AMM - May 2022

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AIRLINE A M M MARKETING 87 2022 Issue

May

MONTHLY

Aviation Marketing Monthly

July 2018

Ryanair on TikTok The Delta Summer Wall

Special supplement: Passenger disruption and satisfaction in the post AirlineCOVID Safety era Video round-up

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In association with:

Airlines and migrant deportations


AVIATION MARKETING MONTHLY - MAY 2022 Table of Contents : Introduction ................................................................ 3 Cover story - Ryanair on TikTok ................. 5 Featured campaigns ........................................... 9 Alaska Airlines Care Coalition ........................ 9 JetBlue - We’re JetBlue .................................... 12 British Airways - Meanwhile in Britain .. 13 easyJet - NextGen easyJet .............................. 15 Qantas - Still Call Australia Home ............ 17 Vistara - The Soundtrack of Travel ............ 19 Industry research ............................................... 20 The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Study ...............................................................................20 Tech Trends at SXSW .......................................... 21 Global trends from Euromonitor ............. 23 Special supplement Passenger disruption and satisfaction in the post COVID era from Levarti and TA Connections............................................................. 24 Livery Watch............................................................. 44 Sustainability news............................................. 47 Airline campaigns .............................................. 50 Air Baltic and Qantas - NFTs ....................... 50 Aer Lingus and Cairde ...................................... 52 British Airways - Rejected Safety Video .. 53 Chicago Airports - What we’re made of ... 54 Iberia - Based on real flights ........................ 55 Peach Travel Lottery ............................................56 Qatar Airways - Fly to Win ............................. 59 Hightea by WestJet ............................................ 58 See the world differently - Virgin Atlantic ... 57 SkyTeam Sustainable Flight Challenge ... 60 Willa Air - The First Influencer Airline ........ 61 Sustainability in the air .................................. 62 AVIATION MARKETING MONTHLY

Brands inby this magazineon ................................ 63 Produced Simplivisible, behalf of SimpliFlying Simplivisible Ltd, 27 Old Gloucester St, WC1N 3AX SimpliFlying Pte, 152 Haig Road, #13-04, 438791, Singapore, www.simpliflying.com 2 AMM May 2022 2 || Editor AMM- --Dirk May 2022editor@airlinemarketingmonthly.com Singer,


INTRODUCTION Scientifically and medically, Covid certainly isn’t over. At time of writing, cases are on the increase in the USA, India and of course China, where Shanghai has made news for being in an exceptionally tough lockdown. But outside of China, and especially in the Global North, much of the Covid infrastructure is being dismantled with even much of travel looking halfway normal again. The reason is that a pandemic is over when society decides it is. That’s a point made in Scientific American titled, “People, Not Science, Decide When a Pandemic Is Over.” The feature includes this quote from Marion Dorsey, an associate professor of history at the University of New Hampshire, who among other things is an expert on the so-called Spanish Flu of 1918-1920: “I believe that pandemics end partially because humans declare them at an end....I don’t think anything really has a meaning until, as a society..., we act as if it is.” In the travel sector that can be seen in an increasing number of airlines taking

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away the mask mandate, and countries removing testing requirements, at least for the vaccinated. As a result, having sunset the Covid newsletter we produced since May 2000, we felt it was time to bring back some of our other media properties, such as this magazine. For anyone reading it for the first time, AMM is the world’s only magazine devoted to airline and airport marketing. It goes out to our subscriber list of 8000, is available online and occasionally we also produce printed magazines to coincide with events. Post pandemic we’ve expanded it to include a regular section on sustainability, which is the issue the industry will face over the coming decades and is as much of a communications challenge as a scientific one. This will be edited by SimpliFlying’s communications and sustainability executive Hailey Findlay, and will complement our regular sustainability newsletter and a brand new podcast, which will be announced shortly on the SimpliFlying channels.


Dealing with passenger disruption Our special supplement this month comes from Levarti and TA Connections. This looks at how airlines can manage disruptions as we come out of the pandemic. This is a timely issue, in the UK for example there is constant press coverage about Easter vacation airport chaos caused by staff shortages, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and residual Covid restrictions. Levarti and TA Connections provide an integrated end to end solution for dealing with disruption from tools to seamlessly rebook passengers, to arranging vouchers and accommodation. You can find out more in the centre section of this magazine.

Dirk Singer Research and Content Director, SimpliFlying

Published by:

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SimpliFlying PTE 140 Paya Lebar Road, 09-24, Paya Lebar, Singapore 409015

AMM - May 2022


Cover Story

Ryanair on TikTok Airlines are constantly looking for ways to reach different audiences and demographics online, and as a result, TikTok is increasingly coming into the frame in airline and social media departments. Our cover story looks at Ryanair, the biggest airline on TikTok, and the lessons we can learn from them. Back in December 2020, YouTuber Swiss001 reviewed Ryanair’s TikTok account, with a video headlined, “Ryanair’s TikTok account has gone crazy.” At the time Ryanair’s TikTok had 45k followers. In his video post, Swiss01 said that “things really started to roll” in July 2020, when Ryanair was advertising the fact that it was flying again after the first Covid lockdown. The first TikToks featured Ryanair cabin crew getting ready for their flights, which Swiss01 said, “are not bad for an airline.”

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the LCC a following in the USA and Far East, leading to demands for Ryanair to set up shop across the Atlantic. The short meme videos, which also occasionally appear on YouTube, are to a Generation X-er like me bizarre to the point I felt that I was almost hallucinating - in particular regards the Ryanair talking plane (a 737 with a moving cartoon face and moving lips), which has become a staple of the channel.

Fast forward to April 2022, and the account has grown to 1.6 million followers, making Ryanair the biggest airline on TikTok.

However, I’m not the target audience, and Millennials and Generation Zers who consume TikTok are - they are also the target market for Ryanair’s cheap fares..

The Daily Mail even claimed that the constant stream of funny memes has got

Also, the way that Ryanair trolls other brands crosses the generational divide.

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For instance, United Airlines came out with a TikTok that looked very similar to Ryanair’s talking plane. A number of comments below the United post then pointed out the similarity. Ryanair responded with a TikTok of its own, taking aim at the US airline, and getting 37k likes to the initial 16k in the original United post. Similarly, Ryanair took aim at Virgin Atlantic calling it ‘mid’ (slang for mediocre). Ryanair then removed the video and instead posted another one which mixes in characters from Grand Theft Auto, and a spoof text message exchange with a “manager” who asks what ‘mid’ means. Another video, which has notched up over 11 million views, was headlined, “Can I get every brand who has TikTok to comment on this for no reason.” Brands duly chimed in, including TikTok itself. Alaska Airlines left a comment saying “We flew in as soon as we heard the news you were waiting on a fantastic airline to arrive.”

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Turning customer complaints into memes Meanwhile other TikTok videos talk up the airline’s no frills service, to the point of making fun of passengers who complain. One uses one of the most popular songs on TikTok - “Oh no, our table” by Shayal (which is in 600k+ TikTok videos), while Ryanair’s talking plane jokes about people who pay €9.99 for a flight and complain about legroom. Another uses the track ‘Umm Yeah’ (which is in 200k+ other TikTok videos) to do a virtual eye roll about people who expect to get a free suitcase checked in when on a ten euro flight. The fact that Ryanair’s TikTok so aptly uses tracks and memes that appear elsewhere on the social network shows that the team behind it knows what they are doing. In fact, Ryanair’s TikTok has become a big enough sensation to make the channel’s editor and moderator, Lily Rafferty, the subject of a piece in the Irish Sun. The Sun directly drew on Lily Rafferty’s LinkedIn post where she talked about her sixth month anniversary at the airline. That post has itself notched up almost 150 comments praising her, with one saying that her work was now on hundreds of marketing decks around the world. In the post, Lily says, “TikTok is a fast moving app so keeping up with trends

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and making them on brand for Ryanair is crucial. Living and breathing the app has allowed our tiktok to gain over 140 Million views over the past 6 months. “I love getting to use #GenZhumor to reach and connect with such a large audience. Having a presence on TikTok is vital and I would encourage any brand to find their niche.”


