Airline Marketing Monthly - September 2019

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Airline Marketing Monthly



81 2019

Lufthansa - The Upcycling Collection Differentiating your offers with Rich content by ATPCO

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Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

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

Content Editorial


Our cover story -


Differentiating your offers with Rich Content


Lufthansa The Lufthansa Upcycling


Collection Lufthansa - YouTubers


Aviation Campaigns Air Asia - Your journey, our passion

52-63 53

review products 13-15


Air New Zealand Skycouch Frontier Airlines - Green Week


Featured campaigns


Firefly - We are going

JAL - New Safety Video




JetBlue - The Alright


Jetstar - Win a year in the 58 Clouds

Airlines and the Rugby World Cup Air Italy - Economy enhancements and flight report

News from SimpliFlying


AviaDev Africa Podcast



The SimpliFlying Global Institute Leverage our knowledge for calls and training



Kulula - 18th birthday


London City Airport -


Destination London MIA gets ‘More Miami’ Singapore Airlines -

61 62

Seattle sounds even 29

better now Virgin Atlantic - Dream


Gap Project

Brands in this issue





Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

SAS goes more blue in

Introduction Regular readers of this magazine will know that there are themes and topics we come back to time and time again that movement is trying to turn air travel into something that is perceived as being environmentally and socially irresponsible. Here, my belief is that the current industry response is not yet robust or effective enough.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

One is the growing climate change protest movement, and how

As a result, it was good to see Eurocontrol coming out with a report on decarbonisation issues, which made five concrete industry recommendations (see above graphic). For example, one recommendation was to use sustainable industry fuels on long haul routes, as well as lowering the cost of those fuels by incentivising their production and use. These recommendations are excellent. They now need to be put into language that consumers can understand. For example, what’s a ‘sustainable industry fuel?’ What kind of difference does it make? Communicating all this information in an accessible way matters, given that environmental groups such as the Extinction Rebellion are (taking their arguments to their logical

As a result, it’s something we’re going to be examining further via an industry guide in a future issue. However, in the meantime our cover story does have an environmental angle to it. Lufthansa has recycled an old A340 into both lifestyle products (wash bags, ruck-sacks) as well as designer furniture. You can buy the items in question (while stocks last) on Lufthansa’s online shopping site. Other airlines which have launched campaigns that have a sustainability theme include Frontier Airlines, which launched what it claimed was the US’s greenest flight from Denver to Greenville. Meanwhile, SAS has come out with a refreshed livery, which the airline says directly points to the airline being committed a more sustainable future.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

conclusion) questioning why airlines should even exist in the first place.

Differentiating your offers with Rich Content Our industry guide this month comes from ATPCO. ATPCO’s rich content helps airlines and distributors differentiate and better monetize their products. In the guide we look at a number of different areas. This includes the importance of getting the balance between choice, clarity and relevance right, when it purchase options. It also includes some interesting (and as yet unpublished) research ATPCO’s content experts carried out about what people want to see in cabin images, as well as research on many people still being confused about what codeshare flights and ‘operated by another airine’ means. The guide introduces the Next Generation Storefront (or NGS™ or short), and includes a very recent case-study about how ATPCO worked with United to promote special offers and flights around the US College Football season. Finally, with ATPCO having signed a partnership agreement with a series of Chinese online travel companies, we look at how Chinese consumers in particular react to content and visuals. Are you reading AMM for the first time? Our email subscribers get it first! Sign up here.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

comes to presenting passengers with information and

Our cover story Lufthansa

issues in our editorial, and so it seemed appropriate to devote the cover of this issue to a really novel recycling (and marketing) initiative from Lufthansa. By creating the ‘Upcycling collection’, the airline has turned discarded materials from an old A340 into lifestyle products. But we’ve also featured Lufthansa on the cover for a second reason, namely because of a project it’s launched with four major YouTubers to promote the airline’s in-flight shopping range.

