AMR Magazine - Winter 2022/2023

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Cover Campaign - The Delta Runway Collection

Ten airline marketing campaigns we loved from 2022

Christmas campaigns

Air Canada - Together for the Holidays

easyJet - Jolly Trolley

London Heathrow Airport - Little Here to Helpers

SWISS - Air Dee

WestJet - Christmas: Miracle Miles

World Cup Campaigns

Lufthansa - The Great Swap

Qatar Airways - We will rock you

Special football liveries

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Featured campaigns

British Airways - A British Original easyJet - Air Craft

United Airlines - Courte C

Virgin Australia - Bring on wonderful

Sustainability News

Season two - Sustainability in the Air

Our sustainability reports and white papers Rail companies promote themselves as sustainable alternatives Sustainability communications masterclass

Airline Marketing Campaigns

ANA - Beyond Missing Japan

British Airways - Paramount+ Delta - Firsts That Last easyJet - Empty Nesters Take Flight Emirates - T20 World Cup

JetBlue - Swing for Good Royal Brunei Airlines - Arbi the monkey SAUDIA and Newcastle United Singapore Airlines - Travel Bigger Southwest Airlines - Go With Heart

Airline brands in this issue

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Welcome to our final 2022 issue of our airline marketing magazine, Aviation Marketing Review.

Since 2012, when we started this publication, we’ve showcased 1500+ different airline and airport marketing campaigns.

This month our lead campaign was Delta’s “Runway Collection” at LA Fashion Week, where the airline teamed up with six teams of up and coming designers to create limited edition fashion items that each met a different travel need.

We’ve also featured British Airways ‘A British Original’, which answered the question of why we travel in 500 different ways, as well as Virgin Australia’s Middle Seat Lottery. Finally, with the FIFA World Cup still going on in Qatar, we’ve looked at a number of airline football campaigns.

This magazine is just one part of SimpliFlying’s growing content portfolio. In particular, we’ve focused a lot on the biggest issue the industry has to face over the next three decades - the race to net zero.

As a result, SimpliFlying’s CEO Shashank Nigam has just wrapped up season two of the ‘Sustainability in the Air’ podcast, which includes interviews with a range of industry leaders, while we’ve published white papers on everything from carbon capture to greenwashing.

You can access all this and more on our green hub

Our next issue will be out in the Spring, to coincide with the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. Do you have any campaigns we should know about in the meantime? Email them to us at

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Delta isn’t the first airline to work with fashion brands, but at LA Fashion Week in October it did something a little different to what we’ve seen before.

The airline teamed up with American actress and comedian Issa Rae to launch the Delta Runway Collection, a fashion line designed by a group of small business owners, with travellers in mind.

The collection was then launched at a live show at LA Fashion Week, and supported via online content.

Six up and coming brands chosen

As opposed to working with established fashion brands, six local small businesses were selected to take part in the Delta campaign.

They were Oyster, Ember Niche Eyewear, Ponto Footwear, Ana Mero Swim, Cadence, Classic and Six

Capsule Wardrobes.

Each design team was featured on the Delta Runway microsite, which included an interview with Issa Rae, and a link back to their online shop. Each team also looked at a different area of travel.

For example, Ember Niche Eyewear set out to design “stylish, durable eyewear that will withstand the longest redeye flight.” Their glasses case has a keychain ring on, so that it can be attached to the outside of a cabin bag.

Meanwhile Ponto Footwear wanted to make lightweight shoes, easy to take off at security that are sustainable but don’t “look” sustainable. In the words of the founders, they should “look good, feel good, and be good for the planet as well.”

All six designers were able to show off their creation in a special show called “Runway, Runway”, which took place

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around LA Fashion Week, in an aircraft hangar in Hawthorne, California.

Talking about her work with Delta, Issa Rae said - “My collaboration with Delta’s Runway Runway campaign is about more than showcasing the travel-inspired collections from these six unique, creative designers.

“It’s about elevating their stories, each deeply rooted in the belief that there is comfort in human connections, strength in being present, and inspiration to be found in the adventures we embark on.”

Given the celebrity involvement in the Delta campaign, it generated quite a lot of media coverage, for example in the Daily Mail and Forbes.

Our take-out

This is what we liked about the campaign:

• The focus on local, small businesses

doing innovative products rather than teaming up with established fashion brands

• The fact that the collection was not overly Delta branded, but these were unique, limited edition items that people would want to buy

• The focus on a different travel need, which carried the sub-text, “Delta understands the traveller”

• The live show element combining an event and live streaming

• The well designed micro-site

• The focus on story-telling, where each of the six designers chosen had content created around them

• Longevity - you could see this campaign being extended to other fashion events, or Delta could build on it for LA Fashion Week 2023

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FROM 2022

With most post–pandemic travel restrictions coming to an end in 2022, airline marketing was back. Over the past year we’ve seen some great campaigns where airlines have been reintroducing themselves to the travelling public.

Here are ten of our favourites from 2022.

Air France - Elegance is a journey

In May, Air France released a new ad showcasing the best of France and Paris for a global audience.

This video tells the story of a woman in a red dress climbing the Eiffel Tower, the iconic symbol of France.

As the heroine ascends the metal structure, there is a sequence of scenes meant to convey different Air France attributes and features such as the cuisine, and the attention given to younger travellers on flights.

At the top of the tower, she crosses an imaginary and enchanting sea of clouds. The video ends by revealing the company’s new brand strapline – “Elegance is a journey. Air France.” This is meant to embody “the values of Air France, its style, as well as its attention to others and to the planet.”

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Alaska Airlines - Care Coalition

Alaska Airlines’ Care Coalition is a 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.’

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.

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.

British Airways - A British Original

A British Original revolved around the question travellers are often asked when they land in a new country, “what is the purpose of your visit.”

But instead of the usual boxes you see on an immigration form of ‘business’ or ‘leisure’, the ads reflected a range of answers linking back to the very real and human reasons people travel. Over 500 different variations were created.

Read more about the campaign in this issue.

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Brussels Airlines - Safety Video

While other airlines have used celebrities in the past in their safety videos (notably Air New Zealand), the execution normally involves celebrity voice overs interspersed with cabin crew demonstrating the safety features.

