Jetstar & Qantas Perception Ratings Soar After Bonza Cancelled Flights, YouGov Finds

Jetstar &  Qantas Perception Ratings Soar After Bonza Cancelled Flights, YouGov Finds
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine

YouGov BrandIndex has found that Qantas and Jetstar’s brand perception have taken off in the weeks after Bonza went into administration.

Bonza Aviation entered voluntary administration after it abruptly cancelled all its flights, leaving passengers stranded at airports in the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Melbourne and Avalon.

Shortly after, Virgin Australia and Qantas (along with its low-cost arm Jetstar) offered to fly affected passengers to their destinations at no additional cost where seats were available. But to what extent has consumer perception towards major low-cost and full-service airlines in Australia changed in the immediate aftermath of Bonza’s sudden grounding?

Latest data from YouGov BrandIndex suggested that most consumers were aware about the suspension of Bonza’s services. The Queensland-based carrier’s buzz score (which measured whether consumers have heard more positive or negative things about a brand in the past two weeks) plunged around 16 points from 4.2 on 1 April to -12.1 by 8 May – entering negative territory a day after it suspended services on Apr 30, indicating that consumers heard more negative than positive things about the airline.

Apart from Scoot – which also inched downwards from 0.9 on Apr 1 to -0.1 by 8 May – other major airlines operating in Australia either saw improvements or largely maintained their buzz scores over the same period.

Jetstar and Qantas, which had negative buzz scores at the start of April, saw the largest jumps of 6.6 points (-2.4 on Apr 1 to 4.2 on May 8) and 5.6 points (-0.6 on Apr 1 to 5.0 on May 8) respectively, while Virgin Australia and AirAsia saw slight increases of 1.7 (12.7 on Apr 1 to 14.4 on May 8) and 1.0 (0.1 on Apr 1 to 2.1 on May 8) respectively.

Bonza’s recommendation score (which tracks how likely consumers are to recommend or advise others to avoid a brand) took a similar dive, from 3.2 on Apr 1 to -7.9 by May 8, while Scoot and AirAsia saw their scores dip by 1.5 and 0.6 points over the same period.

In contrast, the number of Aussies who would recommend Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin has grown. Jetstar saw the largest improvement of 7.2 points, from 5.1 on Apr 1 to 2.1 by May 8. But Virgin Australia which saw a smaller improvement of 2.6 points, from 26 on Apr 1 to 28.6 by May 8, remained the most recommended carrier of the list.

However, when Aussies were asked about the airlines they would personally consider flying with on their next trip, Scoot remained the least favoured airline on the list (4.6 per cent on May 8) – since the start of April through Bonza’s suspension just before May – followed by Bonza (6.5 per cent on May 8).

Both low-cost carriers also saw their consideration scores dip over the period. On the other hand, consideration for Qantas saw the largest improvement of 7.7 percentage points over the period – from 29.5 per cent on Apr 1 to 37.2 per cent by May 8 – and lead the other carriers on this list as of early May. Virgin Australia, previously the most considered of the pack in early April, wasin second place (34.8 per cent), followed by Jetstar (24.8 per cent).

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