To take each of these initiatives in turn: 7.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

We mentioned our on-going focus on the aviation industry and environmental

The Lufthansa Upcycling Collection As the video at the top of the article explains, following Lufthansa’s 2018 a lot of items left that still had the old branding on them. At the same time, Lufthansa has been retiring aircraft from its fleet, for example the A340. When Lufthansa removed one of its A340s to the aircraft graveyard in Teruel, Spain, Lufthansa hit on the solution of salvaging as many parts of the aircraft as possible and turning them into saleable items, so that anyone could buy a piece of Lufthansa history for themselves. Lufthansa says that Hilke Siebecker and Christiana von Dewitz, product managers at Lufthansa WorldShop, went to Teruel to see what could be reused from the aircraft. They were accompanied by representatives from German manufacturing and design companies such as Wilco Design (which manufactures couch tables and wall-mounted bars made from aircraft materials) and Aviationtag (which makes key fobs from parts of an aircraft’s aluminium shell.) Aviationtag aimed to fashion 35,000 key fobs or key chains from the aircraft aluminium (with sections containing the logo being particularly valuable), while Wilco Design’s idea was to turn the window panels into wall mounted bars.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

rebrand, there were

interior of the A340 have been recreated as lifestyle items. Here Lufthansa again worked with a number of companies, such as Jost Design, which has used the business class blanket as the basis for rucksacks and placed parts of the safety card at the bottom of wash bags. Lufthansa is of course not the first aviation company to create a shopping range made out of recycled products, for example, Delta has turned old uniforms into backpacks, passport covers and travel kits. Meanwhile Airbus has a dedicated Instagram channel, ‘a piece of the sky’, showing how an Airbus team is turning old aircraft parts into furniture and art. However Lufthansa’s project stands out for the scale (it combines both lifestyle items and furniture), and the way it has told the story behind the initiative through online videos and articles. It sends an environmental message, works as a marketing tactic, the items are high end and reinforce Lufthansa’s ethos as a premium brand, and they appear to be in high demand with many of the furniture items already having sold out. However, we also chose Lufthansa for the September cover because of a second campaign. One where YouTubers have been creating content around Lufthansa’s in-flight shopping range.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

As well as turning the aircraft frame into furniture and keychains, parts of the

Lufthansa - YouTubers review products

Lufthansa. The airline has recruited a group of YouTube experts to review products from the airline’s pre-flight shopping range (which as the name says, you reserve before you fly). These include beauty vlogger Fleur de Force, tech YouTuber Mrwhosetheboss, watch expert Teddy Baldassarre, and the YouTube couple which produces the ‘Endless Adventure’ travel channel.

Each of the four have recorded a video about some of the products on offer, related to their individual area of expertise. 10.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

A large number of airlines now work with so-called ‘influencers’, including

‘Mrwhosetheboss’ looks at a pair of wireless

earphones, a pair of over ear noise cancelling headphones (from Bose), a global portable WiFi hotspot unit, and a portable data storage device - all items a global traveller will obviously be interested in. Lufthansa picked some really major YouTubers to work on this project. Mrwhosetheboss is the UK’s biggest technology YouTuber, while Fleur de Force has over a million channel subscribers.

Watch expert

Teddy Baldassarre’s following of just over

100k subscribers would be impressive in any other circumstances, but here it looks

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

For example

relatively modest by comparison (watch videos are of course fairly niche). As a result, we can only assume that Lufthansa put quite a sizeable budget into commissioning all four to produce these shopping reviews. This is a good piece of activity to bring Lufthansa’s shopping products to life, even though these are more like advertorials rather than reviews in the standard sense, as the YouTubers aren’t going to criticise a product in the Lufthansa range. Looking at Mrwhosetheboss’s video, the closest he gets to saying anything remotely negative is to call the Bose headphones ‘not cheap’, which isn’t a surprise given the brand, and is something any knowledgeable Bose customer would already have factored in.


Credit - Image from Delta

Focus on credibility and content, not vanity metrics We mentioned the fact that all four have large followings, but for us that’s not the biggest reason why this tactic works. Vanity metrics (follower numbers) and even engagement levels are

Yes, numbers matter to some extent, but for us the main focus should always be on credibility and content. So, beyond the numbers, are the people you are working with credible? The answer here is quite obviously yes, they have a long track record of producing videos, they are experts in their field, and they have a fan community which values their recommendations. And related to that, are they producing quality content where they tell your story in a new and different way? Again, when watching the videos the answer here is that they do an effective job in taking items from Lufthansa’s shopping range and adding some colour to them - as well as giving consumers reasons to buy. In addition to currently being on the Lufthansa shopping website, these video reviews will be appearing on the airline’s IFE system from November 1st.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

easy to fake. See our July editorial on the subject.

