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Airline Marketing Monthly



79 2019

Hong Kong Airlines Where Hong Kong Begins World Aviation Festival preview

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Visit the SimpliFlying website


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Published by SimpliVisible, the content arm of SimpliFlying, Airline Marketing Monthly is the only trade magazine worldwide devoted to aviation marketing

Content Editorial - It’s time to


Aer Lingus - The Stateside 46 Scoop

rethink how we see influencers

British Airways - Flight of


the future Featured campaigns


Hong Kong Airlines -

9-17 18-19



Delta - Improvements in



Summer Festival HiFly - Racing for the planet JetBlue - Soar with

News from SimpliFlying


The SimpliFlying Global


Institute 28

preview of the World

Juneyao Air - New route Qantas - 747 domestic


Aegean Airlines -


Sunshine discount American Airlines - Add a 45



flights 56

Takeover my Trip 57


Aviation Campaigns

name to a plane


and uniforms

Virgin Atlantic & James

Aviation Festival



Thomas Cook Airlines 29-42


WestJet - Flight Light


Brands in this issue


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

KLM - Fly Responsibly

Industry Guide - A


London Gatwick Airport - 50

World Cup

Calls with Shashank


Forky Flybe and Connect

Where Hong Kong begins Qatar Airways - Women’s

Dubai Airports - Find

Editorial It’s time to rethink how we see influencers A recent survey revealed what many of us already World use some kind of fakery, be it bought likes, views or followers. This comes from a large study from Swedish startup A Good Company and analytics firm Hype Auditor (via PR Week). The study found that worldwide, 57% of accounts have some kind of artificial engagement or following. In the US that figure is 60% and in the UK 54%. Of course, that doesn’t mean that 60% of US Instagramers’ feeds is totally made up of fake likes and followers. A more common scenario will involve most real, and some element of “topping up.” Are you surprised? We’re not. This chimes in with our own experiences and a number of experiments we’ve conducted in our SimpliFlying Labs to show how easy - and cheap - it is to inflate numbers.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

suspected. Most Instagram accounts around the

For example, two years ago in Singapore, we filmed a cheap and cheerful mock ‘flight evacuation’ video as a warm up exercise in shovelled in 25k bought views while the Lab was going on, and at the end of the day showed our surprised delegates how “popular” the video was. Last year in Miami we then went to the extent of buying a fully formed Instagram account for $60. “He” had 12,000 followers, a pretty credible looking profile as well as a series of travel posts (all stock photos of course). Pretty good value if you are trying to make it as a so-called influencer and want a short-cut in getting there. Just change the name of the account, and you’re good to go.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

the morning. We then

The ecosystem of fake

involved in it. You name it,

prefer to call them content

Instagram that’s easy

it’s for sale, and it will take

creators as that is the main

to game and fake. The

you less than a minute to

value they have for me and

same applies to any

find what you want on

my clients.

social network. Are you a


struggling artist hoping for a record deal, needing Spotify plays? There are websites that will solve your problem. Have you created a profile on the newest influencer friendly platform, TikTok, and do you want a bit of an engagement boost? Easily done. How about online gaming, do you want to pretend that a lot of people are watching you on Twitch? No worries, here’s a solution for you. This ecosystem of fake covers social networks, reviews on consumer websites, online voting panels, and of course website traffic. There are thousands of websites


Having handled content

So who is to blame, the

for a number of aviation

influencers? To a large

brands, one of the biggest

extent we are. The people

challenges I have normally

who use the influencers

had is in getting good

and work with them.

quality visual content, be it

The problem is the ongoing focus with the

images or video, especially from destinations.

big number. The vanity

Content creators help


with that. They look at a

So long as that is the be all and end all within marketing departments and agencies, the temptation will remain for people to juice things up to make everything look more impressive than it really is. In fact, I personally hate the term of influencer, as that’s not how I see the people I work with. I

destination, or a product such as a lounge or cabin class, with their own unique perspective, and tell a story in a new way. As far as the ‘influencer’ bit? The numbers do matter (with the caveats above), but generally it’s not the main reason I work with them. So to cut off the supply, we need to cut off the demand.

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Actually, it’s not just

Our industry guide The Aviation Festival

There are just over six weeks to go until the Aviation Festival in London, the #1 global event on the digitalisation of the airline and airport business model. Over 4500 attendees join each year to discuss AI, digital transformation, distribution, evolving business models, retailing, marketing, loyalty and so much more. We’re regulars at the Aviation Festival, and have found it (and the regional festivals in Miami and Singapore) to be a must-attend event. Our industry guide for this

Hong Kong Airlines Working with local talent

We’ve devoted this month’s cover to Hong Kong Airlines, which launched a series of collectible business class amenity kits, in partnership with Hong Kong artists. We’ve linked it with a number of other Hong Kong Airlines announcements over the past year, where the airline has collaborated with local talent and creatives in really interesting and innovative ways.

Finally, have you got any marketing campaigns we should know about? Email me at Dirk Singer Content Director, SimpliFlying Editor, Airline Marketing Monthly


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

month previews some of the Festival highlights.

Featured Campaigns

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019


Hong Kong Airlines Where Hong Kong Begins We’ve devoted this month’s cover to Hong Kong Airlines. Last month the airline launched a series of collectible business class amenity kits. Though that’s interesting in its own right, beyond that, there’s a wider story which we wanted to

Namely, the way in which the airline is bringing a very distinctive Hong Kong flavour into its brand, though an on-going #WhereHKBegins initiative.

Decorative Amenity Kits


At the end of June, Hong Kong Airlines

feature the designs of Lock Lai, founder

announced the launch of a series

of the TinBot toy company, Font creator

of new decorative amenity kits that

Lee Kin Ming; tattoo artist Lily Cash and

highlights Hong Kong’s culture.

illustrator Jane Lee.

These have been developed through

Each design features a unique series of

a collaborative partnership with four

elements, reflective of the artist which

Hong Kong artists. The amenity kits

created the kit.

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

look at.

