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Book your air ticket via mobile internet
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Have you ever imagined booking an air ticket via mobile Internet no matter where you are? This new convenience became available on Monday when Spring Airlines and the China Construction Bank jointly launched their new service, the first in China.


A demonstration at the launch ceremony showed that there are only five steps to follow to successfully book an air ticket via mobile phone. Passengers have to confirm twice when they complete their order and pay for the ticket, to avoid any mistakes.


Additionally, passengers can also get flight information through the new service. "You can access our website through a handset and find the best air ticket discounts for the same flights here," said Wang Zhenghua, Board Chairman of the private airline.


Aiming to encourage people to choose the new function, Spring Airlines will randomly select three passengers a day and refund their air fare (excluding fuel surcharge and airport tax). At the same time, new service users will be given priority access to 1500 special low-price tickets the airline offers every day.


Currently, 70 percent of Spring Airlines' business-class tickets are booked via Internet payment. Mobile Internet will further change the traditional way to book air tickets.


The budget airline also decided to sell one-yuan tickets again when policies are further relaxed regarding airfares.


Late last year the company was fined 150,000 yuan by Jinan Price Bureau in east China's Shandong Province for selling more than 400 one-yuan tickets for flights between Jinan and Shanghai.


Currently, the occupancy rate for Spring Airlines is 95 percent, according to Wang.


"The 5 percent vacancy rate is sheer resources waste. A one-yuan ticket is in fact a kind of resource integration," he said. "It not only adds to our reputation but also enables more passengers to get low-cost air service."


The budget carrier also plans to slash its air ticket prices 46 percent lower than the average market level next year, compared with the current 36 percent.


In the past two years, the airline operated 8 aircraft and made a profit of 67 million yuan, far above the industry average.


In order to make money when the company aims to build its brand with low-price air service, the carrier tries every means to reduce cost.


Unlike its big rivals, the private budget airline does not provide a free air food package. Instead it only offers a small bottle of mineral water at no charge and passengers must pay for other snacks. Stewards also try to persuade their passengers to buy souvenirs which carry the company's logo and website address.


Spring Airlines also chooses level-2 airports to reduce costs. According toWang Zhenghua, airport service fees account for some 10 percent of the total cost for his company.


In a busy level-1 airport, it costs over 10,000 yuan for an Airbus 320 to land and take off once. The charge is much lower in Level-2 airports. The use of level-2 airports can save the budget carrier as much as 50 million yuan a year.


The company also utilizes a slew of measures to reduce fuel consumption, which makes up 40 percent of the operating costs. In this way, another 30 million yuan is saved, almost equal to last year's profits.


However, the company does not place cost above safety. Last year alone, they invested as much as 60 million yuan on safety management, accounting for 11 percent of the transportation revenues.


( by Yuan Fang, November 21, 2007)



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