SAS goes more blue in rebrand

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

We’ve featured a number of new airline liveries this year, including United (May issue) and Aer Lingus (January issue). The latest airline to unveil a refreshed brand is Scandinavia’s SAS, which showed off its new livery just as this magazine was being finished on 19 September.


The exact livery changes are as follows:

A large SAS logo is on the front of the plane in a silver, grey tone

The blue colour of the tail has been extended further down the belly of the plane. By doing this, SAS is mirroring what many other airlines have done in extending the use of blue. The most noteworthy example is of course Lufthansa, which made blue the primary colour last year at the expense of yellow. However, United also increased the use of blue, while Aer Lingus introduced teal (blue / green shades).

4. 5. 6. 14.

More blue - The earlier red engines have now been turned into silver grey and “dressed with SAS blue crowns to harmonize with the SAS current visual identity, and to also embrace the connection to the SAS blue for SAS

The word ‘Scandinavian’ has been put in large letters on the belly of the aircraft, so its identifiable from the ground (a number of airlines of course do this, for example Emirates)

The Scandinavian flag design has been updated and made more contemporary

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

1. 2. 3.

The grey on the fuselage is now a “fresher” shade

prisingly) the newest aircraft, the A350 and the A320neo, will be the first to feature the new design. These are also the most modern and fuel efficient aircraft in the fleet. SAS also says that it chose an advanced coating material, provided by AkzoNobel, allowing fewer layers of color to be added. This reduces the weight of the aircraft and translates into fuel savings as well as reduced CO2 emissions. Furthermore, the paint contains less toxins than conventional paint systems, while the increased durability allows for longer intervals between complete repaints. The whole rebrand programme will be carried out between now and 2024.


For more information, see the SAS micro-site on the new livery here.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

What about the sustainability angle? The airline says that (not sur-


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Featured Campaigns

JAL - New Safety Video

viral in a matter of hours after

video not only dispenses with

also work as marketing

its release.

marketing gimmicks, it actu-

films have been a thing for well over ten years now. That’s ever since Air New

keting-led safety videos had

Zealand realised that some

come of age, with everyone

creative thinking could be

from (at the time) Virgin

According to JAL, the vid-

put behind these videos,

America to Delta getting in-

eo was put together with

that they could be uploaded

volved in producing them.

the advice of the compa-

online and that they’d often receive millions of views (plus positive PR).

then wrote about how mar-

Recently however some commentators have started to question whether this trend

which passengers not following safety procedures can cause extra danger.

ny’s Safety Advisory Group, chaired by Professor Kunio Yanagida. It draws on actual incidents that have recently

On the SimpliFlying blog

has gone too far and whether

you’ll find plenty of articles

(as we said on our blog last

going back through the years

year), they are starting to look

praising Air New Zealand for

too much like music videos,

For example, one scenario in

its different safety videos.

and not enough like safety

the video focuses on personal


belongings needing to be

For example in 2012, Sim-


ally pin points specific ways in

The following year Shashank

pliFlying founder Shashank

One airline which has gone

Nigam lauded the airline for

back to focusing squarely on

its Hobbit / Lord of the Rings

the safety aspect is Japan Air-

themed video, which went

lines. The airline’s latest safety

taken place across the airline industry.

stored in the right location, otherwise they may injure other passengers during a sudden stop.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Airline safety videos that

“In recent years, there

shoes could damage the

sengers obeyed instruc-

have been reports in

escape slide, making

tions and left their be-

the aviation industry in

it difficult to evacuate

longings on board.

which passengers have

the aircraft and possibly

been seen carrying their

threaten the lives of oth-

personal luggage during

er passengers.”

marketing themed, JAL’s

The problem of passen-

sulted in the airline gen-

gers’ trying to take their

erating positive PR cover-

bags with them in an

age on the back of it.

an evacuation. Therefore, the safety video describes a situation in which a passenger attempting to carry their luggage blocks the passageway and prevents others from proceeding to the exit in a timely manner. “In addition, the next scene highlights how luggage or high-heeled


evacuation had devastating consequences during last year’s Aeroflot Superjet 100 crash in Moscow.