Why we like this campaign It took me several hours to figure out what was going on with these memes and little videos, as they are clearly not meant for me. Now I think that they are a work of genius. In an old agency in my PR / advertising days, we had a rule that you could never recommend a medium or channel that we weren’t using personally. And here the Ryanair team clearly gets it. Their use of songs (especially trending audio, which means it’s more likely to be picked up) and cultural references shows that they understand and consume TikTok on a personal level. This is then reflected by the quality and popularity of the videos. Most importantly, what they produce is true to the brand. This kind of content would probably result in panicked expressions and phone calls in a lot of airline boardrooms, but Ryanair gets away with it, because it’s Ryanair. After all, the airline’s founder has a history of making outrageous comments that inevitably translate into media coverage. Not every airline can be a Ryanair, not should it be. But every airline has a distinct brand voice and TikTok is a medium where it should find expression, with the minimum amount of censorship from higher ups who don’t always understand the memes in question or target audience. After all, the Chinese owned social network is only set to grow further and is set to rank

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as the third largest social network this year, behind Facebook and (Facebook / Meta owned) Instagram. That’s the kind of medium any brand, let alone airline, should have a strategy for.


FEATURED CAMPAIGNS Alaska Airlines - Care Coalition

Two years of being told to mask up, get ready to arrive even earlier for your flight and undergo various other Covid restrictions have taken a lot of the gloss out of flying for many passengers. Alaska Airlines’ Care Coalition is an excellent feel good campaign that seeks to put positive vibes back into travelling by air. The coalition consists of a series of entertainment and social media personalities, known for their sunny demeanours. It’s fronted by Tan France of TV Show “Queer Eye”, and also includes Tik Tok Star Nik Cho (@YourKoreanDad), the ‘Care Bear’ and ‘Mother Nature.’

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In the initial sixty second spot, which was also shown at the Superbowl, France chairs the coalition while they debate on whether to add Alaska Airlines. After some scepticism from Care Bear about the concept of a caring airline, Mother Nature talks up Alaska Airlines’ sustainability practices, and Nik Cho talks about the company’s track record of hiring staff from “caring” professions. At the end Alaska Airlines is (surprise, surprise) asked to be a candidate. The campaign was then followed up with a series of 30 second slots with the ‘Care Coalition’ delving into exactly why the airline is caring.


For example ‘the mileage song’ is about how Alaska Airlines lets you earn miles faster, while ‘A Faraway Kingdom’ touts their extensive network from the West Coast. Marketing Brew has a good feature on the background to the campaign. Apparently, Alaska’s agency Mekanism, drew on inspiration from both the 1950s and 1980s when developing it. For example, the Care Coalition boardroom was “kind of like what the ‘50s thought the future would look like.” As mentioned, the ‘coalition’ includes a TikTok star (@yourkoreandad), and the campaign is being amplified on Alaska Airlines’ TikTok channel. This is one of the more impressive uses of TikTok that we’ve seen, the channel has 50k followers and pushes out a constant stream of content (see our cover story on how Rynair uses TikTok).

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Orca Livery

At the same time, Alaska Airlines unveiled a special livery (developed by its brand agency Teague), which features Orcas on its 737-9 max, The livery has a sustainability focus, Alaska Airlines says that it was developed with a nod to its “environmental sustainability goals for 2025 and beyond to reduce our climate impact through carbon, waste, and water.”

West Coast Pass Finally, Alaska Airlines launched what it says is the first subscription service in the USA Flight Pass. Flight Pass works on the airline’s West Coast (mainly California, also Nevada and Arizona) flight Flight Pass subscribers receive credits deposited monthly or bi-monthly into their Flight Pass account, to be redeemed for 6, 12 or 24 nonstop trips a year to eligible destinations. However, travellers still need to pay applicable government taxes and airport fees on each flight - sometimes these extras can actually account for most of a ticket price. The standard Flight Pass costs $49 a month, while Flight Pass Pro, which allows same day bookings, costs from $199 a month. Why we like this campaign The care coalition might be a bit too sugary sweet for some, but it is a fun and light hearted antidote to the constant stories

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about Covid air rage, queues and restrictions that we’ve had for the past two years. Some of it is a little forced (e.g. is a better West Coast route really a sign of caring?), but the names Alaska Airlines has on board, in particular Tan France, make it work.


JetBlue - We’re JetBlue Having just announced an extension to its London network, to now include Boston as well as New York, JetBlue has also rolled out its first UK advertising campaign. Developed by advertising agency Adam & Eve, it’s a fun campaign highlighting various aspects of the JetBlue hard product that the airline feels sets it apart from its many competitors on the transatlantic route. The campaign includes little 15 second video spots. One highlights the fact that JetBlue’s legroom in transatlantic economy is better than the competition, another focuses on the fact that it’s the only airline to offer free high speed Wifi on transatlantic flights, and then there is a spot featuring the build your own meal concept from Dig. In addition to these short video vignettes, the campaign is being amplified via poster sites, digital and of course on social media. All the ads then point back to a well designed and informative micro-site. Speaking to AdAge, JetBlue head of marketing, product & loyalty Jayne O’Brien said, “We wanted to be authentic and witty, and it was really important that we

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introduced ourselves to the U.K. in this way with our new campaign.” What we like about this campaign Sometimes simpler is better. JetBlue has a number of product innovations that do indeed stand-out if you are flying transatlantic. Rather than create a complicated narrative, JetBlue lets the product speak for itself, but in an accessible and witty way.


British Airways - Meanwhile in Britain How do you persuade Americans to visit the UK again post Covid? British Airways has teamed up with Visit Britain to develop a campaign called ‘Meanwhile in Britain.’ Beyond the press release buzzwords about ‘pent up demand’ and ‘multi channel campaigns’, what this appears to be is a series of curated experiences from a mix of BA staff and lifestyle / culture figures. In fact, according to BA and Visit Britain: “The campaign highlights handpicked tastemakers who are experts in their fields, including Jonathan Heaf, Chief Content Officer at Soho House, Aisha & Oreoluwa Ayoade, co-founders of art platform Yellowzine which champions work by artists of the African, Asian, Caribbean and Hispanic diaspora, Lynsey Verrillo, co-founder of Blackbook Winery, and Matthew Lindley, a British Airways 777 Pilot. “The tastemakers will provide their tips and favorite experiences to do in British cities, incorporating food, the outdoors, and British icons with a modern twist.”

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‘Meanwhile in Britain’ will run through social, programmatic display and video, direct partnership, and video direct, amplified through partners including TrueX, GumGum, The Trade Desk and Conde Nast. The creative campaign was developed by British Airways’ newly appointed agency Uncommon Creative Studio, while the media planning and purchasing was handled through OMD, VisitBritain’s current and British Airways’ new media buying agency. In September 2021, VisitBritain and British Airways entered a three-year Global Airline Partner Framework Agreement. Both parties say that this “supports British tourism interests and values, with a shared goal of challenging perceptions of Britain.” What we like about this campaign Curated experiences are nothing new, many airlines have been running destination focused campaigns like this.

So, for example, BA pilot Matthew Lindley chose the ‘Dare Skywalk’ at the stadium of London football (soccer) club Tottenham Hotspurs, and the Cardiff Gin Distillery. The joint BA / Visit Britain initiative feeds into a bigger Visit Britain campaign called ‘Welcome to Another Side of Britain’, which looks to introduce tourists to sites and experiences beyond the standard ‘Tower of London, Buckingham Palace’ that’s normally on a lot of visitors’ bucket lists.

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One of the best examples is the destination marketing and influencer campaigns developed by ANA pre COVID, called ANA Experience Class, which was fronted by Steve Aoki and other celebrities. This campaign was backed up by video and a series of podcasts, and it will be interesting to see if British Airways and Visit Britain do the same. However, curated experiences and influencer led content campaigns are done over and over again for a reason, they work in that they add genuine value to the tourist (tips on what to do), as well as promoting both the airline and the destination.


easyJet - Nextgen easyJet easyJet’s campaign to get people flying again post the pandemic is titled ‘Netgen easyJet.’ The campaign is anchored by a 60 second ad produced by VCCP, which sees a flight attendant lead a ‘flock’ of passengers into the sky. The passengers then form into a plane and drop into various European dream destinations. Calling easyJet, “the original democratiser of travel” (early adopter or pioneer would maybe be more accurate), agency VCCP says: “As Europe opens up, signalling a return to restriction-free travel, the fresh new brand direction has been inspired by jetsetters’ craving to experience Europe and make up for lost time. ‘nextGen easyJet’ sets out the brand’s ambition to inspire travel and all it has to offer, as well as showing that easyJet is back, better than ever, and is pioneering the next generation of travel for all.”

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easyJet has been at the forefront of airline sustainability initiatives, introducing automatic carbon offsetting in 2019. easyJet Sophie Dekkers is also on record as saying that airlines should take care of offsetting, instead of leaving it to passengers.

What we like about this campaign

As a result, It’s not surprising to see that environmental messages are front and centre of the easyJet campaign, and the ad makes mention of easyJet’s offsetting schemes.