The brand new Brussels Airlines safety video, released on August 1st, instead takes the form of a music video, where Hooverphonic lead singer Geike Armaert sings her way through the complete safety demonstration.

As she sings, other band members demonstrate the safety features, with the backdrop featuring slightly surreal Magritte-style imagery.

As a safety video treatment it’s different, but imparting information by way of a song is (according to academic research) proven to work, and Hooverphonic gives the airline a certain amount of PR value, while of course being (like the airline) Belgian.

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Delta - The Delta Runway Collection

This is our cover story this month, we’ve written about it in more detail in this issue.

Delta teamed up with actress Issa Rae to showcase a team of six boutique designers, who created a travel themed fashion range to coincide with LA Fashion Week.

Qantas - Still call Australia home

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.

In 2022, Australia brought the song back in a post pandemic campaign, as Australia reopened for (vaccinated) visitors.

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Ryanair on TikTok

Over the past year, Ryanair has delivered a masterclass on how to use the youth focused social network TikTok as a communications and marketing tool. The style of the content and the tone have all resulted in Ryanair becoming the biggest airline brand on the social network (it was the cover story in the May issue of the magazine, click here to read more).

The SkyTeam Sustainable Flight Challenge

Though not strictly speaking an airline marketing campaign, the Sustainable Flight Challenge gave all SkyTeam airlines a chance to highlight their sustainability credentials.

The challenge involved each airline taking one flight, and trying to make it as sustainable as possible. For example, see the work we did with SAUDIA, where the airline staged an in-flight sustainability lab on a Jeddah - Madrid flight SkyTeam, and the different member airlines, now have an excellent platform that they can build on in future years.

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United - Good Leads the Way

This is United’s new brand campaign launched in May 2022.

The centre-piece of the campaign is a feel-good, optimistic video ad. According to the airline, the idea behind the ad is“Connecting People. Uniting the World.” Every day, we help unite the world by connecting people to the moments that matter most. This shared purpose drives us to be the best airline for our employees, customers and everyone we serve.”

The ad itself then has a narrative focusing on people, with three clear themes.

Sustainability, and the airline’s commitment to SAF comes through early with the narrator saying “it’s a sci-fi story about a trash that fuels a plane”.

The campaign has been amplified in lots of different ways, such as staging a special ‘Juneteenth flight.’

We like it as it both reinforces that aviation is a force for good, and shows how United is making progress in sustainability. (Read more in the July issue of the magazine).

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Vistara - The Soundtrack of Travel

To welcome passengers back after the pandemic, Vistara released 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.

Vistara says it intends to build on “sound” as a property and channel it can own in the future.

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Air Canada - Together for the holidays

Air Canada is celebrating the holiday season with a new, short film with a message of togetherness.

Launched on December 5th across Canada, the animated spot stars a baby loon who gets separated from its family on the annual journey south for the winter.

A strong gust of wind pushes the protagonist out of its parents’ path. However, landing in a Canadian winter cabin, the baby loon eats Christmas cake and makes a new friend - a wooden bird toy.

Santa then comes and takes both the bird and its toy friend south to be reunited with the rest of the family.

The spot features music from two Canadian artists: Where You Are by Tenille Townes, one of Canada’s most critically acclaimed country singers and Les échardes by Charlotte Cardin,

a four-time 2022 Juno Award winner. Their emotive songs and lyrics add the soundtrack to the story.

“It’s been a tradition for us to use magic and wonder in our storytelling when it comes to our holiday ads, as it is one of the most celebrated and heartfelt times of the year,” said Andy Shibata, Vice President, Brand, Air Canada.

“Air Canada takes great pride in being the airline that plays a role in uniting family and friends to help them celebrate these special times.” “Together for the Holidays”, developed with FCB Canada launched in multiple forms.

A combination of 90-second and 60-second versions will be shown in cinema, 60-second and 30-second versions on televisions across Canada, and 30-second and 15-second versions on social media and digital platforms.

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easyJet has launched a Christmas delivery service to retirement homes and villages across the UK.

easyJet says that its ‘Jolly Trolley’ service will deliver mince pies, mulled wine and Christmas carol singing to retirement homes – all served by local easyJet cabin crew.

The service will be rolled out in Bristol, Manchester and Glasgow in December, following an initial trial in the Luton area (near easyJet’s HQ at London Luton Airport).

In the first trip of the UK Tour of the ‘Jolly Trolley’, easyJet cabin crew made a surprise trip to residents at Wixams Retirement Village in Bedfordshire.

Delivering mulled wine and mince pies

to apartments and communal areas at the village, the crew also sang carols, which even saw some residents joining in and sharing their own talents.

Michael Brown, Director of Cabin Services at easyJet, said: “Our fantastic cabin crew are a big part of the community in the cities we fly from all across the UK, from Luton to Liverpool, Gatwick to Glasgow, Bristol to Belfast and so many cities in between.

“So, this Christmas, we wanted to take the opportunity to give back to communities we serve and bring the warm welcome and fabulous service our cabin crew are famous for, directly to their doors, to share some extra special festive cheer.”

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easyJet Jolly Trolley

Heathrow “Little Here To Helpers”

London’s Heathrow Airport has enlisted hundreds of ‘Little Here to Helpers’ to kick off the festive season for passengers by giving away 10,000 Christmas gifts.

The presents will be given out across all four terminals in the run up to the new year.

All gifts will be from the airport’s shops, bars and restaurants and include free flights and lounge access, with other Christmas presents including Chanel perfumes, Pret breakfasts and designer makeup from World Duty Free.

This comes as London Heathrow Airport says that this will be the biggest Christmas getaway in three years. Over three million passengers are expected to travel through Heathrow in the last two weeks of the month – double that of the same period last year.

Heathrow has also launched an advent calendar on its website and app, containing offers for those

travelling through the airport until 25th December. Behind the windows lie discounts from Heathrow shops, bonus points from Heathrow Rewards, exclusive World Duty Free promotions and deals on festive-inspired food and beverage menus.

Heathrow’s Little Here to Helpers are staffed from the airport’s Here to Help programme, which is now in its twelfth year.

Over 750 Heathrow colleagues from non-operational and office-based roles took to the airport this summer to contribute 10,000 hours’ worth of additional customer support and help manage the pressures in the airport.