Though the video isn’t approach has actually re-

For example, the Points Guy blog talks about “a bold but welcome move”, while Paddle Your

Over 40 passengers died,

Canoe says that “safety

with aviation experts

advocates will no doubt

questioning whether

approve of JAL’s serious

that death toll could have


been reduced had pas-

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Another focuses on the emergency evacuation within the cabin. JAL says that:

Garuda Safety Video

The airline takes a very different approach to JAL, and instead does something which a lot of airlines have done over the past few years, by showing the safety demonstration against a backdrop of different places in Indonesia. As a result, it works both as a piece of destination marketing as well as a safety demonstration. One airline that has done this several times is Qantas. For example, the airline’s 2017 safety video welcomed passengers to “the spirit of Australia�, with the video featuring a number of Australian locations.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Another airline which has released a new safety video is Garuda, which has a new video for its Boeing 777300ER aircraft.

Airlines and the Rugby World Cup - A review

We’ve produced a summary of what (at

on Sept 20th, and as expected a number

the time of writing) different airlines have

of airlines have run marketing activity in

been doing.

support of their respective national teams.

Air New Zealand - Farewell Haka Last month we covered the new Air New Zealand safety video, which in addition to featuring the Suits (TV) show actor Rick Hoffman, saw the airline rechristened as ‘Air All Blacks’ in honour of the New Zealand Rugby team. To send the team off on their journey to Japan, around 60 Air New Zealand employees said goodbye to the All Blacks with a haka on the tarmac at Auckland International Airport.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

The Rugby World Cup kicked off in Japan

Fiji Airways Promotional videos Fiji Airways has released a promotional video / ad, entitled ‘It’s how you get there, that counts’ (see top of the page for the video), showing ordinary Fijians playing rugby and then cheering on the national team in front of the TV. Meanwhile on Facebook, the airline has been profiling different national team players via short videos.

As a Rugby Australia sponsor, Qantas brought the team to Japan in it’s special ‘Go Wallabies’ B-747. British Airways similarly has an aircraft in a special livery. A 787-Dreamliner has been given the name ‘Sweet Chariot’ (after a famous England team rugby song), which then flew the England team to Tokyo.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Qantas and British Airways Aircraft liveries

Aer Lingus Irish Rugby anime Cara takeover

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

As they set off for Japan,

about the team leaving

Aer Lingus surprised the

Dublin for Tokyo.

Irish Rugby team with their own personalised anime Cara (the in-flight magazine) covers.


Like Qantas for Australia, and British Airways for England, Aer Lingus has a special team aircraft,

The airline also uploaded

which is painted in ‘Green

a short social media video

Spirit’ livery.

Emirates - Livery and trophy

Credit - Image from Delta

line transported the trophy to Japan, and painted an A380 with a special Rugby Cup livery. Like its nearest regional competitors Etihad and Qatar Airways, Emirates is heavily invested in sports sponsorship. As well as its Rugby World Cup involvement, the airline supports the annual Dubai Rugby Sevens tournament (for which it likewise created a special livery).

Other airlines staging some kind of rugby themed activity included Air Namibia, which posted on social media about taking the national team to Japan, and Samoa Airways, which ran competitions to win rugby tickets on its Facebook page.

With the tournament running until November 2nd, we’ll have another round-up in the next edition. 23.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

The official airline of the Rugby World Cup is of course Emirates. The air-

Air Italy - Enhanced economy service

Emirates is one example of an airline

to shout about how good it’s economy

brand which believes in this approach,

cabin is, or to highlight any economy

with its ‘upgrade your airline’


campaign. In fact, as SimpliFlying

There’s still a thinking in some quarters that if your economy cabin looks too good, then you end up dissuading fliers

in an article, Emirates has actually been doing this since 1992.

from booking in the more profitable

Delta has also been proactively

premium cabins.

promoting the fact that it is improving

We think differently. If your economy cabins are worth shouting about, you should do so. It helps show how you are a quality brand across the board, and pushes the message of ‘if their economy cabin is this good, imagine how good business must be.’


founder Shashank Nigam pointed out

its international economy class service, including a better menu, welcome drinks on departure and chocolates on arrival. Meanwhile later in the magazine, we talk about JetBlue’s latest ad campaign, featuring the “Alright Brothers.”

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Not every airline has the confidence

Air Italy. In mid September, the airline announced that it was upgrading economy class meals, packaging and InFlight service for all long-haul economy class flights. This includes a “fully refreshed set of menus” and the introduction of its Le Delizie brand have been rolled out on all long-haul flights from Air Italy’s Milan Malpensa hub. Air Italy says that passengers can also look forward “to generous portions of appetizer, main course and desserts, stainless steel cutlery and a personal water bottle that offer a refined dining experience thus enhancing the overall travel experience for Economy Class passengers.”