When easyJet released its Q4 2019 results, this included a figure about how passengers felt more positively about the airline once they were aware of carbon offsetting, with an 11% increase in customers saying they will choose easyJet the next time they fly.

According to easyJet marketing director Richard Sherwood: “Consumers want to know they are flying with a safe and responsible company, who champions and takes action to lead the way with environmental, social and inclusive initiatives that drive positive change for our planet and communities.” The campaign launched in the UK on 25 March and was rolled out to other European markets in April. The environmental message, as well as the overall NextGen easyJet campaign is also being promoted on easyJet’s social media channels.

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easyJet’s own research shows that passenger satisfaction increases when they find out about the airline’s offsetting initiatives.

At the same time, marketing campaigns don’t happen in a vacuum, and over the UK Easter Holidays, easyJet was one of the airlines most affected by staff shortages, having cancelled around 6% of flights and receiving a lot of negative media and social media attention as a result. The result was of course thousands of stranded passengers. Later in the magazine, we talk about the latest consumer and marketing research, including the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising study, which again shows that word of mouth endorsement is the most powerful form of ‘advertising.’


Qantas - Still Call Australia Home A common theme of many of the campaigns we’ve covered in this issue has been to reignite the public’s love of travel. Australian flag carrier Qantas hit on a retro theme at the same time as looking into the future, via the ‘Still Call Australia Home’ campaign. In 1987, Qantas started using ‘Still Call Australia Home’ in its marketing. In 1994, a new TV ad featuring the song was launched to coincide with the Commonwealth Games, while the “Qantas Choir” featured in a 1998 version of the ad. Still Call Australia Home has since been in different Qantas ads throughout the years, here for example is a 2009 version of the ad with a singing children’s choir. The song has now been brought back in a post pandemic campaign, as Australia reopens for (vaccinated) visitors.

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Qantas says that the advert has a contemporary arrangement of the song and features the vocals of a new generation of the Australian Girls Choir together with National Boys Choir, the Gondwana Choir and Australian celebrities such as Kylie Minogue and Hugh Jackman.

Why we like this campaign

As well as singing in the new ad, Kylie Minogue provided a teaser for the campaign’s release, by humming the tune in an Instagram video.

The use of an iconic song associated with Qantas throughout the years, and the mix of Australian celebrities, Qantas staff, and different choirs guaranteed a lot of additional media pick-up.

According to Live and Let Fly, the ad was filmed pre Covid, which the writer says, “seems almost prophetic”, as it’s as if the industry was in many ways in a form of suspended animation over the past two years, and we’re only now starting to reemerge from it.

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This is a big and bold campaign, which arguably is exactly what you need when reintroducing yourself to much of the travelling public after the pandemic turned the travel industry upside down.

Finally, having Kylie Minogue provide a heavy hint of what was coming to her extensive social media followings, succeeded in generating buzz and excitement before the launch of the actual ad.


Vistara - The Soundtrack of Travel As many of the campaigns we’ve featured in this issue show, airlines are trying to rekindle a love of flying and of travel among people who may not have flown anywhere for the past two years. One example is Indian airline Vistara, which at the end of March released “The Soundtrack of Travel.” This is a mix of sounds that you generally associate with being on an aircraft. It includes cabin crew announcements, but also the sound of the overhead bins closing. There are also the sounds of seatbelts clicking, the beep of security scanners and drinks being poured. It then ends with the sound of an aircraft getting ready for takeoff. A social media competition, amplifying the video, asks people to count the number of beeps they hear for the chance to win a Vistara Ticket. The campaign is not a million miles away from the ASMR flight video Virgin Atlantic released during the pandemic. However, what’s noteworthy is that this appears to be only the first stage of a wider campaign focusing on sound.

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Press reports in India say that this is the first stage of a wider campaign called The Sound of Travel, which will be rolled out in May 2022. This will focus on travel sounds and will also have a dedicated Spotify channel. What we like about this campaign One of the most interesting special reports we produced, was one on sonic branding. Did you know that it takes only 0.025 of a second to register and identify a sound? That means you process audio information 10x quicker than visual information. At the same time, music is the only thing in your auditory cortex that fires off every part of your brain simultaneously. We live in a world of sound, and sound and music are inherently based on emotion, and many brand decisions are as much emotional as rational. Sound as a marketing tactic is underused in the airline space, and so we’re excited to see what Vistara has planned later in the year with the wider campaign.


INDUSTRY RESEARCH Over the past few months there have been a number of pieces of industry consumer research, of relevance to anyone developing marketing campaigns.

Nielsen shows word of mouth remains key Over the years, the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising study has been one of our go to sources about what forms of ‘advertising’ consumers find persuasive. That’s because Nielsen surveys 40,000 individuals worldwide. As in previous years, word of mouth remains key in stimulating purchases. 88% of people trust recommendations from people they know. 37% trust word of mouth recommendations ‘completely’, 26% completely trust branded websites and 20% “completely” trust consumer opinions posted online. That might sound low, except that only 5% don’t at all trust consumer opinions (down from 7% in 2015). The result is that if you are an airline, what people say about you to their friends and family, and what they post about you will have a direct impact on sales. According to Cathy Heeley, International Media Analytics Lead, Nielsen:

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“In every part of the world studied, personal recommendations from family or friends were the most trusted. It seems there is a promise gap between this ‘human’ channel and paid advertising. “Whilst we know regular ads keep a brand presence alive, it’s the ‘personal’ brand experience felt by friends and family that drives a more powerful sales engine. We suggest that when brand promise and brand experience combine synergistically, sales figures will see a significant up-tick.” We also asked Nielsen about the statistics for influencers, given that influencer marketing is a big part of a lot of airlines’ marketing campaigns. 16% trust influencers “completely” and 10% don’t trust them at all. Millennials (20%) were most likely to completely trust an influencer recommendation. Respondents in Africa (27%) were also much more likely to do so. Texts on mobiles remain the least trustworthy form of advertising with 15% of us globally not trusting them at all.


Insights from SXSW - The Metaverse is finally here This year we were able to go back to SXSW in person for the first time since 2019, the 2020 event having been cancelled due to Covid and 2021 having been held virtually.

According to the report, “People will create multiple digital versions of themselves, each tai- lored for specific purposes.

One of the highlights of SXSW is always Amy Webb of the Future Today Institute presenting her Emerging Tech Trends Report for the year ahead.

“This will lead to fragmentation—and a widening gap between who a person is in the physical world, and who they project in various online platforms.”

You can watch the full video of Amy’s presentation here, but here are a few highlights from the hour long session (and 658 page report):

The report also says that “online experiences are beginning to take place in virtual 3D environments that emulate those in the real world, from households and workplaces to event venues and retail shops”.

Over 15 years ago a virtual world called Second Life (it still exists today) generated a considerable amount of hype with companies (including travel companies) trying to set up shop - ultimately unsuccessfully. Thanks to Mark Zuckerberg and others it seems as if the idea of the Metaverse has come.

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There is no reason why destinations couldn’t be added to that list - give people a preview of where they might be going. Or indeed, airports or even lounges (‘experience the new Metaverse version of our lounge before coming to see it for real.’).


“The lasting economic consequences of climate change are dire” The other area in Amy Webb’s massive report that should be of interest to anyone working in the travel and transport sectors is climate change and sustainability. Here, the report had this to say: “Companies are reorganizing their workforces in response to climate change. This includes additions to the C-suite and paid time off during extreme weather conditions. “The lasting economic consequences of climate change are dire. Innova- tions from both big tech companies and startups promise to mitigate the effects, but regulators could stand in the way of progress. “In 2022, we will start to learn the impact of green stimulus plans in several countries around the world. “Several new geoengineering initiatives—including cloud injection, dumping iron into oceans, and solar radiation modification—will be tested in 2022.” In terms of sustainability innovators, Amy Webb’s report singled out ZeroAvia, which is working on hydrogen-electric aircraft. ZeroAvia’s timeline is 2024 for commercial planes of 10–20 seats going up to 50+ seats by 2026 and 200+ seats by 2040. This would support our own predictions that electric / hydrogen flight holds the most promise in the short to medium term for commuter routes. Hence, United has already placed a large order with Swedish manufacturer Heart Aerospace, for smaller (19 seat) aircraft that you could see being used on small feeder flights.