The Little Here To Helpers will be easily recognisable, donning purple Santa hats and located near one of the 25 Christmas trees spread across the terminals.

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SWISS - Air Deer

The centrepiece of the SWISS Christmas campaign has been an A320 neo, which has been given a red nose, in the style of Rudolph. The airline is calling the aircraft “Air Deer.”

Every flight taken with this aircraft in turn results in the airline staging a Christmas ‘surprise.’

For example, on December 2nd passengers on a flight from Nice had a group of Christmas carol singers waiting for them at baggage claim in Zurich.

SWISS is encouraging people to go to a dedicated microsite to guess which flight will be next in line for a SWISS surprise. If you get the answer right, you could win a CHF 200 (US $213) flight voucher.

SWISS has also put up videos of its previous Christmas campaigns online. This included special flights to Lapland from 2017-2019.

Finally, SWISS is encouraging people at airports to take pictures of the special A320 and post it using the hashtag #LXAirDeer.

SWISS is then reposting the best images on its own social media channels.

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WestJet - Christmas: Miracle Miles

WestJet’s #ChristmasMiracle is out! This time, the airline launched Miracle Miles - surprising passengers on a flight by giving them $1 to donate to their favourite charity for every mile flown.

On this flight from Winnipeg to Calgary, the airline gave out over $90,000 to a multitude of charities. In total, across multiple flights, the airline gave an additional $150,000 to charities. The video would make most people emotional, and kudos to WestJet for running this campaign.

I’ve often said that it’s hard for brands to “own” something in the lives of their customers. WestJet “owns” Christmas thanks to the repetition of its emotionally loaded campaigns every year.

Having said that, I felt the creative spark was missing in this year’s campaign compared to the previous years. Last year, they creatively united families kept apart by the pandemic. The year before, the airline’s Blue Santa travelled coast-tocoast in a single day (starting in Halifax, ending in Vancouver). We all know about the surprise gifts appearing on the belt back in 2013. This year, the Miracle Miles giveaway seemed like something any other airline could have done.

Or perhaps, I’ve just come to expect more out of WestJet. What do you think?

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Lufthansa is not the airline partner of the World Cup, that’s obviously Qatar Airways. And so, the airline, like others, can’t mention the tournament in its marketing materials. Nevertheless, the German national airline has come up with a football focused campaign with a clear nod to the event in Qatar, especially as the airline did bring the German national team to the tournament.

As a result, the airline first of all unveiled its “Fanhansa” branded aircraft that has been used in other football tournaments. For example, to coincide with the 2018 World Cup, Lufthansa branded an A321 “Fanhansa.” Four years on and that honour has gone to an A330.

The 2022 Fanhansa carries the tagline “diversity wins”, with the design

featuring a row of cartoon characters representing different nationalities and races.

According to Lufthansa, “The company enables its customers from all nations and cultures to connect, and welcomes everyone aboard, regardless of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, nationality, identity or sexual orientation. And it is taking this same message – that Diversity Wins! – aloft and around the world, through the special “Fanhansa” livery which it has devised together with illustrator Peter Phobia.”

That idea has then been taken one stage further with an ad spot called “The Great Swap.”

It starts with a German football fan walking into a bar to watch Germany win against an unnamed opponent 1-0. He celebrates and swaps his shirt with a

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Lufthansa - The Great Swap

Croatia fan.

The spot then shows further shirt swaps in France, Ghana, South Korea, Argentina and Mexico.

Our take-out

In Europe in particular, the choice of Qatar as a venue has generated a certain amount of discussion.

As a result, the Lufthansa campaign makes a nod to this, while the aircraft illustration, showing different races arm in arm along with a mention of “diversity” is general enough not to offend the hosts.

With regards to the ‘shirt swap’ video, it’s well produced, but there doesn’t appear to be anything stand out about it. It’s general ‘football unites the world’ type fare, of the type that you often see.

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Qatar Airways - We will rock you

As the national airline of the host nation, Qatar Airways has obviously been promoting itself as part of the World Cup for a while now. For example at the Farnborough Air Show in July, the airline brought along a special Boeing 777 World Cup livery aircraft.

The centre-piece of its World Cup campaign however involved repurposing the iconic Queen anthem, “we will rock you”, often heard at soccer stadiums, into an ad.

In releasing the ad, Qatar Airways said that, “the uplifting anthem reflects the airline’s firm belief that sport is a universal language that unites fans and transcends verbal barriers.”

Qatar Airways has been an early adopter of the so-called Metaverse (see invited to view the commercial via the airline’s “QVerse” experience, as well as having a virtual tour of the QSuite business class seat.

As part of that, fans had the chance to play an inflight game for a chance to win a World Cup travel package, inclusive of match tickets, return flights and accommodation.

Upon arriving in Doha, fans were greeted by dedicated passenger overflow areas where they could safely stow baggage, enjoy a taste of the best international cuisine or relax in comfort and style while soaking up a football themed atmosphere.

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In addition, the larger of the two overflow areas, at HIA, includes a virtual reality gaming zone - a world first. There are also soft play areas for children and huge screens to show football highlights.

A week before the World Cup opened, the airline flew the Qatari National Team from its training camp in Spain back to Qatar.

The airline also flew 140 “FIFA legends” to take part in the FIFA Fans and Legends tournament.

Finally, the airline successfully completed the installation of a FIFA World Cup decal on 120 aircraft. The specially-branded aircraft include 48 B777s, 31 B787s, 21 A320s, 12 A330s, and eight A380s. The airline also operates three specially-branded Boeing 777 aircraft hand-painted in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ livery, including the one showcased in Farnborough.

Football fans in Qatar during the tournament have been invited to visit the Qatar Airways Skyhouse. This hosts a range of engaging activities, including a unique zipline experience, a Neymar Jr. interactive

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challenge, a swing photo booth, a face painting booth, a Qverse experience, and much more.

Our take-out

Along with the Olympics, the FIFA World Cup is one of the world’s two big sporting events. As a result, the country and airline are very much in the spotlight. Added to that, the cost of the sponsorship packages for the tournament will have been considerable.

Hence, Qatar Airways has gone big on its World Cup activity, which you’d expect them to do.