Meanwhile, the airline says it is supporting the environment with the integration of sustainable products onboard. 25.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

The latest airline to enhance economy - and talk about it - is

Air Italy Trip Report

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

In the introduction we

who flew Air Italy

largely outside the

mentioned that a quality

business with his family

airline’s control),

economy cabin arguably

from Milan to Toronto.

Shashank felt that the

makes your business cabin more, and not less, attractive.


His trip report is on the SimpliFlying website. Although Milan-Malpensa

Testing out that theory

presented some

was Shashank Nigam

problems (something

You can read his review here.

airline “takes on-demand dining to the next level”, and praised the crew for their very high level of passenger care.

News from SimpliFlying

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019


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Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

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The AviaDev Africa podcast

magazine) appeared on the AviaDev Insight podcast, which is the first podcast devoted to the African aviation industry.

Recorded at the World Aviation Festival, Dirk talked to host Jon Howell about aviation marketing 29.

(with a focus on Africa), podcasts as a medium, and the problem of fake social media likes and followers.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Recently, SimpliFlying’s creative and content director (and the editor of this

Leverage our knowledge for calls and training

We can offer you that knowledge,

life as a benchmarking report, where

through benchmarking sessions - either

clients asked us to look at what other

remote or on site. Based on our knowl-

brands in the industry are doing. As a

edge, we can also provide guidance on

result of that, we’ve written over 1500

very specific questions.

articles on airline marketing.

Finally, we can tie that consultancy into

That’s an enormous amount of industry

our training programme. We can offer

knowledge. And that knowledge has

courses via the SimpliFlying Global Insti-

been accumulated by a team which has

tute. Or even offer personalised training

worked with close to 100 aviation brands

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over the past decade. For more information, contact Dirk Singer,


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

This publication originally started


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Differentiating your offers with Rich Content


The importance of rich content in “the attention economy”

are often confused by the

could end up losing airlines

month is ATPCO.

ever-expanding options

revenue, especially as the

presented to them, espe-

content and choices are of-

cially as services beyond the

ten being shown to passen-

actual ticket are unbundled.

gers on third party sites.

academic who originally

To take just one example,

That’s where our Sep-

coined the term, Matthew

many full service airlines

tember industry partner,

Crawford put it, “attention

now encourage passengers

ATPCO comes in. ATPCO’s

is a resource — a person

to pre-book and pay for

rich content helps airlines

has only so much of it.”

seats in economy (rather

and distributors differen-

than offering this for free).

tiate and better monetize

But even in economy you’ll

their products.

The term the attention economy has been around for over 20 years. As the

Competition for that attention online is constantly increasing. However, so is the mass of information and choices presented to

sometimes find three, four or even five options all at different price points.

It creates modern retailing solutions for airlines and sales channels by merging

consumers, especially in

There are good commercial

the industry’s most reliable,

the e-commerce and online

reasons why that’s so. How-

comprehensive fare data

shopping space.

ever, if the information isn’t

with consumer-friendly,

presented to passengers

standardized rich content.

in the right way, that con-

The result is better conver-

fusion and choice surplus

sions and higher sales.

Looking specifically at the airline industry, consumers


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Our industry partner this

In this guide we’ll look at a few different areas. 1. We’ll start by examining the research which underpins the importance of getting choice vs clarity vs relevance right.

2. We’ll then look at a few studies car-

ried out by ATPCO’s content experts. One they see actual human beings in visuals (e.g. in imagery promoting an IFE system).

To mark the start of the American College Football season, United saw an opportunity to add non-stop flights to cater to fans who want to attend the most anticipated matches. ATPCO created and deployed custom graphics that are currently live in sales channels.

3. Another identified considerable con- 6. Finally, we’ll look at some of the fusion when passengers were presented with code-share flights on a flight booking website.

4. An article by Gianni Cataldo, ATPCO’s Head of Research & Development, tackles that issue of choice and confusion, with a specific focus on the Next Generation Storefront (or NGS™ for short).

5. For a successful and recent example

of how marketing initiatives and rich content driven in-flight shopping experiences can be combined to increase revenue,


research about how Chinese travellers react to rich content, especially visuals.

This is particularly relevant in light of two announcements this year. ATPCO has signed an agreement with TravelSky, the leading provider of information technology solutions for China’s aviation and travel industry . At the same time, the largest online travel company in China, Ctrip, has signed a multi-year deal for ATPCO’s retailing content.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

showed how customers react better when

we’ve got a case-study from United.