For example, tattoo artist Lily Cash developed designs featuring colourful Mandala motifs, which are infused with Hong Kong elements such as the Maan Sau Mou Geung “boundless longevity� pattern, the Cheung Chau lucky bun and images of the actor, director and martial arts artist Bruce Lee.

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Meanwhile, Lee Kin Ming’s bag features prints of signboards and characters in the special “Li Hon Kong Kai Font”, which he developed after he inherited and digitalized over 5,000 Chinese calligraphy characters left by his father’s late business partner Li Hon.


For now new kits are being offered to business class passengers on long-haul flights between Hong Kong and North America, where the designs are being rotated on a regular basis. This of course means you may get one design on your flight out, and another one on your return, and frequent fliers will no doubt look to collect all four on their travels to and from US and Canadian destinations. The kits were developed by Spiriant on behalf of Hong Kong Airlines, and each contains earplugs, an eyeshade, socks, a dental kit, and L’Occitane cosmetics.

as a personal case (for example for cosmetics or cables) after the flight.

Images from Hong Kong Airlines


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

The kit is made out of durable nylon material, allowing it to function

Hong Kong Airlines Artsy Stories

four artists. Earlier this year, the airline produced a series of online videos, under the “Where Hong Kong Begins” heading showcasing each one’s story. Each video plays on the ‘Where Hong Kong Begins’ theme. For example, illustrator Jane Lee’s story is titled “Where fun begins” and Lock Lai’s video looking at how he created Tin Bot toys has the heading “Where possibility begins.” The videos have high production values, tell each story in around two minutes, and are free of the kind of sales messages that are often shoe-horned into brand storytelling efforts.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

This isn’t the first time Hong Kong Airlines has worked with the

Octopus Keychain At the end of last year, we featured the special edition Octopus Keychain that Hong Kong Airlines developed. This ties into the Octopus Card, which was originally a public transport card (like which is based on it), but you can now use it for wider retail transactions. The special edition Octopus Keychain, is on sale for HK$260, inclusive of a HK$120 stored value. It has a special design and features the airline’s “Where Hong Kong Begins” strapline. Hong Kong Airlines says that the concept was to “create a modern and trendy item that is truly Hong Kong in nature. Neon lights mixed with Chinese words, bright colours and our airplane elements make this a very unique offering for our customers.” When we originally covered the Keychain, we commented on what a great initiative this is - we can see these keychains becoming collectors items. They become talking points (“where did you get that?”) and act as an effective Hong Kong Airlines brand extension.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

London’s Oyster Card

Special Moleskine Notebook

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

As well as the Octopus Keychain, Hong Kong Airlines has produced a custom edition Moleskine notebook, in different colours (again the idea being you collect each). The notebook was designed by Hong Kong born, Los Angeles based illustrator Victo Ngai, who made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2014 in the Art and Style category. The notebook draws on her memories of growing up in Hong Kong, which inspired her design featuring various iconic symbols of the city.


+852 Magazine

Kong and Hong Kong culture, has been the relaunch of the airline’s in-flight magazine. Named after Hong Kong’s international calling code, +852 has a bold and graphic look that the airline says was “inspired by Hong Kong’s strong art and design culture.” It’s one of the best in-flight magazines we’ve seen for a number of reasons. First of all, the design works, it really stands out. And despite being perhaps too cluttered with ads for our liking (a common problem among in-flight magazines), the content is generally very good. However, what we particularly like is the way the articles are also included in a separate website. Essentially the airline has developed both a magazine and an online travel blog / magazine from its content library under the +852 banner. The site itself is eye-catching, with an emphasis on strong visuals that make you want to click and find out more.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

One of the most impressive initiatives that ties the airline into the spirit of Hong

The importance of authenticity Hong Kong Airlines is

boutique and medium

question, but one is to

not an aviation giant

sized carrier, where you

be distinctive, authentic

like United or Lufthansa

also don’t have the almost

and to be known for

or British Airways. It’s

unlimited marketing


also smaller than local

resources of an Emirates

competitor Cathay Pacific.

or Qatar Airways?

How then can you get

There are a number of

which leads to the ‘Where

stand out as a more

different answers to that

Hong Kong begins’ theme.

With Hong Kong Airlines, the key is in the name,

Where Hong Kong Begins – This is us, this is our motto. We want our customers to experience Hong Kong everytime they fly with us. By aligning Hong Kong Airlines with the city itself and communicating an authentic Hong Kong experience that includes gracious, joyful, personal service, we will entice our customers to embrace Hong Kong Airlines as a natural extension of what is truly Hong Kong. But what’s also important

falls into the trap of show-

- as a result, you are intro-

is the treatment and the

casing a cardboard cut-out

duced to someone new


version of its home coun-

as well as his / her story

try. Example - the “Brit-

and perspective on Hong

ishness Explained” video


British Airways (who we’ve been covering on a regular basis due to its on-going centenary campaign) also runs campaigns drawing on the “British” element of British Airways. Most of the time, it gets it right, for example its safety videos in aid of comic relief, and the brand collaborations with everyone from Brewdog to Breitling. Sometimes however, BA


released last year when flight attendants answered American tourists’ questions on everything from Harry & Meghan to Fish and Chips and the rain. In contrast, Hong Kong Airlines seems to get it right. The brand collaborations with local artists mainly involve people few people outside of Hong Kong will have heard of

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

According to Tracey Kwong from Hong Kong Airlines Corporate Communications

The collaborations also have the benefit of consistency. The four artists commissioned to design the amenity kits have been working with the airline for most of this year. Overall, this is an impressive and well thought out campaign and there are a lot of elements that more boutique airlines can learn from.

Credit - Image from Delta

Qatar Airways Women’s World Cup

Over June and July, Qatar

well as celebrity football

launched a marketing cam-

Airways was back as the

supporters such as Brazil’s

paign to celebrate its spon-

sponsor of the Women’s

Neymayer, become gi-

sorship of the men’s FIFA

World Cup in France, and

ants, as they kick a football

Football (soccer) World Cup

for us this was a much bet-

around a CGI landscape.

in Russia.

ter campaign.

