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Merchant success
Aug 4, 20213 min read

Alternative Airlines MD, Sam Argyle on reaching new heights post pandemic.

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by Klarna

At Klarna we are dedicated to the small businesses at the core of our economy, and believe it’s vital that they’re given all the tools they need to survive. Following new research revealing a quarter (24%) of SMEs aren’t confident their business will survive the next two years, and 46% of owners stating their main priority is to simply survive the next six months, we launched a £3m Small Business Support Package to help British SMEs recover from the pandemic. We hope that the Support Package, alongside our ten-part Accelerator Programme, will inspire and boost confidence across the SME sector. In addition to this, we are hosting inspiring small UK businesses on our blog to discover their stories.

 

Welcoming Sam Argyle, Managing Director of Alternative Airlines. Whether you’re looking to travel off the beaten track, for a complex multi-city itinerary or simply a large range of travel time and price options, Alternative Airlines can find the best flights for you. It also lets you spread your payments – as well as your wings – using Klarna. Here Sam Argyle, Managing Director shares his story.

 

Hi Sam! How was your business born?

It all started in a bar, when two friends in the aviation industry were talking about small airlines that fly to remote destinations. They came to the realisation that no one was offering an easy way to book flights on these airlines online. And so, Alternative Airlines was born.

 

What was the biggest hurdle you faced starting up?

Developing our unique technology — we combine over 600 airlines with 40+ international payment methods across 160+ currencies, personalising the site for each customer.

 

What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?

The freedom to try new things, to enjoy the challenge of developing and improving the business and to learn every day!

 

What investment decision has had the most impact on your business?

After outsourcing offshore web developers, we decided to invest in building an in-house tech team. Tech has been pivotal in improving our site, as well as our internal processes.

 

Has the pandemic impacted you and how have you bounced back?

Yes, last year was challenging when almost all flights were grounded. But, we used the time to improve our pre and post booking experience and our processes. We are now in a fantastic position as air travel is starting to return.

 

What are your ambitions for the future, and what do you want to hold onto as your business
grows?

Our goal is and will always be to become the number 1 place in the world to book flights, no matter where you are in the world or where you are travelling.

 

What advice would you give others looking to launch a retail business?

Invest in your team. They will be the ones driving your business and looking after your customers.

Discover how Alternative Airlines took off with Klarna.

Read our case study with Alternative Airlines to learn how we worked together to boost demand and average order values, from launching in the UK to expanding to the US.

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