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The rise of ‘climate changers’ Finally, Euromonitor released its top ten global trends for 2022. One of the ten trends, and the one we are following the most at SimpliFlying, is that of “climate changers.” According to Euromonitor: “Consumers are becoming aware of their individual contribution to climate change. “Eco-anxiety is driving environmental activism and purchasing decisions. In 2021, one-third of global consumers actively reduced their emissions and one-quarter used carbon offsets to compensate for them. “Climate Changers make more sustainable choices whilst demanding action and transparency from brands. There is no gap between climate awareness and intention to act.” However, while consumers express an interest in more sustainable products, they are not always willing to pay for them. According to Euromonitor, “Affordability remains an obstacle to make sustainable products mainstream. In 2021, 43% of professionals reported that the lack of consumer willingness to pay more for these products is a significant barrier.” This value / action gap is something we see in the airline space when it comes to passengers voluntarily buying carbon offsets. As we reported in a February issue of our sustainability newsletter, a large Swiss study found that the mean willingness to pay extra is only €1 - and this is in one of the most climate aware markets in the world. This is one reason why carbon offsetting should be taken care of by the airline, rather than leaving it to the passenger (a philosophy adopted by easyJet, JetBlue and a few others).

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SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT

Passenger disruption and satisfaction in the post COVID era

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction ............................................................................. 26 About Levarti and TA Communications ............. 27 How could Levarti’s and TA Connections’ integrated solutions help you? .................................. 28 On the ground expectations for LCCs and Full Service Carriers similar .................................................... 30 Disruptions leave passengers overwhelmed and disloyal ................................................................................ 31 How to handle passenger disruptions ................ 35 Our biggest challenge is also our biggest opportunity ............................................................................... 38 Going digital is no longer a luxury, Levarti and TA Connections can help you prepare for it .... 41

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INTRODUCTION Just before the Omicron wave hit in November, I was scheduled to take a flight from London Heathrow to the USA. When I arrived at Heathrow, I discovered my flight had been cancelled.

TA

The airline’s solution?

Levarti has a suite of products and solutions, with a focus on self service and automation - two things that could have really helped me as a passenger back in November.

As they’d closed the ticket desks thanks to Covid, I was given a piece of paper with the customer services telephone number.

Meanwhile TA Connections is the leading supplier of crew and disrupted passenger hotels.

Yes, incredibly, despite standing right by the airline’s check in counters, I was asked to ring a number, which from experience I knew could involve me being on hold for an hour.

Together, they bring a synergistic relationship that combines the strength of Levarti’s automated passenger disruption management solution, MAX Vision, with TA Connections significant worldwide footprint of hotels, meals, transportation, and compensation providers enabling a seamless passenger and airline IROP experience.

Thankfully I found a human being able to help, but the experience was not a good one. And judging from recent reports about mass cancellations by airlines in the UK thanks to Covid and IT failures, passenger disruptions are still all too common. From experience and from our work at SimpliFlying we know that how an airline handles flight disruptions can have a big impact on customer satisfaction. This can then result in a major reputational hit through bad press coverage and social media chatter, and can impact staff morale. All of which impact the bottom line. As a result, improving airlines’ response to passenger disruptions is the topic of this special supplement.

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Our two partners, Levarti and Connections are experts in this field.

AMM - May Special Supplement 2022

The timing of this supplement in particular is appropriate. With a number of European and US airlines now even getting rid of masking, more people will be flying again, there will inevitably be more disruptions regarding delays or cancellations, yet passengers will expect pre 2020 levels of customer service - if not, better. This supplement shows how airlines can meet those challenges with Levarti’s and TA Connections’ solutions.


ABOUT LEVARTI AND TA CONNECTIONS On 1 March 2022, Levarti became part of the FLEETCOR Technologies Inc (NYSE: FLT) family of companies, resulting in an industry transformation leveraging the power Levarti’s team and technology with the scope of TA Connections vast network, FLEETCOR’s Airline Lodging Business. With offices in the UK and Australia, Levarti was founded in 2014 by a team with 100+ years of experience in the airline industry, with expertise in every facet of airport and in-flight operations, aviation consulting, and most importantly the creation of smart software and products. The Levarti team used that track record to create smart software and products with a particular focus on optimising any disruption event with real time data for smarter decisions. Levarti’s MAX Vision Software suite improves the passenger experience and streamlines any disruption event including improved passenger communication, flight rebooking, hotel reservations and other compensation options. Additionally, Levarti’s MAX B2B mobile apps create a fully digital airline operation with solutions for in-airport, on the ramp and inflight including an integrated Point of Sale (POS) with contactless payments all for an improved passenger and staff experience. Levarti’s product offerings are complementary to those offered by TA Connections. Levarti’s solutions detect flight disruption events then fully automate the flight rebooking, hotel booking and other compensation processes, driving increased passenger self-service thus reducing the impact on airline staff, and empowering the passengers to have control over their experience which ultimately increases customer satisfaction. Levarti’s MAX software is integrated with TA Connections for real time hotel availability and bookings. As a result, the new entity offers a complementary integrated suite of services.

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TA Connections itself partners with more than 140 aviation and cruise line companies and hundreds of thousands of hotels worldwide to connect global airline crews, scheduled and IROP pilots and cabin crews, disrupted passengers, and corporate and leisure customers with end-to-end turnkey solutions and targeted business support. TA Connections offers travel partners a range of intelligent applications. This includes an intelligent passenger management suite, designed to get passenger journeys back on track with accuracy and operational efficiency, an intelligent crew logistics management suite which adds transparency and real time visibility to a partners’ operations, and centralised hotel, flight and car rental capabilities. Together both Levarti and TA Connections focus on real time information and digitalisation, fast problem solving when it comes to disruptions, an improvement in operational performance, the empowerment of employees and ultimately an increase in passenger satisfaction. For more information on Levarti click here, for more information on TA Connections, click here.

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How could Levarti’s and TA Connections’ integrated solutions help you? Post Covid, airlines are facing disruption due to staff shortages, schedule and route changes due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and residual Covid restrictions. Research shows that word of mouth endorsements are the most powerful form of ‘advertising’ when it comes to consumer purchase decisions, and so how you handle any disruption directly affects your bottom line. Handling disruptions badly and having to constantly fire-fight, can also result in you losing significant amounts of extra revenue.

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Levarti’s team and technology has joined TA Connections, FLEETCOR’s Airline Lodging Business, and together they offer an integrated solution to effectively deal with disruptions. Imagine a major disruption happens at your main hub. You and your team will already be prepared to deal with it. Your team on the ground uses MAX Airport. Rather than an impatient and unhappy queue of passengers crowding around your check in desks (an unsettling picture even for passengers not affected by the


disruption), your staff can walk with tablets and instantly help passengers when it comes to rebooking their flights. Maybe some passengers were on connecting flights, and wondered where their luggage was. As well as giving your staff real-time baggage information, MAX Ramp can be integrated into your own airline app, allowing passengers to track their bags. Due to delays or cancellations you need to provide meals and perhaps even overnight accommodation. WIth Levarti now being integrated with TA Connections, your staff can also leverage its solutions in terms of the provision of meals, transport passenger compensation and where necessary, accommodation. This can be done via an airline branded site that passengers access, giving them control, and freeing up staff time. TA Connections also comes into play if due to cancellations or disruptions, you have to overnight your crew somewhere. In conclusion, with this partnership, airlines now have a total end to end solution from rebooking to vouchers to accommodation. The benefits for you are a more seamless, efficient operation when it comes to handling disruptions, reduced costs and ultimately higher customer satisfaction.

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On the ground expectations for LCCs and Full Service Carriers similar What matters more to an airline’s reputation, and what’s more likely to cause customers to look elsewhere if they have a bad experience the on the ground, or the in the air experience? The evidence is that what happens on the ground, especially around flight disruptions, will determine if a passenger will fly with an airline again. This is true for both legacy airlines, as well as Low Cost Carriers. In both cases, there’s a heightened emotional response in case of a disruption, and potential lost revenue if an airline gets it wrong. Flight Delays biggest source of LCC passenger complaints The past few decades have of course seen the rise of LCCs and Ultra LCCs in all areas of the world. And here passengers recognise that they trade certain in-flight comforts and frills in exchange for a cheaper fare. However, research shows that one red line remains for passengers, no matter how much they paid for a ticket. They want any disruptions to be handled

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seamlessly and efficiently. If not, they will complain and take their future business elsewhere. A 2020 issue of the Journal of Asian Business Research carried an academic paper titled, “How High Can You Fly? LCC Passenger Dissatisfaction.” Using a software analysis of LCC passenger reviews, the paper says that flight delays, ground staff attitude, luggage-handling errors and seat comfort were responsible for 26.1%, 24.3%, 16.1% and 11.3% of passenger dissatisfaction respectively. So, seat comfort is a factor, but many LCC passengers seem to accept the trade-off of a cheap ticket. What’s much more important is: ‘How long is the delay?’ ‘If my flight is cancelled, what are my options?’ ‘Where can I get help, can the ground staff help me?’ and ‘where’s my luggage’? These are all things that happen outside of the actual flight, when a passenger is at the airport either waiting to leave, or having arrived.