At the time, we were not

The centrepiece of the

ceived over ten million

wholly complimentary

sponsorship was another

views, and almost universal-

about it. In particular,

online video called “Our

ly positive coverage.

Qatar Airways had Nicole

Newest Destination”, a sixty

Scherzinger re-record the

second spot which starts

hit song ‘Dancing in the

with a mother reading a

streets’, and we pointed

story to her daughter.

out some of the hackneyed cultural references in the video (e.g. an African lady in front of a market fruit stall while a man with a sack on his head walks past.)


So far the video has re-

The airline supported its World Cup sponsorship with a range of other activity. For example, it staged a “foot-

The mother opens the

ball challenge” near Lon-

book, which then comes

don’s Tower Bridge, where

alive with some of the stars

passersby were given the

of the World Cup.

chance to win flight tickets

The players themselves as

if they could score a goal.

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

A year ago, Qatar Airways

football players to the tournament in France, and produced videos telling their story.

One More Orbit From July 9th-11th, Qatar Airways took part in the One More Orbit initiative, which coincided with the anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. The initiative was an attempt to break the round the world speed record, with the project being run from a Qatar Executive Gulfstream G650ER. Starting and finishing at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the attempt was live streamed on social media.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Qatar Airways also brought a group of aspiring young women’s

KLM - Fly Responsibly

IATA’s current advocacy

sponsibly, or not fly at all

we looked at what the

campaigns, which seeks to

(e.g. take the train) as well

Spring climate change pro-

remind people of the ways

as showing research that’s

tests mean for the aviation

in which air travel is a social

currently being carried out

industry, as airlines and air

good from medical trips to

to reduce the overall car-

travel in general are in-

cultural tourism, and that

bon footprint.

creasingly in the crosshairs

rolling back air travel is also

of environmental cam-

(as IATA has pointed out)


rolling back a century of

Our recommendation was

exposure and get people talking, then KLM has certainly succeeded. Ac-

that the industry should

KLM has gone much fur-

cording to INC, “KLM has

adopt a two pronged ap-

ther than that through an

a surprising request for

proach. First of all, it had to

initiative which has got it

passengers: Don’t fly.” The

demonstrate a real com-

acres of media coverage

Lonely Planet story was,

mitment to change be-

worldwide. It is suggesting

“Here’s why one airline is

yond just “we’re getting rid

people fly much less in its

encouraging people not to

of plastic straws.” We held

‘Fly Responsibly’ campaign.


Backed by a micro-site and

Meanwhile South Africa’s

short video, the campaign

Getaway Magazine said,

Secondly, we argued for

looks at ways in which

“this airline doesn’t want

a beefed up version of

people can fly more re-

you to fly.”

up SAS as a good example of that.



If the idea was to gain

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

In our May 2019 editorial,

KLM’s campaign is ready

and rely on them as an

the Acela East Coast line).

made for some pretty

important revenue source.

As the Washington Post

eye-catching headlines, but is it actually a double edged sword, by putting the spotlight on some of

But as Quartz points out, they are (relatively speaking) environmentally

says, it’s actually a case of don’t fly and don’t travel at all.

unfriendly. Though KLM

As a result, we have mixed

scores pretty well on fuel

feelings about this cam-

For example, in its video,

efficiency on transatlantic

paign. And we’re not

KLM says that in some

routes, the leader is LCC

alone in that. This is from

cases people might be

Norwegian, which has no

the Miles to Memories

better off going by train.

equivalent of the first or

blog. Though we may

business class you’ll find

not agree with the exact

on other airlines.

wording, the overall senti-

So, will KLM be cancelling its flights from (e.g) Düs-

ment seems right:

seldorf and Brussels to

Then, as this piece in the

Amsterdam, journeys that

Washington Post points

“If KLM is truly conscious

can be done in just over

out in some areas of the

about carbon emissions

two hours by rail?

world, flight shaming

then they should elim-

won’t work.

inate all unprofitable

There is also the question of premium cabins. KLM

To take the US as an ex-

and other major airlines

ample, it has no usable rail

are rightly proud of their

network to speak off (with

premium class offerings,

some exceptions such as

routes or routes where trains will work, only fly the most efficient planes and retire all older ones.

They could also come out with smaller bag requirements etc. to cut down on fuel usage. Until I see them do things like this I think it is more just an advertisement to make the company look ahead of the curve. 21.

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

its own operations?

Delta - Improvements in economy

find on blogs and in fre-

At the beginning of July,

Quora asks the question,

quent flyer communities

Delta announced an Au-

“why do major American

basically went along the

tumn relaunch of its inter-

airlines rank so low inter-

lines of ‘people like to fly

national ‘main cabin’ (e.g.


Qatar Airways or Emirates

economy) product to in-

because US carriers are

clude “welcome cocktails,

not very good.’

hot towel service, bistro

It’s a theme you will have read and heard a lot about

As a post in View From

especially in relation to

the Wing put it - “Serious

The cocktails are free

the big three American

question: Would you rath-

bellinis, the meal service

carriers - American, Delta

er fly United or Emirates?”

includes custom designed

and United - complaining about what they perceived to be unfair competition from Emirates and Qatar Airways. A common answer you’d


style dining.”

over the past few years,

Recently however, the major US airlines have been doing their best to catch up, arguably none more so than Delta.

dinnerware with new menu choices, while dessert is served separately, rather than being included in your tray as is usually the case. And you also get a chocolate on descent.

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

A two year old post on

rolled out across the international long-haul network in November. The video above was filmed on one of these trial flights, showing passengers’ reactions. Passengers often see long-haul economy as a bit of a grin and bear it experience. You pay a cheap (ish) price and you put up with cramped seats and bland service and meals. Indeed, Emirates developed a whole campaign showing people being so desperate to avoid flying economy with its competitors that they were going to great lengths to beg for upgrades (the punchline was that Emirates is the upgrade). At the same time, when some airlines announce so-called enhancements in economy, they are actually trying to disguise the fact that they are taking something away or making something worse. For instance, in the Spring Etihad released a press release about what it called a “fully customisable economy experience”, which talked about “cabin upgrades” and an “all new economy dining experience.”