As far as the ‘We will rock you’ ad goes, it’s got high production values but unfortunately it looks and feels much like any other big brand football ad. It doesn’t specifically seem to say ‘Qatar Airways’, and is perhaps too generic for our tastes.

Special World Cup Liveries

Along with Qatar Airways and Lufthansa, a number of airlines celebrated their respective national teams with special World liveries. We’ve featured some here:

- Aerolíneas Argentinas

The Argentine national team has links with both flydubai (see below) and the country’s national airline, Aerolineas Argentinas.

To celebrate the team going to the Middle East, the airline painted an A330 in a football livery with the tagline “Un equipo, un país, un sueño” (one team, one country, one dream).

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- flydubai

UAE based flydubai has an on-going partnership with the Argentine Football Association.

As a result, the Dubai-based carrier revealed a newly designed livery on two of its latest Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, as it carried the Argentine national team on a flight from Abu Dhabi to Doha.

- GOL Linhas Aéreas

With Brazil again one of the World Cup favourites, GOL Linhas Aéreas took one of its B737 aircraft and gave it a special Brazil team themed livery The tail fin features the words, “Gol do Brasil!” (Brazil goal!).

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- Tunisair

With the Tunisian national team having qualified for the tournament, national airline Tunisair unveiled an A320neo painted in team colours, with portraits of Tunisian players on the side.

- Virgin Atlantic

Like Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic made a social statement with its England team aircraft choice. The A350 selected to transport the team to Qatar was one originally designed for ‘Gay Pride’, with the name ‘Rain Bow.’

According to Paddle your own Canoe, Virgin Atlantic didn’t say if the choice of aircraft was deliberate, but it did say “As a British flag carrier, we’re proud to fly the England Men’s Football team to the FIFA World Cup.”

“At Virgin Atlantic we believe that everyone can take on the world. Aircraft G-VPRD, also known as Rain Bow, which proudly displays our LGBTQ+ flying icon, will be flying the team to the tournament.”

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British Airways’ Autumn campaign launched at the end of October under the heading of “A British Original.” It featured 500 different executions under the main umbrella theme.

A British Original revolved around the question travellers are often asked when they land in a new country, “what is the purpose of your visit.”

But instead of the usual boxes you see on an immigration form of ‘business’ or ‘leisure’, the ads reflected a range of answers linking back to the very real and human reasons people travel.

For example, one poster said “business”, “leisure” and “because this weather sucks.”

Another one, designed for photo booths in train stations, ran with the

copy “business”, “leisure” and “because I spent five hours taking that passport photo.”

Other reasons included, “because I have too much on my plate, none of it seafood” and “to feed the social feed.”

British Airways says that staff were an integral part of the campaign.

For example, one execution featured a British Airways cabin crew member peering out of the window, followed by his motivation for doing what he loves, ‘the office view’.

Similarly, a short film focused on a British Airways’ pilot, rocking his daughter to sleep before heading off to work. The film ended on the pilot’s reason for doing what he does every day, which is ‘for her’.

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British Airways - A British Original

Overall, the campaign encompassed over 500 unique print, digital and outdoor executions and over 32 different short films all running over October and November.

The executions also varied according to location, time of day, weather and what’s happening in the news.

Hamish McVey, Head of Brands and Marketing at British Airways, said: “We really wanted this campaign to celebrate the originality of our customers and our people. Every time a customer boards a plane, they are doing so for a unique reason, and we know that those journeys are so important.

We are working hard on making positive changes across our airline and this brand campaign allows us to showcase our motivation, which is our customers and our people.”

The campaign was developed by Uncommon Creative Studio, according to cofounder Lucy Jameson, “‘A British Original’ champions people, not planes. We’ve started by shining a light on all the original reasons we fly - both for customers and British Airways’ people.”

Our take on it

This is a fresh, innovative campaign as evidenced by the fact that the British Airways marketing team and their new ad agency managed to develop 500 different executions.

It also is something that can be built on in future, where the ‘reasons for travel’ and the people-centric theme can be taken in different directions. Finally, the overall message behind the campaign is essentially that travel is a great thing, and from the trivial to profound, everyone has different reasons for travelling.

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easyJet - Air Craft

To coincide with the UK’s half term school holidays, which generally happen at the end of October, easyJet ran a campaign aimed at school kids and their parents.

The “AirCraft” campaign involved creative kits, including pencils and drawing sheets, being onboard over 160 aircraft from the UK to Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.

Children’s TV presenter Neil Buchanan was brought on board to front the campaign, while also being named the airline’s “artist in residence.”

As part of this, Buchanan recorded how-to video tutorials for children, providing top tips on how to draw and use their imagination to create their own travelinspired artwork.

Neil Buchanan also hosted a live art class for families in the easyJet ‘Gateway’ lounge at London Gatwick. This was free to attend for passengers with children aged 12 and under.

The initiative is the brainchild of easyJet’s long-standing PR agency Taylor Herring, and so like many PR campaigns it was underpinned by a “survey says” style news story.

Taylor Herring carried out a study of 2,000 British school-aged children and their parents, which showed that “only” 36% of children say they draw or paint for fun outside of school hours.

easyJet also quoted a study from University of Durham’s Commission on Creativity and Education Studies in support of the campaign.

This showed that drawing, colouring and painting not only have numerous

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developmental benefits such as supporting communications skills and managing emotional states, but also encourages children to develop and explore their imagination.

Do you know Marrakech?

At the same time, easyJet carried out a stunt in Lisbon to promote its new route from the Portuguese capital to Marrakech.

A photo-booth was installed at Oriente Station on 28 and 29 October. Participants could enter the booth to answer eight questions about easyJet and Marrakech.

They also had to take a photo in the photo-booth, the prize was free return flights.

Our take on it

easyJet is known for running high profile family focused competitions during the school holidays, as the family leisure market is obviously key to the airline. Even during the height of the pandemic, easyJet launched “comic book” themed masks.

As it was PR agency led, the aim of this campaign would have been to attract media coverage, and there it worked, with two of the UK’s biggest tabloids, the Sun and Mirror, writing about it.

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United Airlines - Courte C

United Airlines has released a campaign and micro-site directly targeted at rival Southwest.