The importance of getting the mix between clarity, choice and relevance right

this in more detail was a 2000 one done

also plenty of research that shows how

by Columbia University, where consum-

presenting consumers with too many

ers were presented with either six or 24

options that have no context can be

jams in a grocery store.

demotivating. They’ll either just select something quickly or not choose anything at all. Quite a well known study that looked at

More consumers stopped and looked at the wider selection. But far fewer ended up buying anything, just 3% versus 30% who were presented with fewer options.

And not only does more choice often depress sales, consumer satisfaction is often lower when a purchase occurs.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Choice is good, right? It is, but there’s

A study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology in 2010 found that consumers are less satisfied with a product chosen from an extended assortment than from a limited one,

Even though the 2010 study involved people choosing from a selection of pralines, there are parallels with what consumers are presented with in the aviation industry. There are choices when it comes to cabin class, seats, in-flight meals, baggage allowances, lounge access, fast track security and in-flight shopping just to name a few. And it’s not always clear as to what the end product is. The challenge for airlines is to use rich content to present this information in a way that conveys clarity not confusion. There’s also the challenge of relevance, as Jonathan Savitch, Chief Commercial Officer at ATPCO, pointed out at the recent World Aviation Festival in London. In a panel discussion involving a group of airline industry leaders, including the CEOs of Virgin Atlantic, Air Baltic and Jazeera Airways, Jonathan Savitch talked about the fact that as an airline you know a lot about your passenger, and you can tailor those choices against what you know. So, a passenger on a UK domestic flight will typically be looking for something different than one flying twelve hours to Johannesburg. What do passengers react to best? In the next article we’ve included just one of the pieces of research conducted by ATPCO, which focuses on putting people in your images when it comes to promoting things like your IFE system or in-flight food.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

“information overload causes decreased satisfaction and reducing information overload would increase satisfaction.”

Making your content real - include people When you are showing off different products or services, with a view to getting passengers to book a fare with you (or buy an ancillary product), what do people want to see? The evidence is that they want to see other people. ATPCO's content experts found this out by way of a series of passenger studies. This share some of it here.

Show people in your seats

an image like this won’t resonate

Let’s assume you are refreshing your economy cabin, something a number of airlines have been doing recently. You want to show off the various improvements, or perhaps you have installed a completely new seat. The assumption might be that showing a person in the seat gets in the way of showing off the features, but in fact ATPCO research found that actually, people want to see people.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

research is as yet unpublished in a trade publication and so we’re pleased to be able to

In two separate studies,

71% and 69%

Show people watching the IFE System The same applies to your IFE system, passengers don’t want to just see the screen, they want to see other people watching the screen.

65% and 70%

of users prefer images that show people enjoying on-board entertainment, rather than the entertainment devices alone.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

of respondents preferred to see people in those seats to make the experience more real and relatable, rather than empty seats.

Show people eating, and be specific about the menu

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Looks good, but it would work better if you showed the person and talked about what this is


Don’t assume passengers know more than we think - an example of codeshare flights Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

but who is your flight actually with?

As a reader of this magazine, you are almost guaranteed to know what a codeshare flight is. You’ll also understand the concept of booking a flight on a travel website sold by airline X, only to see a line underneath that shows it is ‘operated’ by airline Y. But many flyers still don’t know this, and sometimes even only realise that they are flying with a different airline than the one they thought they booked with when they show up at the airport.


This is according to a second study

Swiss’ and another one just showed

we’re featuring, that was carried out


by ATPCO’s merchandising strategists. This was conducted in the US among people who fly at least several times a year and with above average incomes.

80% of respondents didn’t pick up on the mention of “Operated by: Swiss.” And while 20% did notice, most of these did not fully understand the

First of all when it comes to the basic

implications. Some thought they were

question of ‘what is a codeshare flight’,

different flights altogether.

most did know but a significant minority (40%+) weren’t sure.

The same happened when respondents

However, in an earlier piece we talked

United flight ‘operated by Lufthansa’

about the importance of getting the

came up.

And so when it came to giving respondents actual live examples, many more were confused. Specifically, passengers were asked to look at a series of transatlantic flights where the fare options came from a travel booking website.