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

The new service is being trialled between Portland Oregon and Tokyo, before it’s

In fact, one of the things that this announcement actually pointed to, was smaller meals as part of the airline’s cost cutting measures. Delta isn’t taking anything away or trying to hide something with brand speak, it’s actually improving its economy product in a way that will make this writer for one actively choose Delta the next time he flies transatlantic. And media and travel / AV bloggers largely agree.

Seat for seat, premium cabins are of course much more profitable than economy, hence when it comes to economy the focus is often on how you can cut costs, for example by wedging in more seats in high density configurations. Yet, at the same time, this is where the bulk of passengers sit. This, and not a fully flat bed, is the typical experience. As a result, many more people comment online and leave reviews about their economy in-flight experience than business class passengers, quite simply because there are more of them. Does it cannibalise your premium products? After all, you could argue that if you make your economy product too good, then why would someone pay extra? In fact, we’d argue the opposite. It helps you reinforce a wider message of quality. Hence, with its ‘Upgrade your Airline’ campaign, Emirates had the self confidence to talk up its economy product because it also sent a message about the other cabins “if economy on that airline is this good, just imagine how good business or first class must be!”


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Thrillist talks about Delta “Adding First Class-Like Perks to Economy Cabins to Make Flying Suck Less”, and One Mile at a Time mentions “Delta’s impressive investment in economy service.”

News from SimpliFlying

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019


The SimpliFlying Global Institute - Free Webinars We’re getting some great feedback from SimpliFlying Global Institute course participants. For example, here’s one from Experience Manager Airport Operations at Air Canada:

This was a great course for me, especially at the time as I had just gotten into the airline industry. I will definitely be able to take some of the things taught in the airline marketing fundamentals course, and apply it in my job, both now and later down the road 26.

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Ryan Banks - Customer

If you’ve been thinking of enrolling in the courses, but want to know a bit more first, then why not sign up for one of a series of free webinars that are being held over July and August.

airline industry, developed by Shashank Nigam, and specifically discuss why airline marketing is different along with his proprietary 6X Airline Branding Model and more. The webinar will showcase content from our Airline Marketing Fundamentals course, and offer great deals and free downloads. There are a number of sessions available, organised to accommodate different time-zones. Sign up by using the link here!


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

The webinars will share branding lessons from the

Shashank’s surgery - Coming back later this year

decided to conduct an experiment where he’d make himself available to anyone who wanted to talk. This could be to get career advice, for pro-bono consulting, for burning questions about starting up, aviation, speaking, publishing, parenting or even yoga! Shashank hoped for around 5-10 calls. In the event, his diary has been filled with over 100! As a result, he’s had to close the surgery sessions for now, but Shashank is looking to reopen them again after the Summer. Watch this space!


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Earlier this month, SimpliFlying CEO and founder Shashank Nigam


Airline Marketing Monthly | June 2019

A World Aviation Festival preview


Indeed, those of you who have been to

rapinn to produce our industry guide. It

our Aviation Marketing Labs, will know

looks ahead to the World Aviation Festival

that they are timed to coincide with each

in London, which takes place from Sep-

Aviation Festival.

tember 4th to 6th.

Though we are not holding a Lab in Lon-

At SimpliFlying this, as well as the Amer-

don this year, due to SimpliFlying founder

icas and Asia Festivals in Miami and

Shashank Nigam being on sabbatical, we

SIngapore, is a must attend event for us.

are looking at restarting them in 2020.

As a result, take a look at the video below from last year, and then contact us, for us to let you know when the next one will be taking place. In the meantime, this guide will give you a flavour of what you can expect in September in London. If you’ve already got a ticket, our content director, Dirk Singer will see you there. However, if you haven’t yet booked, we can offer you an exclusive 15% discount. Use code JETFUEL and go to


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

This month, we’ve partnered with Ter-

What is the World Aviation Festival? The World Aviation Festival is the #1 global event on the digitalisation of the airline and airport business model. Over 4500 attendees join each year to discuss AI, digital transformation, distribution, evolving business models, retailing, marketing, loyalty and so much more.

Joanna Geraghty, President and COO, JetBlue Alan Joyce, Group CEO & Managing Director, Qantas Anne Rigail, CEO, Air France Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Shai Weiss, CEO, Virgin Atlantic Barbara Dalibard, CEO, SITA Stefan Schulte, CEO, Fraport Kadri Samsunlu, CEO, Istanbul Airport Hari Marar, Managing Director & CEO, Bangalore International Airport Limited Henk Jan Gerzee, CDO, Schiphol Chris Garton, COO, Heathrow To book, use code JETFUEL to receive a 15% discount and go to


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

This year there will be 400 Speakers, Including These Amazing Keynotes: Tony Fernandes, Group CEO, AirAsia

Exhibition Highlights Alongside the conference, the festival includes an exhibition. Here are some of the things you can expect.

data analytics, loyalty, AI and more. There’s a start-up village, with over 50 start-up companies, where you can meet and find out how the future of the industry will look. There are free to attend seminars that take place during the event at three dedicated areas. You’ll be able to visit the Airport Technology Zone, to see the very latest airport technology changing the industry. From biometrics to baggage tracking to blockchain. There’s a Women in Travel Mixer: a platform for women in aviation and the wider transport network to come together, share experiences and take some inspiration back to their organisation. And finally, to find out the best tech solutions for your business, there’s a Demo Zone!


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

You’ll find 200+ exhibitors bringing you cutting edge products and solutions from

Battle of the Airline Apps - Which will win?

of airline apps has been

one (September 4th) of the

reduced to five through

conference, is the “Battle of

passenger votes and by a

the Airline Apps”, which is

group of judges. The final

taking place at 17:15.

five will be delivering a five

During the year, the list

Pitching their apps will be:

minute pitch about why their app deserves to be

named the best. Conference attendees will then have the final vote! Come along to see who is leading the airline app revolution!