Disruptions leave passengers overwhelmed and disloyal A 2021 paper published in Tourism Review researched the connection between LCC failure and passenger emotional experience.”” The researchers found that LCC passengers experience 10 different negative emotions categories or themes when dealing with airline service failures. The top negative emotion (30%) was feeling ‘overwhelmed.’ The authors say that ‘overwhelmed’ “equates to a sudden unexpected negative experience without early warnings.” This leads to a less rational response that might otherwise result in a passenger taking account of the wider situation and past experiences and will instead mean that s/he is less likely to repurchase and / or will ask for compensation. Meanwhile feeling ‘disappointed’ or ‘sad’ equated to 25% of responses during service failures.

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The direct passenger quote given was - ​​“I am shocked that X airline was super delayed. Quite disappointing. . .customers will have no choice to move on to other competitors, just as I did.” In these cases, people are likely to develop a “sense of injustice” and “perceive the airline as unethical for enjoying profits” at the expense of the passenger. The most likely result here is passenger disloyalty and an increase in complaints. The third most common negative emotion was so-called “social failing”, feeling ashamed or embarrassed, from rude or unhelpful staff. This links back to the finding from the previous paper we cited about LCC staff attitude being the third biggest source of passenger dissatisfaction. Here the most likely reaction is negative word of mouth, both to peers and family, and on social media.


Word of mouth the biggest source of consumer trust Word of mouth of course matters. The September 2021 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Study involved 40,000 consumers worldwide and one of the key results was that 89% trusted recommendations from people they know. In fact, according to Nielsen, this is the most trusted source of information about brands, above brand websites and brand partnerships. As a result all three negative emotions - feeling overwhelmed, feeling disappointed or feeling embarrassed, directly impact an airline’s bottom line through customers going to competitors, compensation claims, and complaints (which the lost income aside, take up staff time) and people bad mouthing an airline to their peer group. The research we’ve cited of course involves LCCs. And what it shows is that while people will make allowances around frills and on-board comforts, how a disruption is dealt with, will determine whether the passenger flies that airline again.

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On the ground expectations for LCCs and Full Service Carriers similar The assumption is that passenger expectations are even higher when it comes to full service carriers, but again that doesn’t seem to be true when it comes to disruptions. The April 2019 issue of Current Issues in Tourism published a paper by Kansas State University’s Juhwan Lim, called “Comparisons of service quality perceptions between full service carriers and low cost carriers in airline travel.” The conclusion is that while LCC customers do have less negative emotions than their full service airline counterparts, the “difference was not significant.” This is especially so as full service airlines can disappoint with the on-board product, an area where many LCC customers will give the carrier a pass. However, when it comes to reliability and disruptions, the expectations are broadly the same. At the end of the day, if you miss a flight or find yourself seriously delayed the impact is broadly the same whatever kind of airline you fly. You lose time from your vacation or a family visit, or perhaps miss an important business meeting. You are stuck in a place where you don’t want to be, an airport. And your anxiety levels increase as you look for ways for the problem to be solved. This is where Levarti and TA Connections’ solutions come into play, and in the next few articles we will talk about them in more detail.

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HOW TO HANDLE PASSENGER DISRUPTIONS The numbers don’t lie: travel is coming back. Despite Omicron still looming large, IATA tells us that total demand for air travel was up by 82% in January 2022 compared to January 2021. At the same time, we are still seeing flight disruptions thanks to airline staffing shortages, patchy Covid travel restrictions in different areas of the world, and more recently Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which has impacted Europe - Far East flights. All of these factors can make it more difficult for airlines to manage passenger disruptions without the right tools and support in place. Here are 5 steps airline companies can take to manage passenger disruptions for a smoother experience. 1. Have a plan in place for the unexpected Airline disruptions trigger a series of downstream effects that impact an airline’s entire system, causing stranded aircraft and crew in out-of-position locations.

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These disruptions also break the trust travellers put in their carriers to get them to their final destination safely and on time. It is essential for airlines to have a strategy in place with the right supporting technology to ensure that passenger disruptions do not become a trapdoor in their efforts to ensure a positive customer experience at every touchpoint along the traveller journey. 2. Leverage automation for speed and efficiency Airlines can use artificial intelligence to transform workflows traditionally handled by customer service agents. A rules-driven, automated process during irregular operations can accommodate a plane full of distressed passengers in 15 minutes or less. This new, innovative approach is fundamentally changing the way airlines handle irregular operations, improving the passenger experience, and saving your airline serious money.


3. Engage and empower travellers with self-service options Airlines can maintain regular communications with passengers and give them control over their disruption experience using self-service capabilities. This eliminates the need to stand in line at a reaccommodation desk. Passengers are empowered to confirm or select new flight options, quickly secure hotel, meal and transportation options through their mobile device. Self-service options also automate all backend processes for seamless alignment, so there’s no more standing around. 4. Reduce stress and pressure on your customer service team During a disruption, everyone is fighting for the same hotel rooms and ground transportation options.

COVID-19 recovery:

How will automation and technology integration impact post-pandemic travel?

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2020 to integ rate digital solution 1 s.

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gers in 2020. How wi ll your airline efficiently mana ge the ramp up to pre-pande mic levels?4

Customer service agents do not have time to negotiate with providers when facing a long line of frustrated passengers waiting to find out what their next travel How can TA Connections help? step is. Our innovative technology and services bring greater efficiency, transparency, and data to all of our customers.

The right technology can manage the disruption via automation based on an airline’s contractual agreements and business rules to complete the workflows without the need for human intervention. This frees up your agents to attend to the most matters and high-value passen25+urgent integrations for schedule management: gers. TA Connections’ CMS application uses interfaces to manage regular and irregular crew schedules, enabling monthly hotel and transportation planning and real-time updates to ensure all crew members are accounted for.

5. Focus on delivering an exceptional customer experience

The days of angry passengers standing in long lines waiting for a paper voucher, frustrated with the airline’s agents, and finding themselves with nowhere to sleep and, often, nothing Market experts: to eat for hours on end, are gone. Our team sources 365 days a year, and negotiates the best terms based on existing market conditions.

By applying artificial intelligence to existing airline disruption procedures, airlines can alleviate unnecessary pressure from their agents and ensure a better, faster outcome for both airline employees and passengers. 97% of crew logistics automated:

With seamless integrations, TA Connections provides end-to-end solutions and data processing to automate the crew logistics management process. Powered by an industry first, configurable and intelligent business rules engine.

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bility.

increased profita

Here’s how we can help

efficiently man age the ramp up to pre-pand emic levels?4

How can TA Connections help?

By partnering with TA Connections and Levarti, you can gain access to innovative technology, a strengthened hotel network, and global travel experts with years of experience to make it easy to manage passenger disruptions.

Our innovative technology and services bring greater efficiency, transparency, and data to all of our customers.

25+ integrations for schedule management: TA Connections’ CMS application uses interfaces to manage regular and irregular crew schedules, enabling monthly hotel and transportation planning and real-time updates to ensure all crew members are accounted for.

Hotel network and purchasing power: TA Connections clients can take advantage of our combined FLEETCOR Lodging purchasing power of almost 40 million annual room nights booked leveraging time, control, and rate savings. Our experts work jointly with our hotel suppliers to provide seamless operations and service for crews and distressed passengers.

Market experts: Our team sources 365 days a year, and negotiates the best terms based on existing market conditions.

97% of crew logistics automated: With seamless integrations, TA Connections provides end-to-end solutions and data processing to automate the crew logistics management process. Powered by an industry first, configurable and intelligent business rules engine.

100% hotel billing accuracy: TA Connections works jointly with our hotel suppliers to provide seamless operations and industry-leading service for crew accommodations and logistics, including a fully customizable invoicing tool that offers 100% billing accuracy.