The campaign pokes fun at the fact that on Southwest there is open seating, and the importance of checking in 24 hours beforehand so that you don’t get stuck in boarding “Group C” and get the worst seats.

If you go to the dedicated United micro-site, you can register for a courtesy call 24 hours before your Southwest flight, reminding you to check in.

Your phone number has to be registered in the US, so I wasn’t able to test it out and get a message myself, but Live & Let’s Fly has a recording up on their website.

The overall aim of the website is to highlight the fact that United lets you choose your seat in advance, has no change fees, and other things you’d expect from a full service airline like lounges.

Speaking to news website Chron, a Southwest spokesperson said in response, “Our loyal Customers know the Southwest boarding routine and the choice of any open seat onboard, free of charge, but we’re so grateful for the assistance and united support in LUVing the more than a hundred million people who fly Southwest every year!”

That would seem like a fair point. If you regularly fly Southwest, you know what you are getting, and that includes a risk of maybe ending up in a seat you may not like in exchange for (sometimes) lower fares.

Overall the media reaction to the United campaign seems to be negative.

Writing in ZDNet, in an article headlined, “United thinks you are a fool if you fly Southwest”, Chris Matyszczyk, reminds readers that United’s basic economy product doesn’t offer free seat selection.

Matyszczyk goes on to say that “it’s far

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more draconian in its Basic Economy offering than, say, Delta or American.”

Meanwhile Live & Let Fly calls it “poor taste”, and that “this cutesy ad actually reflects poorly on United…which is a sad byproduct of an ad campaign that I cannot imagine was cheap.”

Our take on it

It’s certainly an unusual campaign, but is it condescending or in poor taste as others have claimed?

On this point it’s worth remembering that most people, including most Americans, are not frequent flyers.

Most tend to fly once or twice a year, and so perhaps there is a case in pointing out the difference between a full service carrier and an LCC rival in a light hearted way, so that you get that thanksgiving or Christmas holiday booking.

Except as others have pointed out, United doesn’t offer free seating choices for everyone, and if you are largely booking on price you might be willing to put up with a certain amount of inconvenience.

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Virgin Australia - Bring on Wonderful

This Autumn, Virgin Australia launched a new brand mission and campaign called “Bring on Wonderful.”

The airline says that this new campaign follows a “24-month transformation of the airline which returns Virgin Australia to profitability.”

The ad in support of the campaign starts with an airport tannoy system blaring out the template phrase you hear at boarding of “have a nice flight.”

A Virgin Australia cabin crew member then walks through a terminal talking about how ‘nice’ is “just coasting along”, and that the aim should be to do better than nice.

The aim instead for the airline is to be ‘wonderful’ by measures such as pooling a family’s frequent flyer points.

The ad finishes with the phrase, “kiss nice goodbye.”

The Middle Seat Lottery

Other than family points pooling, the main way that the airline wants to articulate “wonderful” is by staging the first ever ‘middle seat lottery.’

The idea here is to transform what’s traditionally the least favourite seat into something “fun and wonderful.”

Guests who sit in the middle seat will have a chance to win one of a series of prizes on offer, with a new prize and winner every week.

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Those prizes include Platinum Velocity Frequent Flyer Status plus one million Points, a cruise in the Caribbean with Virgin Voyages, including return Premium Economy flights to the USA with United Airlines, Flights and tickets to an AFL team’s away games in 2023 and a helicopter pub crawl extravaganza, including return flights to Darwin.

On the launch flight, Virgin Australia Group CEO Jayne Hrdlicka surprised all guests who were seated in middle seats on a flight to Adelaide with a Virgin Voyages cruise for two, valued at up to $5,999 USD each.

The Middle Seat lottery comes on the back of a survey carried out by Virgin Australia in May, showing that less than one percent of travellers intentionally choose the middle seat as a first or second seat preference.

The survey of frequent flyers showed that 62% chose the aisle, 35% the window and 3% “any” seat.

Our take on it

A middle seat lottery is certainly different. It’s also a great idea as it ties into something most travellers can relate to - not wanting to sit in the middle. Hence, Virgin Australia got a lot of international attention on the back of their idea, including from CNN, Forbes and Axios.

Going forward, what will be key though is to what extent the airline lives up to its brand promise to be ‘wonderful.’ It sets a high bar, and you could see passengers using it against the airline on social media in case of problems. As a result we’ll be interested to see how this campaign pans out and is brought to life.

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This Autumn saw SimpliFlying CEO Shashank Nigam interview a series of guests for season two of Sustainability in the Air

The podcast has established itself as the leading sustainable aviation podcast, and has over the past two seasons featured a series of airline CEOs, as well as companies that are trying to help the industry innovate its way to net zero. Two examples of that are the interviews Shashank did with leaders in the low emissions aircraft space - Heart Aerospace CEO Anders Forslund, and ZeroAvia CEO Val Miftakhov.

We’ve provided summaries of both interviews below, to listen to them and the interviews with the other guests, click here.

Together with our season partner CarbonClick, we plant one tree for every new listener and 50 trees for each review. All funds will go to the Maputo Bay Reforestation Initiative in southern Mozambique.

Heart Aerospace CEO Anders Forslund

Heart Aerospace is working towards revolutionising aviation with its regional electric aeroplane, the ES-30: a 30-seater aircraft that includes a reserve-hybrid configuration and is projected to operate with zero emissions and low noise.

Shashank Nigam sat down with Heart Aerospace CEO Anders Forslund to discuss how regional electric air travel can transform the industry while addressing the key sustainability challenges.

Some of the things they talked about: �� A change of heart: from ES-19 to ES-30 �� Does hybrid solve the challenges associated with fully electric aircraft? �� ES-30: Low emission or no emission? �� Getting airlines onboard �� Meeting sustainability targets with the right tempo �� What about the batteries? �� Retrofitting vs building from scratch �� Charging Infrastructure: How much charge does a plane require? �� How will electric aviation impact smaller airports and communities?

�� Challenges & Hopes

You can listen and subscribe to this episode here

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ZeroAvia CEO Val Miftakhov

ZeroAvia has set out to create a breakthrough zero-emissions solution by replacing conventional aircraft engines with hydrogenelectric powertrains which can be retrofitted to existing airframes.