Alexander Knigge, Senior Vice President Of Digital, Emirates Ravi Simhambhatla, Vice President Of Commercial Technology And Corporate Systems, United Airlines Erkay DEĞERLİ, Digital Services Vice President, Turkish Airlines Marco Van Heerde, Head of Mobile, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Daniel Young, Head of Digital Experience, easyJet

The Battle of the Apps forms the conclusion of the Aviation Marketing Festival, one of twelve sector specific festivals taking place under the World Aviation Festival banner. You can view the agenda here.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

One of the highlights of day

Digital Competition and differentiation keynotes Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

The World Aviation Festival has more CEOs in attendance and speaking than any other industry event. A particular highlight will be the Digital Competition and differentiation keynotes on day two - 5 September - of the conference. Moderated by Bloomberg news anchor Guy Johnson, who is an aviation enthusiast, the morning will see a number of industry giants explore themes such as how the industry can cope with the rapid changes that digital technology brings. We’ll also learn where they are placing their bets in future: Where do airline bosses see potential in biometrics, blockchain, robotics, artificial intelligence, voice technology and cyber security?


Who can you expect to see on September 5th? The sessions include the following airline bosses:

Johan Lundgren, Chief Executive Officer, easyJet Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Tony Fernandes, Group Chief Executive Officer, AirAsia Joanna Geraghty, President And Chief Operating Officer, JetBlue Airways Alan Joyce, Chief Executive Officer And Managing Director, Qantas

The digital theme will also take centre stage on the final day of the conference (6 September), when New Air France CEO Anne Rigail sits down with Bloomberg’s Anna Edwards to discuss how she is taking a new approach to rebuilding the Air France brand and making the business highly competitive in a digital age. She will also explore her approach to getting the balance right in the group, utilising both premium and low-cost offerings effectively. This will be followed by a keynote interview with Alexandre de Juniac, CEO, IATA. Alexandre will discuss with Anna Edwards how IATA is approaching new technologies and the digitalisation of processes in the aviation industry. Attendees will be able to hear Alexandre’s unique perspective on how the global industry can use data sharing tools to improve operations and how he thinks the industry can become more aware and prepared of the dangers of cyber threats. If you’ve not yet got a ticket, book now and use JETFUEL to receive a 15% discount. Go to


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Airlines in a digital world

What’s on at the Aviation Marketing Festival? Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Day one of the World Aviation Festival sees the Aviation Marketing Festival take place. Here’s the agenda for the day. For more information and agendas for the other days, go to the World Aviation Festival website.



Chair’s opening remarks


08:50 •

Visionary Keynote from Virgin Galactic: Taking long haul travel above the atmosphere

How do Virgin Galactic plan to revolutionise commercial travel by taking space tourism to the masses?

What are the key aspects of the customer experience when travelling as a space tourist?

Can Virgin Galactic prove the business model and begin to transport passengers with

Why should airlines and airports pay close attention to this new type of commercial travel?

Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director, Virgin Galactic PERSONALISED INSPIRATIONAL MARKETING

09:25 •

How Air New Zealand has retained a challenger brand mentality to set themselves apart from larger competitors on a global stage?

How Air New Zealand do things differently to deliver campaigns and content that connects with customers

Using guerrilla marketing to stimulate new opportunities and create global brand awareness

Investing heavily across the customer journey into products and services and taking a multi-dimensional approach

Jodi Williams, General Manager, Global Brand, Air New Zealand


How do we eliminate friction from the consumer in their travel journey?

Friction can lose you customers as expectations continue to rise in line with technology

Join Facebook to hear about a zero-friction future in Aviation

Neasa Bannon, Emea Travel Vertical Manager, Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

the safety and regularity of acommercial airline?

10:00 •

Aer Lingus Brand Transformation Story: Becoming a true international carrier

What were the research phases used to create a new Aer Lingus brand that reflects modern Irish society?

What are the subtle differences that define a low cost and a full-service airline brand?

How do you impose your new brand throughout the passenger journey including digital touch points?

Dara Mcmahon, Director Of Marketing And Digital Experience, Aer Lingus Marketing for one of America’s most beloved brands in the 21st Century

Building a formidable digital presence through mobile

Driving additional revenue through loyalty

Ryan Green, Senior Vice President And Chief Marketing Officer, Southwest Airlines


Networking and refreshments in the exhibition hall


11:30 •

Mobile First - Why future airline growth will be dependent on mobile and on a smart & seamless digital experience?

Strategic imperative to achieve high customer satisfaction in the digital world, in addition to the physical world

How mobile is rewiring consumers habits and what that means for airlines

How data insights and UX research enable designing a personalized and seamless digital experience

The power of smart technologies and the need to invest in digital platform simplicity & performance

Alexander Knigge, Senior Vice President Of Digital, Emirates


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019



PRODUCTS. NOT PROJECTS. Breaking the airline cycle of chasing industry innovation in direct channel sales and online customer acquisition, and executing best-in-class Fare Marketing strategies


Fare Marketing is most effective way for airlines to achieve their direct sales, customer acquisition, and merchandising goals; however, Fare Marketing is a major technical challenge for airlines to execute


Airlines continue the failing pattern of pursuing Fare Marketing (and other innovative digital initiatives) through lengthy projects demanding consider in-house resources, vendor expenses, consultant expertise, and unpredictable upfront and ongoing costs


This pattern ensures that airlines are always behind the standards of innovation set by major OTAs


Decoding Decisions

Technology has enabled advertisers to reach consumers at any number of moments within a purchase journey, and provided them with dozens of contextual signals to read. Digital marketing has naturally become hyper-rational. But human behaviour is often irrational - as behavioural economics has made clear. In order to design more relevant, more effective marketing we need to better understand how and why these irrational decisions are made. This research aims to leverage the latest thinking in behavioural economics, as well as primary research across flights, to better understand consumer decision-making and the role played by different media. Jay Chauhan, Industry Head, Travel, Google


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Seth Cassel, President, EveryMundo


The evolution of mobile first marketing – What is the next step in how we use data, insights and digital to deliver more contextualised and inspirational marketing to our customers?