1 2

https://www.aviationpros.com/airports/airport-technology/article/21222620/proactive-datapowered-airport-security-solutions-are-take-off https://apex.aero/articles/airlines-chatbots-automate-customer-service-requests-soar

https://reports.weforum.org/digital-transformation/aviation-travel-and-tourism-more-disruption-ahead-for-a-digital-trailblazer - Contactless vouchers: International Civil Aviation Organization: https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/opinion/covid-19-ignites-unexpected-revolution-at-aviation-shopfloors TA Connections offers paperless voucher technology, which helps passengers and agents avoid frustrating lines and wait times. Travelers can instantly redeem electronic vouchers from their own device to book hotel rooms, transportation, and access meal vouchers. 3 4

- Unparalleled global support: TA Connections members receive stability and support of a large and growing enterprise. Our services and expertise expanded through our recent merger, and we continue to give our members access to 24/7 global support, 365 days a year.

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By Levarti CEO Anthony Murray

OUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE IS ALSO OUR BEST OPPORTUNITY As the airline industry starts to stretch its legs, arms, and neck, preparing to start the climb back to running their operations, it faces the reality that things look very different from when everything came to a complete halt. There are a new set of rules to operating postpandemic, and the “new normal” for the airline industry requires changes in the way they operate and manage the travel journey: - On top of all the usual challenges, new and changing regulations will determine if an airline is permitted to operate or not. - The severity of the situation leaves no room for middle ground. - Compliance will be strict. And given the fact that we are navigating uncertain circumstances, there is a high chance that there will be unforeseen changes, the result: comply, or be grounded. How much time would it take to implement the required modifications to support an unexpected turn of events? Can an airline afford to waste time applying it? Survival will depend on the ability of the airline industry to adapt and become fast, flexible, and mobile. Digitalization will lead the way.

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This task is not without its challenges; heavy reliance on legacy technology is one of the biggest obstacles in the way. Fixed infrastructures, manual procedures, and poor communication between every touchpoint slow operations down and is just not sustainable in this new reality. It might seem like a huge challenge, but as it turns out, we have never been better prepared to face it. The road to digitalization has never been so simple, or so needed. Levarti was born from this idea. We set out to create smart technology to digitally transform the industry and make the whole airline operation smarter, faster, more flexible, and truly mobile. We developed MAX, a purpose-built platform, a powerful platform that integrates seamlessly to virtually any third party system including your core PSS and DCS. With the suite of native iOS MAX mobile apps for Airport, Ramp, and Crew combined with a Disruption Management toolkit to streamline operations MAX delivers the true single view of your operation from every passenger touchpoint.


Max Airport the power of mobility: How can you transform your operation when you are no longer bound to a fixed infrastructure? What are the possibilities? It is no secret that flexibility in the airport environment is key to improved operations and even more so in this new reality. MAX Airport, our mobile DCS, gives your agents the power to operate safely, complying with any new regulation from any point in the passenger’s journey. MAX creates a full digital and contactless operation for domestic or international check-in, boarding, ancillary sales and payments, passport and visa checks and even mobile boarding passes in airport. MAX Airport can even manage seat assignment requirements to support required social distancing on all flights. Now Less is better: MAX Airport lets you deliver a near 100% paperless operation. The less contact, the better, this means digital handoffs to Cabin Crew and Ramp agents, and the flexibility to capture other documents or data such as Health Certificates, passenger temperature, or other newly required documentation from any location, giving you the necessary tools to be ready to operate. Precise and reliable information is now more relevant than ever to the passenger experience. This new reality can be scary, and keeping your passenger well informed on every topic, from health requirements to new boarding procedures, in a fast and reliable way, will give you an advantage. Our MAX Notify notification engine efficiently allows airlines to communicate to passengers quickly and effectively with options like custom notifications generated on-demand and in record time. That, to us, is smart thinking.

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The Advantage of digital Digital has never been so relevant to the industry. Less paper, less contact, less risk. Designed for your cabin crew, MAX Crew delivers improved productivity by creating a 100% digital cabin with access to realtime passenger information, all reporting, check and training requirements, all inflight menus and any manuals and checklists. Real-time flight and operational data is shared from MAX Airport and seamlessly pushed to MAX Crew at all times before flight departure. On arrival MAX Crew then completes a full digital hand off to the arrival airport and also updates multiple systems. Complete with a fully integrated point of sale that supports contactless payments and email receipts, the in-flight service can be cashless as well as provide fulfilment details for pre-ordered items. A digital cabin also delivers improved communication to your crew with real-time updates to the operation. Intelligence makes smarter decisions Under the New Normal, flight operations will continue to be disrupted requiring changes to the passenger’s journey. Communicating changes to passengers is key to improved service plus the ability to self-service any disruption event including rebooking of flights, processing refunds and when required reserving hotels for booking on other airlines. The MAX Vision Suite is an intelligent disruption management toolkit that includes Notification engine, Self Service Disruption Portal and OTP Dashboard that allows your agents to manage every component of any disruption event, faster and smarter. One Platform, One View Levarti’s MAX Platform offers a full digital mobile platform that efficiently supports your staff across every touch point of the airport and inflight operation. This single platform delivers the flexibility you need to streamline the end to end operation and to ensure both passenger and staff safety during this unprecedented operational period caused by COVID-19.

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GOING DIGITAL IS NO LONGER A LUXURY, LEVARTI AND TA CONNECTIONS CAN HELP YOU PREPARE FOR IT Research published in ‘Technology and Society’ says that during the pandemic touchless technology went from being a luxury to being a necessity. We expect this trend to continue. Though COVID travel restrictions will progressively fall away, health and safety measures will remain and there will be increased passenger awareness around issues such as cleanliness and personal space. This is where solutions from Levarti and TA Connections come in. Levarti’s MAX mobile suite creates 100% digital and mobile airline, with real-time integration with core airline systems, which reduces reliance on fixed infrastructure, enabling agents to support passenger needs from any location in the airport, on ramp or In-flight, In particular, MAX offers: - Intelligent disruption management with passenger self-service portal delivering the power to the passenger - New ancillary revenue opportunities - Digital boarding passes and receipts - Contactless fast payments - Contactless boarding - Digital handoff from Airport gate to Cabin Crew - Paperless ramp operation with integrated BRS

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The benefits of contactless vouchers Meanwhile, TA Connections offers paperless voucher technology so that passengers and agents can avoid frustrating lines and wait times. Its proven platform integrates seamlessly with an airline’s existing systems. TA Connections’ Intelligent Passenger Management (IPM) suite can be up and running in as little as 21 days, and the application is fully customizable to your branding standards. Here’s how an airline can deliver seamless, contactless support: 1. Integration with airline service systems allows issue electronic vouchers Connections’ Intelligent Management (IPM) suite.

Disrupted passengers can instantly book hotel rooms and access meal vouchers in a self-service, airline-branded site. The process only takes 3 clicks, without the need to download an application. Travelers receive real-time notifications of digital vouchers on their mobile device, and all payments are made virtually. 4. Digital Payments = Accuracy, efficiency and eliminate overpayments & fraud risk.

passenger agents to using TA Passenger

TA Connections’ passenger solutions include an integrated digital payment solution for hotel, meals & transportation services.

Agents can use TA Connections’ applications to offer hotels, meals, and transportation options. Our applications utilize real-time hotel inventory and automatic communications to passengers.

Utilizing VCC’s (Virtual Credit Cards) ensures accuracy of approved passenger expenditures and reduces costs by only paying for what was utilized. As a result of this, airlines are able to recapture millions of dollars in lost revenue.

2. Mobile notifications eliminate frustrating lines and wait times. Create a more positive passenger experience by issuing automatic offers to multiple disrupted travelers at once. The entire, simple process is contactless, so passengers and agents can avoid frustrating lines and wait times for vouchers. This also helps to protect employees and travelers by promoting social distancing practices.

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3. Passengers instantly redeem vouchers from their own device.

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VCC’s are secure digital payment cards issued based around your business rules and authorized billable amounts. Providing your airline accuracy, efficiency and seamless consolidated billing with clear visibility of all expenditures. Ultimately, TA Connections digital payments improve airline operations, increase financial controls and enhance customer satisfaction.


Want to know more? - For more information on TAConnections and crew and passenger logistics management, go to taconnections.com. - For more information on Levarti and MAX go to levarti.com. - For a TA Connections or Levarti product demo or to speak with a sales person, email Sales@TAConnections.com"

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LIVERY WATCH Here’s a round up of special airline livery that we’ve spotted over the past month.

American Airlines - Medal of Honor American Airlines has painted an A321 aircraft in special ‘Medal of Honor’ livery. The Medal of Honor is the highest award for military valor in action in the USA. The aircraft - ‘Flagship Valor’ was unveiled ahead of the groundbreaking of the National Medal of Honor Museum in Arlington, Texas. Expected to open in 2024, the new museum is opening with American Airlines as a founding partner.