With jet fuel at the heart of sustainable aviation, alternatives like hydrogen fuel cell engines seem better positioned to decarbonise aviation and minimise its negative environmental impacts.

ZeroAvia is already developing 10-20 seat commercial aircraft with a 500-mile range and has plans to expand to large turboprops and regional jets.

Shashank Nigam sat down with ZeroAvia CEO Val Miftakhov to discuss how his engines are the disruptive solution the industry needs to scale aviation for commercial use.

Some of the things they talked about:

�� Hydrogen vs electric batteries

�� Collaboration, not competition: working with industry experts

�� Hydrogen production — the distributed approach

�� Zeroavia in 2030: visions for the future

�� Learnings from the non-fatal test flight crash and safety measures

�� Tackling non-carbon emissions

�� How much funding does ZeroAvia require?

�� The myths of Sustainable Aviation Fuels

�� Disruptive technologies and dealing with the industry’s inertia

Listen and subscribe to this episode here.

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SimpliFlying’s green hub contains a series of free white papers and reports around different sustainability issues to download. Here are some of the reports we’ve produced over the past year:

• “Avoiding the greenwashing trap”, looks at how and why climate change activists are starting to target airlines, what their main claims are, and how airlines often get it wrong.

• Our Carbon Offsetting mythbuster, developed with our partners CarbonClick suggests there’s more nuance to the issue of carbon offsetting than critics let on. In this detailed report, we share how carbon offsetting can be an important part of an airline’s sustainability portfolio and how, unlike other solutions, it can work at scale right now.

• Carbon capture and removals is a growing area, and one that airlines are starting to get involved with. For one thing, CO2 captured from the atmosphere can not only be stored but also used as the basis for Sustainable Aviation fuels. We’ve created a power list of some of the most innovative companies in this space.

• Our next generation aircraft powerlist looks at some of the names in electric, hybrid-electric and hydrogen-electric aviation, who intend to have low or zero emissions aircraft flying before the end of the decade.

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Much of the noise and visible public pressure against airlines comes from climate change activists. But at the same time, something perhaps even more impactful is happening under the radar: Corporates are starting to curb business travel in response to sustainability concerns.

This is a trend that we’ve been tracking since before COVID.

Large companies are under pressure from customers, staff and also increasingly shareholders to show that they take climate change seriously. One way for them to do that, which also has the benefit of saving money, is to cut staff travel.

Last year, the World Economic Forum published a study saying that

“only” 25% of businesses listed the environment as a top priority when it comes to their corporate travel programme.

But one in four businesses is actually quite significant, and could represent tens of thousands of seats, and that number will only go up.

This comes as Brussels based lobby group Transport & Environment earlier this year teamed up with American NGO Stand.Earth to launch a campaign called “Travel Smart.” The goal is to encourage businesses to cut staff travel to 50% of pre COVID levels by 2025.

The Travel Smart Ranking

To illustrate how businesses are or are not doing that, Travel Smart features

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a league table of 230 major North American and European companies.

Each company has been graded according to eight indicators, relating to emissions reduction targets, reporting and air travel emissions.

Not surprisingly, Transport & Environment (T&E) and Stand.Earth claim that corporates need to do more, saying that, “out of the 230 companies, 193 fail to act with sufficient speed and ambition to tackle corporate travel emissions. Businesses like Volkswagen, Accenture and BP lie in the ranking’s lowest category and must accelerate their transition.”

If 193/230 are flying much as before, why should airlines care? A few reasons:

1. There are some significant names in the table who have made public commitments to cut travel. For example, Danish Pharma company Novo Nordisk has committed to the target of a 50% travel reduction by 2025.

PWC in the UK has said it will reach that target by 2030. Meanwhile US software company Adobe wants to cut business travel by 30%.

2. The companies on the lower end of the table are now under the spotlight to do more, and almost all will have published sustainability programmes.

Microsoft for example has an ambitious goal to become carbon negative, yet according to Travel Smart has not made explicit business travel commitments.

3. It’s an easy win for a company that wants to burnish its sustainability credentials.

4. The direction of travel here is only one way. Just like climate change concerns as a whole, sustainability pressures from within the business community will only increase, not decrease.

And there’s some evidence that employees themselves support this.

A study in the US by S&P in May showed that 88% would be willing to take steps to reduce their environmental impact while travelling for work, with GenZ employees being particularly keen to do so. And a 21 year old graduate today is the middle manager of 2030 and senior manager of 2040.

So airlines need to be able to respond to this growing trend from the corporate market. However, airlines that are ahead with their sustainability programmes should see this as an opportunity.

In the future, there’s every chance that a corporate travel manager will, when presented with two airline choices, choose the least carbon intensive option, in line with his or her internal sustainability guidelines.

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The latest tactic by climate change activists doesn’t involve protesting in front of airline offices. Instead they have been showing up at train stations to congratulate people for not flying.

Greenpeace turned up at Paris Gare de Lyon station to welcome TGV passengers coming from Milan, Mulhouse, Nice and Marseille, with signs saying things like “Bravo ! La Planète vous dit merci” (Bravo! The planet thanks you).

Meanwhile in London’s St Pancras Station, climate group Flight Free UK said “thank you” for not flying to Eurostar passengers going to Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris.

It’s a smart way for these groups to push sustainable travel and the idea of lowering your carbon footprint. They are not saying don’t go on vacation - a negative message of denial that doesn’t resonate well with a lot of consumers.. Instead their message is go on vacation, but take the train.

And train companies themselves are starting to latch onto the fact that sustainable travel is a marketing tool for them.

This comes as research consistently shows growing awareness among consumers that flying drastically increases their carbon footprint. As a result, train companies are now selling tickets by directly promoting rail travel as better for the planet.

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Swap your flight for the train pledge

The most recent example is Trainline in Europe (which is a rail booking service as opposed to a train operator).

Trainline has unveiled a website called “I came by train”, with the tagline, “save the planet, one journey at a time.”

The website includes a pledge for you to swap a flight for a train journey. If you fill it in (which as an aside, involves giving up your email address), Trainline plants a tree, via offsetting partner “onHand.”

The whole campaign is even underpinned by a video and song by Craig David titled, “Better Days, I came by train”, showing that this is a heavyweight and high budget piece of activity.