What are the current challenge for airlines brands when it comes to capturing and inspiring customers?

Rethinking airline marketing – Airlines don’t have an ongoing relationship with most customers so how do you keep that emotional connection and drive loyalty?

Are we seeing more of a evolution rather than a revolution when it comes to personalisation?

What role will technologies such as voice, artificial intelligence, machine learning, VR

Moderator: Ross Sleight, Chief Strategy Officer, Somo Alexander Knigge, Senior Vice President Of Digital, Emirates Akira Mitsumasu, Vice President, Products And Services, Japan Airlines Dan Holowack, Co-founder And Chief Executive Officer, CrowdRiff Aaron Ritoper, Senior Director, Audience Strategy And Development - Emea, Sojern Jodi Williams, General Manager, Global Brand, Air New Zealand


Networking lunch in the exhibition hall


14:20 •

How KLM is using social media as an R&D lab for customer-centric innovation

Advancements in voice and AR – Turning KLMs suite of chatbots into voice assistants to move closer to a touch-less interface

Creating new interfaces to reduce the hassle of the end to end journey

Balancing empathy, warmth and personality with super-speed accuracy and the use of data

Sharon Geervliet, Social Media Project Manager, KLM


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

and AR play for marketeers in the coming years?


Improving the Airline Customer Experience? The Seamless Blend between Agents and Bots.

Joshua March, Co Founder And Chief Executive Officer, Conversocial


How can we successfully balance AI, social listening and human responses via airline social media teams in an industry that is fast paced, unpredictable and global?

What are the challenges of delivering a seamless and successful interaction with the customer across different channels?

How can you deal with negativity quickly and authentically across social media platforms using human and AI agents? Where is the true value on social listening and how can it help provide valuable data for decision making?

Comparing your brand on social media – what KPIs do you use to analyse how you stack up against competitors?

Moderator: Ross Sleight, Chief Strategy Officer, Somo Paul Buckley, Head Of Social Media, Aer Lingus Pablo Gomez Gallardo Maass, Vice President Of E-Commerce And Digital Advertising, Aeromexico Guillaume Laporte, Chief Executive Officer, Mindsay Sharon Geervliet, Social Media Project Manager, KLM


Networking and refreshments in the exhibition hall



With rising passenger expectations and rapidly-changing technology, how can we as an industry evolve to meet these challenges? Our roundtables are hosted by senior level topic specialists. Participants are asked to introduce themselves to the table, and then as a group, they brainstorm and produce their suggestions on what technology would work best for them


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019



From pitch to public. How to create and deliver an innovation roadmap

easyJet mobile. A model of innovation & inspiration

Solving travel pain points. An inside look at the process

Our mobile future? Travelport & easyJet discuss what’s next

Glenville Morris, Director, Consulting and Digital Insight, Travelport Digital Daniel Young, Head of Digital Experience, easyJet BATTLE OF THE AIRLINE APPS

Join the battle to find out which airline app is leading the way in offering a more seamless, frictionless and simple passenger experience. Conference attendees will have the final vote. Join us to see who is leading the airline app revolution! Alexander Knigge, Senior Vice President Of Digital, Emirates Ravi Simhambhatla, Vice President Of Commercial Technology And Corporate Systems, United Airlines Erkay DEĞERLİ, Digital Services Vice President, Turkish Airlines Marco Van Heerde, Head of Mobile, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Daniel Young, Head of Digital Experience, easyJet



Welcome drinks reception

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019


Aviation Campaigns

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019


Aegean - Sunshine Discount

European cities still had cool temperatures and cloud, including Berlin. As a result, Greek airline Aegean launched a “Sunshine Discount� stunt in the German capital. It created giant screens in the Sony Center in the middle of Berlin and beamed in images from sunny Greece, with a live weather forecast. The mechanic was pretty simple, Berliners had to watch the screen and if they spotted a rare bit of cloud, they got a 50% discount on Aegean flights to Greece by using a special discount code. A YouTube video showcases the concept and interviews Berliners who took part in the stunt.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

June 2019 may have been the hottest month ever, but in May, many

American Airlines Add a name to a plane

At the start of July, the airline announced a new promotion to raise funds for the organisation called ‘Add a name to a plane.’ Anyone who makes a donation of $25 or more to Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) during July can add the name of a person they stand up for to an American Airlines Airbus A321. The plane, which will begin flying this Autumn, will be wrapped with a special SU2C design that includes names submitted. The campaign launched with a digital and television ad featuring Stand Up To Cancer Ambassador Tim McGraw alongside six American staff members. The airline says that Tim McGraw as well as each team member in this new campaign has been personally affected by cancer, either as a survivor or a co-survivor caring for a loved one fighting the disease. American Airlines says that the first names added to the plane will be those of staff who self-identified as cancer survivors or are currently battling cancer.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

American Airlines has a long history of supporting the charity, ‘Standup to Cancer.’

Aer Lingus - The Stateside Scoop

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Aer Lingus held a special July 4th sale, offering €50 off flights to North American destinations. To promote the sale, the Irish airline teamed up with Dublin ice cream brand ‘Scoop’ to create special American themed flavours such Peanut Butter and Jelly, Smores, Key Lime Pie and Cola. However these special ice creams were only available on July 4th. Aer Lingus additionally gave people the chance to win a pair of return flights to a North American destination by buying one of the ice creams and sharing a photo on social media with the hashtag, #TheStatesideScoop. We could see around 100 images on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag, which is a fair response bearing in mind the ice creams


were limited to Dublin.

British Airways Flight of the Future British Airways has been a regular in Airline Marketing Monthly this year, thanks to the airline’s on-going centenary celebrations. The latest centenary projwith the Royal College of Art in the UK on an exhibition called BA 2119: Flight of the Future. This looks ahead to the next 100 years of flying.


