Dutch low-cost carrier Transavia, a subsidiary of Air France-KLM, has reportedly become the first airline to integrate WhatsApp into its webcare channels, which also includes Twitter and Facebook.
Customers can ask questions via the messaging app, such as making inquiries about an existing booking, how to check-in online or hand luggage rules.
Transavia says it aims to respond to questions within an hour and the airline can be reached via Whatsapp seven-days-a-week between 08:00 and 22:00.
“We want everyone to make it as easy as possible to get in touch with Transavia,” commented Roy Scheerder, commercial director at Transavia. “We see WhatsApp as a nice addition to the already existing possibilities such as Facebook and Twitter. Because of the accessibility of WhatsApp customers expect an even quicker reaction than via Twitter and Facebook.”
For the service, Transavia is using a corporate WhatsApp solution called ‘SaySimple’ which has been developed by Dutch IT provider Informaxion which allows for multiple conversations to be managed by multiple support staff.
“For WhatsApp, there are not that many management tools available as for other digital channels,” added Scheerder. “We are starting on WhatsApp now because we want to be the best in digital service and aim to professionalise the service as we learn.”
The Whatsapp service channel is currently available in the Netherlands only, but when the service becomes more popular customers can expect the airline to add other languages.
In October 2014, WhatsApp was the most globally popular messaging app with more than 600 million active users. It was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 for $19 billion and, in January 2015, reported surpassing 700 million users.
Transavia currently offers direct flights between Amsterdam and both Pafos and Larnaka International Airports, in addition to a direct flight between Paris and Larnaka.