On the form itself you are invited to say why you took the train, options include

“coastal cities are for people, not fish”, “melting ice is good for G&Ts and not ice caps” and “penguins shouldn’t be sunbathing.”

Airlines themselves are of course starting to integrate their networks with that of train companies. For example, Star Alliance signed up Deutsche Bahn as the first rail member of the airline alliance. And KLM/Air France works with the Thalys high speed rail network.

In the light of the campaigns we’ve been seeing, these collaborations make a lot of sense.

They tie into the current existing consumer sentiment, and show that airlines want to offer lower carbon alternatives for the final part of the journey, where possible.

As a result, we expect (and encourage) a lot more of these airline / train links.

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Our greenwashing report (see the SimpliFlying Green hub) gives some initial guidelines for airlines, but what if you want to go further and dive deeper into the topic?

From 2023 SimpliFlying will be offering a limited number of sustainability communications masterclasses. This includes four remote sessions, followed by a two day on the ground interactive workshop.

Areas covered include:

The output is then a sustainability communications brand-book, which summarises all of our joint conclusions and provides a recommended pathway forward.

We are only doing four of these in 2023, so to find out more contact SimpliFlying CEO, Shashank Nigam -

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ANA - Beyond Missing Japan

The Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) and All Nippon Airways (ANA), Japan’s largest airline have launched a “Beyond #MissingJapan” campaign after news of Japan’s plans to reopen the country to international travellers.

ANA says that the “Beyond #MissingJapan” campaign was inspired by social posts of people missing Japan as a result of the pandemic and a strong sense of eagerness amongst ANA’s crew to welcome visitors back to Japan.

The end goal of the campaign is to inspire travellers ahead of their next trip to Japan and give them an insider’s head start with planning.

Mr. Isao Ono, Vice President of Marketing & Sales, Asia & Oceania from ANA said “I trust this ‘Beyond #MissingJapan’ campaign will give those who have been missing Japan due to the pandemic an opportunity to rediscover Japan through videos introduced by Asia’s most well-loved personalities as well as 360° videos.”

As a result, influencer content features heavily in the campaign. For example, YouTuber ‘Paolo’ shows off the highlights of Greater Tokyo, Meanwhile Michelle Cheong has produced a short video on Kanazawa, Ishikawa prefecture.

The whole campaign is underpinned by a campaign microsite showing off different Japanese (and ANA) destinations.

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British Airways - Paramount+

To celebrate the launch of Paramount+ on the airline’s IFE system, British Airways staged a “Star Trek takeover” at London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal Five.

Unsuspecting customers and staff were taken by surprise as the Starfleet cadre (staff dressed in Star Trek uniforms) made its way through the airport to board a flight that was displayed on the departure screens as U.S.S. Enterprise flight 1701 to Starbase 1.

The stunt coincided with the launch of a dedicated Paramount+ channel on the Highlife entertainment platform, which will allow British Airways’ customers to watch popular series on any long-haul flight in every cabin.

The authentic Starfleet costumes from Star Trek: Discovery and Star Trek:

Strange New Worlds were carefully flown in direct from set, with the lucky costume wearers made up of the airline’s Star Trek-loving colleagues.

The Star Trek franchise’s costume designer, Bernadette Greaney, styled five colleagues in unique lieutenant uniforms from Command, Operations and Sciences, with two transformed into Vulcans by Star Trek’s prosthetics team and dressed in the state-of-the-art Vulcan robes.

Bringing characters together from different universes, nearly a thousand years apart, was a first for the Star Trek franchise, with genuine props, including Tribbles, Federation passports and an original Tricorder.

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Delta - Firsts that Last

In November, Delta Vacations launched a contest to send twelve winners on trips to select destinations around the world.

The “Firsts That Last” contest highlighted 12 of Delta Vacations’ best experiences to give winning couples, friends, or families the chance to travel with Delta Vacations for the first timeor try something new - to create lasting memories.

From staying in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora to going on a private tour of the Vatican in Italy, each of the 12 vacations was crafted around creating new, meaningful, and memorable firsttime experiences.

“We want customers to experience Delta Vacations in an unforgettable way - especially if it’s their first time

traveling with us,” said Brian Canning, Chief Marketing, Product and Customer Experience Officer for Delta Vacations.

“Going on vacation is more than just getting away, it’s personal. Delta Vacations curates vacations to fit every traveler’s needs, vacation style and preference. We want travelers to experience the ease of planning a memorable vacation.”

To enter, participants chose a destination from a provided list and answered corresponding questions detailing why they should win this “first” experience. Entries were submitted on a dedicated microsite.

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easyJet has started recruiting older workers as cabin crew in a new recruitment campaign. The airline has positioned this campaign under the heading “empty nesters take flight” - an empty nester usually denoting a parent of adult children who have left the home.

Unfortunately the airline, or its marketing agency doesn’t seem to have checked that the URL and name is already in use for a blog maintained by two older travellers

That aside, the easyJet campaign makes a lot of sense. In much of Europe , the aviation industry has been struggling to fill post COVID vacancies. At the same time, the workforce is slowly ageing.

To launch the initiative, the airline commissioned research conducted among 2,000 British adults over 45. This showed that over three quarters (78%) said that they would like to take on a new challenge once their children have flown the nest.

The new recruitment campaign has been launched with a series of new ads featuring real life cabin crew who joined easyJet in the past year including Mike Tear (57), Gary Fellowes (63) and Carlos Santa Monica (48).

easyJet is encouraging even more to apply, with their wealth of life experience and transferable skills, such as customer service and people management, making many ideal candidates for the job.

The airline gave the example of Neil, aged 29, who has followed in the footsteps of daughter Holly, 29, to become cabin crew in 2019.

According to Neil - “I decided I needed a new challenge and wanted a job I could enjoy and would look forward to work each day. Knowing how much Holly loved the job and with her encouragement I applied and found myself in Luton academy for training and I have loved it ever since.”

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easyJet - Empty Nesters Take Flight

Emirates - T20 World Cup

Emirates has an extensive sports sponsorship programme, and that includes the Cricket Men’s T20 World Cup, which recently took place in Australia.

