let’s explore it's anatomy!

The schematic diagram of A380: The Greener, cleaner, quieter and smarter aircraft...
Courtesy: Airbus
And talking from the boarders’ point of view, let’s look into the four-point-success-factors of the ‘humane’ Lufthansa A380.
  • Creating Wider Smiles - Seating comfort, enhanced baggage space, hospitality  speaks volumes...
  • Manifesting enhanced In-Flight Creativity - Unleash the creative spur in you, In Flight Blogging maybe?
  • Leveraging In-Flight Connectivity - Get connected on the move....
  • Improving Post-Flight Experience, the Aftermath - Have a nice, productive day, folks!
In Flight Tit-Bits: Exploring the Hand Luggage Allowances in Lufthansa, the well defined categorization...
And of course, last but not the least...it sets up a glowing example for the existing high-fliers, it's a process of mutual knowledge-sharing, implementation, development and up-gradation as a whole. The inclusion of a world class airline, equipped with the best of technology, human resources, services and chivalry, into the scheme of things can have a positive direct impact in many aspects- the passengers would reap rich benefits out of the competitive outcome. The rising concerns with passenger safety after the M370 disaster could be curbed to some extent as well. Furthermore, it opens up the gateway of business transactions, tourism, trade and commerce with the foreign counterparts...I can forecast an appreciable rise in the number of tourists visiting India in the next few years as a result of this move. It's an absolute gift for the travel bloggers like us; we keep hunting for the best air-way deals & packages for overseas travel without much luck...see here's a delightful reprise. In short, the it's a glorious revival to say the least. Wait, let me ask you again...do we see a new horizon out there? Yes that is indeed, the "Bigger Perspective" that goes hand in hand with the 3C's (defined right at the onset) alright but please "Do not forget to fasten your seat-belts before the take off" ;)

The Four Point Success Factors of the Lufthansa A380 Air-craft from the passenger point of view..
Slide Copyright: Sammya Brata
Disclaimer: This post has been written as a part of "Lufthansa A380 – The dawn of a new era" #LufthansaA380 activity in association with Indiblogger. Feel free to visit Lufthansa's official website for additional information. Cheers!! 
Copyright: The stats and analytics represented with the images represent my original work and derivations (using various analytics tools). They should not be copied or reproduced in any form what-so-ever without my permission / approval.
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