Condor - Stripes From SimpliFlying CEO Shashank Nigam: Colourful flying zebras? Nope! April Fools’ joke? Not at all. It’s Condor’s bold experiment with a striped new livery. Yay or Nay? There are ways to break the mould and then there are *ways* to break the mould. Condor is thinking beyond Euro-white. The new Condor aircraft will be wearing stripes in five colours in the future. According to the airline, the colours and design are “Inspired by parasols, bath towels and beach loungers”. If you think about it, beach towels are what you’re likely to be imagining when you’re about to board a Condor flight. So why not put it on the fuselage too? Or is it going too far? A livery is meant to help an airline stand out. To make the brand memorable. This new Condor livery is striking and delivers just that for the airline. Congratulations to the Condor team on shaking up the norm.

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Fly Jinnah - New Livery New Pakistani LCC Fly Jinnah has unveiled new livery and a modern red brand identity using its initials ‘FJ’. Expected to start flying from June, Fly Jinnah, the colours and identity are very similar to that sported by Middle Eastern LCC Air Arabia. This isn’t a coincidence, as the new airline is in fact an JV with Air Arabia one of the partners.

Nauru Airlines - New Livery

Nauru Airlines has taken delivery of a new 737-700 and also unveiled its brand new livery. According to Simple Flying, this features “Nauru’s distinctive 12-pointed star representing its tribes and people.” The new livery is due to be rolled out to the rest of the fleet in due course.

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Sri Lankan Airlines - Raid Amazones

Sri Lankan Airlines teamed up with French sporting event Raid Amazones. In March and April this saw 600 French female athletes take part in a series of challenges in Sri Lanka, including mountain biking, canoeing and archery. To highlight the event and partnership, Sri Lankan Airlines painted one of its aircraft in special livery. This featured the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya, one of the iconic backdrops to this year’s event.

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SUSTAINABILITY NEWS By Hailey Findlay

In 2019 the world came together to participate in the Fridays for Change climate march, propelling the issue of climate change to the front of the general public’s minds.

While each utilises a slightly different approach, the one thing they each have in common that will help garner success in the court of public opinion? They walk the walk so they can talk the talk.

As the aviation industry recovers from the pandemic, the climate crisis is progressively becoming the key focus globally and airlines are vying to be seen as climate leaders in the industry.

In December 2021, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines released a campaign video beginning with the phrase, “For centuries, we’ve dreamed of travel to distant worlds. But pioneering sustainable aviation right here on Earth is our greatest adventure yet.”

The aviation industry is innovating at a rapid pace with news about sustainable aviation fuel, hydrogen, and electric aircraft seemingly everywhere. However, while this news is highlighted on many airline websites, including many with their own branding, very few airlines are including these initiatives as key messaging in their marketing campaigns. Perhaps there is hesitation around discussing sustainability issues in the aviation industry too openly in the public domain due to negative public perception regarding the industry’s emissions, or fear of pointed fingers about “greenwashing.” KLM and Alaska Airlines have shed their hesitancy and brought their sustainability initiatives into their key messaging.

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The video, which highlights the balance we must find between protecting the planet and travelling the world, highlights the idea that people need to experience the world and the wonders of nature in different environments in order to want to protect it. The campaign video is beautifully composed, carries KLM’s branding throughout, and ends with a call to action that links to the airline’s web page for its “Fly Responsibly” campaign which features an intuitive user interface to highlight the carrier’s sustainability initiatives. By keeping its branding cohesive across all platforms and highlighting its “Fly Responsibly” campaign, KLM has successfully created a brand image that is synonymous with sustainability in aviation.


Alaska Airlines has taken a different approach. While it also has a video, website and campaign to highlight its sustainable initiatives as part of its “LIFT” campaign, the feature ad lacks the cohesive branding of KLM. However, the campaign offers an honest look at the challenges they face in getting to net-zero and highlights the ways they are actively addressing this challenge. The campaign is brilliant in that it acknowledges a sticking point in the industry, the historical lack of transparency about emissions, and addresses it head-on by stating the exact amount of fuel they burn, followed by the actions they are currently taking to subsequently decrease their emissions. Its LIFT campaign video may not have gotten many views, but Alaska Airlines has begun doing something that no other airline to this writer’s knowledge has, it has highlighted one of its sustainable initiatives in its main tv spot ad campaign. In February of this year, Alaska launched its “The Most Caring Airline” (see our feature story in this issue) campaign, featuring media darling Tan France of Queer Eye fame.

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The video premise centres on the “Care Coalition,” a group of loveable characters including a Care Bear and Mother Nature, deciding on new members to vote into the group. Alaska Airlines is nominated, with Care Bear saying “a caring airline, those exist?” Mother Nature then follows up, stating that Alaska was the first airline to switch from plastic bottles to boxed water, highlighting the carrier’s recent, most public-facing initiative. (Link to view) The genius of the campaign is in the way the information is presented. Rather than focusing the ad entirely on sustainability to convince the audience that they are sustainable, the ad casually drops the information in, suggesting that this is just one of many sustainable initiatives. Switching to boxed water may not be the most effective initiative in decreasing Alaska Airline’s carbon footprint, SAF use and investments will likely do that in the long run, but it shows the importance of having a holistic approach to implementing sustainable initiatives. Customer-facing strategies are easier to market than describing SAF use and its importance, however, having sciencebased targets and additional programming is essential for the ads to hold up to public scrutiny and for airlines to maintain their credibility.

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AIRLINE CAMPAIGNS

Air Baltic and Qantas - NFTs Are NFTs (non fungible tokens) just hype? They’ve been a constant news topic over the past year, with notable NFTs including Jack Dorsey’s first tweet, which at time of writing is being auctioned off for around $48 million. At the same time, NFT sales show signs of plateauing. The average sale price of an NFT was around $2000 in March, down from $6800 in January. However, as NFTs are a shiny new thing, it’s of course not surprising that airline marketing departments have woken up to the idea, with both Air Baltic and Qantas having produced NFTs of their own. Air Baltic was first in the NFT game. It issued its own NFTs as long ago as April 2021, and in October became the first airline to show its NFTs in the “metaverse.” From the looks of things, the metaverse in question appears to be a virtual gallery, which you can navigate with your mouse.

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Air Baltic’s first collection was a series of digital art pieces called the ‘Air Baltic City Collection.’ According to Simple Flying, Air Baltic is now going to launch 10,000 unique cartoon designs called ‘Planies’ as NFTs. Planies, which has its own Twitter feed, is due to launch in May 2022. Qantas also now looks to be offering its own NFTs later in the year. A promotional page on the Qantas website offers interested parties who can pre-register for interest, “ a new way to own a piece of Qantas history” via “a new set of digital art collectables.”

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Aer Lingus and Cairde St Patricks Day is a huge celebration in major US cities, so to mark the occasion, Irish national airline Aer Lingus flew over Irish dancers Cairde for a series of US media performances. Aer Lingus’s role seems to have been to facilitate the journey of the seven Irish lads to the USA, and to record social media content of them dancing in front of Dublin Airport check in desks. While in the US, Cairde gave a performance at the White House and on Good Morning America. According to the Guardian, the social network TikTok is partially responsible for the renewed popularity of Irish dancing. There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of Aer Lingus content on TikTok, save a few videos on the airline’s UK account (which has a grand total of 25 followers.). As a result, you could imagine that Irish dancing would be one of the ways in which Aer Lingus could create an account and have content that brings the airline and its home country of Ireland to a wider international audience. The TikTok video Cairde posted about their Aer Lingus flight has at time of writing over 8000 likes.

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British Airways - Rejected Safety Video Aviation Gin is a drinks brand fronted by Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds, but now owned by Diageo. Last Autumn, British Airways started serving the gin in its lounges and more recently on-board. To promote the partnership, Reynolds has filmed a spoof safety video. In the video, Reynolds reminds passengers to keep their seat belt on as “spilling even one drop of the world’s highest-rated gin will result in you being duct-taped to your seat for the remainder of the flight.” According to Spirit Business, in October, Reynolds’ wife Blake Lively developed a cocktail menu featuring Aviation Gin for BA’s JFK lounge. The gin is now available in both US and UK lounges, as well as on long haul flights. On shorter flights, Aviation Gin can be purchased from the airline’s on-board speedbird cafe service. It’s worth mentioning that from having done five round trip long haul flights on BA during the pandemic, British Airways for the time being is not showing safety videos on board and is instead reverting back to traditional safety briefings by the cabin crew. Aviation Gin started being stocked by BA’s main UK competitor, Virgin Atlantic in 2018, when Reynolds and Richard Branson jointly appeared in a promotional video.