Alongside the installations will be a full motion, virtual reality experience chart-

imagined flight of future. This is once again an impressive (and high budget)

Set to take place at Lon-

ing the history of flying

don’s Saatchi Gallery in

and looking forward to the

August, forty postgraduate

future for visitors who pur-

students from the Royal

chase tickets in advance.

College of Art have been

Named Fly, it is an interac-

working on the project to

tive, full motion, multisen-

The Foresight Facto-

imagine the future of flight

sory experience that traces

ry research will give BA

in both digital and physical

humankind’s relationship to

talking points - and media



coverage - at a time when

Exploring trends and driv-

Built by award winning VR

ers from research commis-

creators and an Oscar-win-

sioned by British Airways

ning practical effects team,

through trends company

Fly enables visitors to be-

The, Foresight Factory, the

come a time-travelling pilot,

students are looking at the

from the earliest imagin-

future through three lens-

ings of Leonard da Vinci

es; aircraft, experience and

and his ornithopter, to BA’s


brand new A350 and the

piece of activity from British Airways that combines a number of different elements.

aviation and sustainability is very much in the news. And the exhibition itself, timed with the school holidays, is almost certain to have a large footfall going through it, as The Saatchi Gallery receives 800k visitors a year.

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

ect sees BA collaborating

Dubai Airports - Find Forky

need to eliminate single-use plastics, by setting up “Toy Story 4” activity stations around Dubai International Airport. During July, young passengers are being shown how to transform recyclable materials into toys, by making their own “Forky” (one of the Toy Story characters). As part of the activity, there is also a competition to “Find Forky” and win a family trip to Paris. “Forky” - a spoon that doubles as a fork, has become so popular that according to NBC’s Today programme, people are making their own Forky toys at home. With Toy Story 4 having received its world premiere on June 11th, this is just the latest in a series of airport / airline movie studio collaborations. For more examples, see our last issue where we covered the United Airlines / Spiderman Safety Video. Earlier this year, Dubai Airports launched an extensive rebrand, with the aim of turning the world’s largest international airport into a ‘cultural hub.’


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Dubai Airports has teamed up with Disney to raise awareness of recycling and the

Flybe and Connect Airways In the UK, Connect Airways, a consortium consisting of Ireland’s Stobart Group, Virgin Photo credit Flybe

Atlantic and Cyrus Capital, got the go-ahead for the airline Flybe.

Part of that will include a rebrand of Flybe, to take on a Virgin name. Our guess is that it will be called ‘Virgin Connect’ or similar, to show that it compliments Virgin Atlantic as a smaller regional feeder airline. At this point however that’s yet to be decided and when we contacted Connect Airways’ PR representatives they were only able to say that, “Teams from across Connect Airways will work to deliver the new branding, which will kick off in the coming days. We will provide further updates when a more definite timeline emerges. “ Separately, Flybe was involved in a controversy, which blew up on social media, after a group of young women flying from Amsterdam to Birmingham after a music festival, accused the airline (and its ground staff in AMS) of racism, when they were refused permission to board. The women in question filmed various interactions with staff in Amsterdam, and posted it on social media, including ones where handling agents claim that they felt “disgust.” According to the BBC, Flybe says the group displayed “disruptive behaviour”, and so stands by the decision of its staff. The rights and wrongs of the incident aside, this should serve as a reminder to airlines that almost every passenger has the ability to film any interaction with your staff on their phones, and post it on social media, where it could be picked up and amplified


within minutes.

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

acquisition of regional

London Gatwick Airport - Summer Festival As readers of this magazine will know, retail (and also parking) is as important a revenue stream for airports as landing fees - if not more so.

ports by and large stage major events and campaigns to coincide with the peak Summer and Christmas periods, with the ultimate aim of getting passengers to spend more money. One example is London Gatwick Air-

sive book readings in the airport’s kids

port’s Summer Festival, which is run-

zones throughout the summer.

ning until the end of September. Both of Gatwick’s terminals have been

Trinidadian steel band (as many LGW

adorned with festival-themed branding

long haul routes are to the Caribbean)

and decorations, until 30 September.

to perform for passengers.

And with 12.1% more children travelling through Gatwick during August compared with November, the airport’s Summer Festival has adopted a family focus. As a result, retailer WHSmith Gatwick is bringing children’s literature characters to the airport for the event, with Peter Rabbit and Mog the Cat staging exclu-


Meanwhile the airport is bringing in a

To stimulate retail sales, the airport is giving away £10,000 worth of vouchers, as well as 3,000 beach balls. Other collaborations include ones with World Duty Free (which is offering two new flavours of Edinburgh Gin), a local brewery and a local confectionary company both of which will offer ‘bespoke products’ for passengers.

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

To maximise retail revenues, major air-

In August 2018, we put HiFly on our front cover for a “save the coral reefs” livery that the Portuguese charter airline and wet lease operator painted on the sides of its A380. The livery came as a result of HiFly President Paulo Mirpuri having a charity, The Mirpuri Foundation, which is dedicated to marine conservation issues. HiFly and The Mirpuri Foundation have now announced that a yacht, called “Racing for the Planet” will be taking part in the 2020 Ocean Race. As well as sponsoring a yacht in the race, HiFly has painted an A330 in a special design that reads “Turn the Tides on Plastic.” The airline says that it became the first airline to declare it will be carbon neutral by 2021 by using technology to increase efficiency and reduce emissions and by developing a carbon offset programme with The Mirpuri Foundation.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

Image from HiFly

HiFly - Racing for the Planet

JetBlue - Soar with Reading For the ninth successive year, JetBlue is running a CSR campaign in New York City, in its ‘Soar with Reading’ initiative. This involves six free book Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

vending machines being placed in areas where the airline says the need is greatest, and where the ability to purchase ‘age appropriate’ books is limited. The vending machines, will be restocked every two weeks with new titles and will feature a diverse cast of characters as well as options in both English and Spanish. Publishing partners

as research shows that

include HarperCollins

parents displaying

Publishers, Little Bee

behaviors like reading

Books, Lil’ Libros,

can improve educational

Scholastic, Candlewick

outcomes for children.