To promote the sponsorship, Emirates signed up cricket star Rohit Sharma, for its “Lovers of Cricket” campaign.

This took the form of three short video spots, where Rohit Sharma showed off his skills. All three spots conveyed the airline’s brand message - “Don’t just fly, fly better”.

The campaign also featured three more versions with two other well-known stars of the game, England’s Phil Salt and Richard Gleeson.

During the month-long T20 tournament, Emirates’ “Lovers of

Cricket” ads ran on television in Australia, the UK, US, India, and Pakistan.

At the same time, Emirates screened the tournament’s matches live in the air on its dedicated in-flight sports channels, Sport24 and Sport24 Extra, available to customers across all cabins on the airline’s in-flight entertainment system, ice.

Live TV is available on all aircraft in Emirates’ Boeing 777 fleet and most of its flagship A380 aircraft.

For passengers travelling in premium cabins on select A380 aircraft, Emirates screened the matches live on the 55inch screen at the onboard lounge.

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JetBlue - Swing for Good

JetBlue announced the successful return of its annual Swing for Good fundraising campaign and launch of its Bid for Good online auction.

Since its tee-up in 2008, the airline’s fundraising initiative has raised over $8 million in total through its golf classic and online auction to support and further JetBlue’s roster of non-profit organizations.

Proceeds from this year’s campaign directly benefit World Central Kitchen and the JetBlue Foundation

“We are delighted to bring back our annual Swing for Good initiative and to welcome our partners to an event that is larger than just a day of golf, but one that has lasting impacts through the funds raised,” said Robin Hayes, chief executive officer, JetBlue.

“At JetBlue, our mission is to inspire humanity, and we do that best through living our company values, each day, and taking our charitable efforts to new

heights with support from the JetBlue Foundation.”

The Swing for Good campaign included the launch of JetBlue’s Bid for Good online auction, powered by Charitybuzz, featuring different opportunities and experiences. This auction ran in October at

Some of JetBlue’s exclusive Bid for Good auction lots included:

• A business lunch with JetBlue’s CEO Robin Hayes

• A flight training experience in JetBlue’s flight simulator at JetBlue University in Orlando, Florida

• VIP sports experiences with either the Boston Celtics, Boston Red Sox, Brooklyn Nets, Florida Panthers, or New England Patriots

• A day of golf with JetBlue’s senior leaders and executives

• JetBlue Vacations packages and much more

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Royal Brunei Airlines - Arbi the monkey

Royal Brunei Airlines has unveiled a new mascot, a stuffed monkey called Arbi.

The video introducing Arbi shows him sitting in a cafe, with his laptop open, where we are told that he is a content creator for the airline, as well as being an influencer.

We’re then told that though Arbi loves travelling the world, what he really likes is to explore his home country.

The video then shows Arbi in Brunei, doing everything from going down the river in a canoe, to taking pictures from a rope bridge.

In the video, Royal Brunei also tells us that Arbi loves to go riding (which we then see).

We’re not told how Arbi will be used in future, but from looking at the video, the assumption is that he’ll promote Brunei as somewhere you can stop over for a few days, or treat as a vacation destination in its own right.

This comes as many travellers use the airline as a relatively low cost option to get from Europe to / from Australia.

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SAUDIA and Newcastle United

Saudi national airline SAUDIA has deepened the link between English Premier League Football (soccer) side Newcastle United and the country.

SAUDIA will be the club’s Official Tour Airline Partner when the team travels to Saudi Arabia, where they will play Saudi Pro League champions Al-Hilal Football Club as part of the 2022 Diriyah Season.

The team will travel to and from Riyadh on board a SAUDIA chartered flight as part of the partnership, in a collaboration which will also see the airline introduce the partnership’s official digital hub; – enabling fans to win exciting prizes and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

Khaled Tash, SAUDIA Group Chief Marketing Officer, said: “We are committed to bringing the world to Saudi Arabia, and this includes partnering with global sporting giants to further evolve our landscape.”

“We hope to form a cultural bridge between Saudi Arabia and the world as we believe our culture has the potential to transcend borders, whereby we inspire and connect with guests from around the world in new and meaningful ways.”

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Singapore Airlines - Travel bigger

Singapore Airlines has launched a campaign in 15 markets including the UK, Australia, Germany and the USA under the banner of ‘Travel Bigger.’

The campaign includes an ad, and a campaign microsite, which looks to be the start of a content hub revolving around different Singapore Airlines travel experiences.

This comes as the airline’s general manager brand marketing, Hui Ling told Marketing Interactive that the campaign would include collaborations with yet unnamed influencers.

As a result, the micro-site would seem to be a place where influencers can create content for the airline going forward, and this seems to be a medium term investment for the airline, as opposed to a one off campaign.

Singapore Airlines released the campaign alongside data from Google, which showed that 75% of respondents want to “travel as much as possible” after the pandemic.

Google’s survey also showed that almost all (98%) travellers now research their travel options online before booking.

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Southwest Airlines - Go With Heart

Southwest Airlines brand campaign for the Autumn has been running under the title “Go with Heart.”

Southwest says that the aim of the campaign is to showcase its points of difference, such as no change or cancellation fees and points that don’t expire.

According to Bill Tierney, Vice President, Marketing & Digital Experience at Southwest Airlines:

“Go with Heart’ is inspired by what makes Southwest stand out from the competition—our outstanding Employees, Legendary Customer Service, and flexible differentiators. We’re here to connect Customers with what’s important to them by making travel easier with less anxiety, and through this campaign, we’re also emphasising our continuous commitment to improving the Customer Experience.”

The “Go with Heart” campaign launched with four commercial placements across multiple platforms, including broadcast and cable TV, streaming services, social media, and movie theatres.

Each commercial showcases Customer stories and how Southwest’s points of difference display the carrier’s Heart for Customers.

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Aerlonias Argentinas

Air Canada

Air France

Alaska Airlines ANA

British Airways Brussels Airlines Delta easyJet flydubai GOL


London Heathrow Airport Lufthansa

Qatar Airways Qantas

Royal Brunei Airlines Ryanair SAUDIA Skyteam Singapore Airlines Southwest SWISS Tunisair United Airlines Virgin Atlantic Virgin Australia Vistara

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