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Chicago Airports - What we’re made of Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has unveiled an ad campaign at the city’s O’Hare and Midway Airports to welcome tourists back post the pandemic. The campaign was created by ad agency FCB Chicago and according to Mayor Lightfoot, “one of the driving ideas behind this campaign is to show visitors that Chicago is so much more than what they may have heard, imagined and beyond our downtown.” The first execution lauds the city’s beaches along Lake Michigan, with the tagline, “Welcome to 26 public beaches. And no sharks.” The campaign will be showcased across tv screens, monitors and on poster sites across ORD and MDW. Chicago O’Hare is the fourth busiest airport in the USA and a major international hub for airlines such as United, so you imagine that a significant number of transit passengers will also be exposed to the campaign when connecting to their next flight.

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Iberia - Based on real flights Spanish and IAG owned airline Iberia has launched an ad campaign called, “Basado en vuelos reales” (‘Based on Real Flights’). The idea behind it seems to be to tell the stories behind Iberia flights throughout the years.

Quoted in industry website Aviacionline, Iberia’s marketing director Gemma Juncá said, “The voices that star in the campaign are those of Iberia employees who, on a daily basis, build the company’s purpose.

This ranges from the return of the Guernica painting to Spain, to the first flight with sustainable aviation fuel, to a new Dad being urgently flown back to Madrid.

“Their testimony serves to highlight our commitment even in the most difficult times for the business and our contribution to society, past, present and future.”

Every small story shown has Iberia staff being integral to it in some way.

Aviacionline says that Iberia is looking to extend the idea into podcasts, where protagonists will talk about what happened on noteworthy flights.

The tagline at the end of the video is “We

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make the future by connecting people, every day is day one.”

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Peach - Travel Lottery According to the Japan Times, Japanese LCC carrier Peach has teamed up with a chain of Sushi Restaurants to offer flights to mystery destinations via a ‘gacha’ game. Visitors to sushi chain Sushiro can purchase a gacha capsule from a vending machine for 5000 Yen (around $40). On buying the capsule you are given a voucher towards a specific place, worth at least 6000 Yen. Japanese press reports say that around 300 Sushiro outlets are taking part. You

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participate in the travel lottery by buying your ticket on a touch screen display via the smartphone payment service ‘pay pay.’ The promotion started in October, and by March 2022, 15,000 capsules had already been sold. Of course, we don’t know what the uptake was in terms of actual redemptions. However, as $40 isn’t a trivial amount, it’s probably fair to assume that a reasonable percentage of people who bought mystery destination capsules ended up flying with Peach.


Virgin Atlantic - See the World Differently Virgin Atlantic has launched its first brand and advertising campaign – the first in more than two years. The campaign uses the tagline “See the world differently”. Virgin Atlantic says that this “draws on the airline’s heritage of challenging the status quo – as well as recognising that the travel industry is entering an exciting new era, after the disruption brought on by the pandemic.” Central to the campaign is l 60-second TV ad which focuses on a group of characters, at an airport and on board an A350-1000 plane, set to the song “I am what I am”: a track made famous by Gloria Gaynor but reinterpreted here by breakthrough Jazz/Soul artist Lady Blackbird. There is also a print campaign made up of shots of Virgin Atlantic crew and customers. These include a confident businesswoman saying “I am my own captain”, a family arriving for their holiday saying “A crew like no other” and a female Captain with the line “Born to fly”. Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO saya: “At the core of our business is the understanding that every one of our people can be themselves at work and that they belong. They truly are the thing that sets us apart and the reason customers choose to fly with us. “We know that the touchpoints that matter most and the experiences that differentiate Virgin Atlantic, are driven by our people and that’s why it was so important they’re at the heart of this campaign.”

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Hightea by WestJet

We sometimes wonder how many marketing campaigns that were in the pipeline in Q1 2020 had to be shelved thanks to Covid. One that was put on ice, but has now been reactivated is ‘Hightea’ by Canadian airline WestJet.

four teas were created and offered to visitors.

Or, to be more accurate, this is a direct to consumer campaign that took place in March 2020..

For example, Toronto was “bold, caffeinated and energising, representing the hustle and bustle of Canada’s biggest city.”

However, WestJet and marketing agency Rethink have only publicised the videos of it now, with people being able to fly reasonably easily between the UK and Canada again.

WestJet’s agency doesn’t seem to have published any information about how many people went into the pop-up tea shop, but as the activation was carried out just before much of the world went into lockdown, the aim here is probably to just recoup a bit of the initial investment via social media exposure two years on.

The campaign involved WestJet opening up a pop up shop in Central London, where

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Each tea was themed after one of WestJet’s four destinations from the UK - Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Halifax.


Qatar Airways - Fly to Win

Thanks to Qatar Airways, a British nurse is now a million dollars better off. The nurse, Francis Capis, was the main winner of QR’s “Fly to Win” contest, which was held to promote the airline’s ‘Privilege Club’ loyalty programme. To be entered into the competition, participants needed to be a member of the programme and also take a flight between November and January. Two other winners, a passenger from Belgium and one from Kenya, won a Porsche Panamera car and a private jet five star vacation

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experience to the Maldives respectively. When evaluating marketing campaigns we often use the benchmark of ‘how else could this money have been spent’ and $1 million+ is not an insignificant investment. Other than some articles in the aviation trade and local Gulf / Qatari press (and of course on QR social media), we couldn’t see too much pick-up for the competition. However, the key metric for QR will of course have been the number of new Privilege Club members, and here no data has been published.


SkyTeam - Most Sustainable Flight By SimpliFlying CEO Shashank Nigam SkyTeam is challenging its member airlines to operate the most sustainable flight possible this year, seeking inspiration from the 1934 MacRobertson Air Race from London to Melbourne. I first learned of this initiative over dinner with a Skyteam airline CEO last December, when he excitedly shared how his team was planning on operating their “most sustainable flight ever in 2022.” The brainchild of a group of KLM employees, the goal of this initiative is for Skyteam member airlines to operate their sustainable flights and then share best

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practices and lessons with one another openly. This way, everyone benefits from the measures being taken. Moreover, this new initiative by #Skyteam will hopefully result in a series of newsworthy stories that catch the public imagination and show what airlines are doing for sustainability in an accessible way. Great to see an airline alliance take lead in pushing the #sustainability agenda globally - kudos to Colvile Kristin, Winston Victor DSouza, Christian Oberlé, Ben Neumann and the entire team for bringing to life ideas from a few KLM employees.


Willa Air - The first influencer airline

This story had us cringing, yet the people behind it are probably quite pleased with the idea. In early April, media and social media started reporting on the first airline for so-called influencers taking off with flights to Coachella. Is this another half baked Fyre Festival type idea? A belated April Fool’s? In fact, the idea itself is much more mundane. This is a PR stunt dreamt up by Willa, which is a payment app for content creators and influencers.

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What Willa seems to have done is to hire a private jet, advertise for “influencers” to fill it, give it a paint job and get media coverage out of this being an influencer airline. Also, as the aim is to get content creators to sign up to the app, the application process involves having to be particularly active on it. Apparently Willa is going to be taking Willa Air to other events after Coachella, though you wonder if they really will, as any media value will go down over time and hiring a private jet is of course not cheap.


SUSTAINABILITY IN THE AIR

On Earth Day, 2022. we launched Sustainability In the Air, a single source of truth for sustainable aviation. This is a hub featuring sustainable aviation research and news from around the world. We also launched the world’s first podcast on sustainable aviation, with the goal to lead the conversation in this all important topic. Each episode will feature a top airline or technology C-level executive who will share their organisation’s journey to building a sustainable future. The inaugural episode features Tony Douglas, the Group CEO of Etihad Airways Group. To celebrate the new podcast, we’ve partnered with our season sponsor CarbonClick to fund the planting of one tree for every new listener and 50 trees for each listener review. All funds will go to the Maputo Bay Reforestation Initiative in southern Mozambique. Listen now by clicking here.

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AVIATION BRANDS IN THIS ISSUE Aer Lingus Air Baltic Alaska Airlines American Airlines British Airways Chicago Airports Condor easyJet Euromonitor Fly Jinnah Future Trends Institute Iberia Levarti Nauru Airlines Nielsen Peach Qatar Airways Qantas Ryanair Sri Lankan Airlines SkyTeamsky SXSW TA Connections Virgin Atlantic Vistara WestJet Willa

Want to get in touch? www.simpliflying.com contact@simpliflying.com 63 |

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