Press, Penguin Random

throughout the US. JetBlue fans are being asked to share their own “Book Drop Moment”, essentially a recollection

The initiative is being

about a book which in

promoted via a website,

some way moved or

as well as a social media

changed you. For every

Additionally, the vending

campaign that seeks to

moment shared, JetBlue

machines will include

take it outside New York,

will donate a book to a

to JetBlue passengers

community in need.

House, Hachette Book Group and Barefoot Books.

52. select books for adults

Juneyao Air - New route and uniforms

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

To coincide with the launch of its new Shanghai - Helsinki flights in June 28th, Chinese Airline Juneyao Air introduced new cabin crew uniforms, which it says integrates embroidery and Chinese traditional elements. The uniform colours include light pink and grey blue to distinguish different roles of flight attendants.


Juneyao Air’s Facebook page talks about cooperating with brands such as Noritake, (tableware), Kosta Boda (barware) and Orrefors to put together the new collection. The Juneyao Air announcement is typical of much of what you see from the next tier of Chinese airlines, in that they have a tendency of under-selling themselves. The products are beautifully shot, and there’s obviously a story there, but the airline has done very little to publicise it beyond a few photos on social media.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

At the same time, the airline upgraded its onboard cabin products.

Qantas - 747 Domestic flights

skies, and as it does so, each airline retiring its 747 fleet, typically stages a series of goodbye flights. Two years ago for example, Air France organised a series of heavily oversubscribed - flights around France, as well as filming a farewell with the French Air Force display team, the Patrouille de France.


this year and in early 2020. Those flights will run from Melbourne to Sydney (flight time under 90 mins) and back, as well as Sydney to Brisbane and Sydney to Adelaide. The 747 obviously has iconic status beyond just AV Geeks, and certainly Air France got a lot of media pick-up when it gave its 747s one final outing. Qantas most likely has the same in mind, and

Next year it will be the turn of Qantas,

you’d imagine Australian media will be

which has pre-advertised the fact that

invited onto these flights (especially

‘The Queen of the Skies’ will be on eight

given the relatively short flight times)

special domestic flights at the end of

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

The 747 is slowly vanishing from the

Thomas Cook Airlines Takeover my Trip Thomas Cook Airlines in the UK has announced a “social media marketing campaign” fronted by celebrities, called Takeover my Trip. Takeover my Trip takes the form of a three a different destination each time, each appealing to a different demographic. Social media fans are able to interact with the campaign “to make decisions on how each trip unfolds in real time.” There are also Facebook Live streams from each location. The series began when reality TV star Samira Mighty, who was in the show ‘Love Island’, flew to Palma de Mallorca and stayed at the Cook’s Club Palma Beach, a Thomas Cook own-brand hotel. Subsequent visits will see comedian Ben Shires going to New York, and kids’ TV presenter Alex Winters going to Turkey. We’ll be honest, we instinctively had an eye rolling moment when we heard that Thomas Cook was sending a Love Island star to Mallorca. However, the way the airline has split the celebrities and destinations is actually quite smart. No doubt about it, some of Thomas Cook’s demographic does involve the under 25s who want a cheap flight so they can party in Spain. But it also has an interest in promoting longer haul destinations like NYC (hence the choice of a comedian to explore the city) and family friendly options (so a children’s TV


presenter is being sent to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.)

Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

part video series. The idea is to highlight

Virgin Atlantic & James Corden

Break’, where host James Corden does someone else’s job (or pretends to). Examples include James Corden ‘working’ at Planet Hollywood, Lens Crafters, the Painted Nail, and more recently - Virgin Atlantic’s London Heathrow Clubhouse. In the ten minute segment, Corden cracks jokes and makes a fool of himself in various areas of the lounge. The clip also includes a “job interview” with Sir Richard Branson who facetimes in from his yacht. Not all the Virgin regulars present in the Clubhouse on the day seem to have been impressed. On the V-Flyers forum website, one member says that Corden, “screaming down the microphone was really annoying, and some of the inane drivel he came out with was actually embarrassing.” However, for the wider audience of millions watching it on TV and on YouTube, the whole segment was money can’t buy free advertising for Virgin Atlantic, with James Corden showing off everything from the well stocked bar to the hair salon.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

The CBS TV programme, The Late, Late Show includes a regular spot called ‘Take a

WestJet - Flight Light With WestJet extending its international network, the airline has developed a “Flight Light”, which will let kids watch their parents’ flights in real-time and show them just how close they are to arriving home.

flight onto their child’s bedroom ceiling. Synced through a specifically-designed Flight Light App on a mobile device before take-off, parents can enter their flight number into the app to provide the Flight Light with live data including their arrival and departure times. Parents will also be able to stay connected by sending messages and emojis to the Flight Light which will be projected in real-time onto the ceiling. The idea of the WestJet Flight Light is actually very similar to an initiative launched by KLM three years ago - The KLM Night Light. The KLM promotional video had many of the same elements as the WestJet one. Both involved a mother (rather than the stereotype of the businessman Dad) going away on business, while a child waits for her return. However, the functionality of the KLM light is much simpler. It doesn’t display the flight path like the WestJet Flight Light, though it does count down the days until a family member comes home from business.


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

By using live WestJet flight data, the smart nightlight projects the path of a loved one’s

Brands featured in this issue Aegean Airlines Aer Lingus British Airways Connect Airways / Flybe Delta Dubai Airports HiFly Hong Kong Airlines JetBlue Juneyao Air KLM London Gatwick Airport Qantas Qatar Airways The World Aviation Festival Thomas Cook Airlines Virgin Atlantic WestJet


Airline Marketing Monthly | July 2019

American Airlines

Profile for Airline Marketing Monthly (AMM)

Airline Marketing Monthly - July 2019