Only a quarter (27%) clearly understood that they’d find themselves on a Lufthansa aircraft. The rest either missed the reference altogether or drew the wrong conclusions from it, as one respondent said “Operated by Lufthansa, but booked through United means we should

The flights were from New York to

expect a lower price by booking

Frankfurt and Zurich. Some flights were

through United Airlines. Will carry-on

advertised as United, but were operated

baggage be accepted with enough

by Lufthansa and / or Swiss.

space in the cabin?”

For the JFK - ZRH route, respondents

In other words, this respondent imag-

were presented with the same flight on

ined that they were getting something

the same screen with the same flight

like the economy basic fare offered by

times, but with two options. One was

airlines, and that they’d have to sacrifice

sold as a United flight ‘operated by

certain features or comforts for the fare.

So what are the implications of this research? Remember, that respondents were looking at the information on third party sites.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

mix choice, clarity and relevance right.

looked at JFK-FRA options, where a

ATPCO’s team identified a number of areas that should be explored further.


should consider ways to minimize potential confusion such as joint overview UPAs (Universal Product Attributes) or better education on the airline website.

Once consumers understood that another airline would be operating the flight, they were unsure about what to do if they had queries or problems. Here, ATPCO suggested a customer service UPA describing the excellent support provided by operating carrier.


Even those who are familiar with the concept still needed reassurance around areas such as (e.g.) baggage and security. The solution here could be including or creating UPAs on those topics

Find out more about the UPA Hub The ATPCO UPA Hub creates Universal Product Attributes - rich content that showcases and brings airline products and sales to life. UPAs are targeted by aircraft, route, time of day, fare and more. Find out more here. ATPCO’s research identified consumer confusion. The next piece by Gianni Cataldo, ATPCO’s Head of Research & Development, talks about how data driven standards will help solve this problem.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019


If consumers are still unclear about what a codeshare is, airlines

By Gianni Cataldo, Head of Research & Development, ATPCO I wrote this article after returning from a few

better experience you get on a 787 (those

days in Europe, where I hit up four cities in

who know understand the benefit that a

six days.

787 delivers in terms of air pressure, light,

My domestic flights were short, so I focused

and comfort).

on economy-driven, convenient trips — all

All in all, because of my understanding and


experience of my preferred carriers, I am

For my long-haul trips I spent much more time researching the best options; I managed to get discounted business class fares

pretty pleased with the choices I made. They were not necessarily the cheapest, but they delivered great value for my needs.

that allowed me to be comfortable and

I’m a real-world example that people buying

productive while travelling.

flights need different amenities depending

I travel enough to know which carriers have the best trans-Atlantic Wi-Fi, and I also understand the difference between the business class you get on, say, a 757 versus the


on the type of trip they’re taking. I’m an industry insider, a frequent traveler, and I know my preferred airline products inside and out. I’m confident I made the right purchases. Goal accomplished.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

How data-driven standards will turn novice flight shoppers into savvy pros — and why that’s great for airlines

But what if I wasn’t an insider? The latest survey from Airlines for America states that, on average, US travelers only take three airline trips a year, split roughly 50/50 between leisure and business. Further, less than 30 percent of travelers are loyal to a brand, according to Skift survey results. How do these travelers know how to navigate the right products and choices that make sense to them?

So, if I were the typical US traveler I would

More than likely, I would only see them on

only be looking for the lowest price possi-

the carriers’ websites. I would probably be


shopping on a meta site and closing in on

I would not really understand the plethora of bundles and brands being offered.

a decision with no regard for Wi-Fi quality, plane quality, business needs, or anything besides price.

If I did try to research the brands being offered, I would be lost. How does Polaris compare to Delta One, or to Premium Select, or to Flagship? The names are confusing, the baggage fees are confusing, and I might not even realize that I have to actually make sure that I can select my seat in advance. We’re working to fix this. Every day

US carriers on stage to talk about this

consumers shopping for flights in indirect

problem at Elevate 2018. It was a wake-up

channels end up buying the wrong

call, and I am happy to report we took it.

product. That doesn’t serve anyone, traveler or airline. We had the big three


ATPCO is working with airline and channel partners to build something very cool.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

As Bob Albert said on the ATPCO elevate stage back in 2017, customers care about price, because we have given them nothing else to care about.

We’re developing standards to help fix the problem. Now, I admit that doesn’t sound all that cool, but these data-driven guidelines are the scaffolding that will support some modern shopping displays that will, shockingly, make sense to actual people.

greater depth of data around the products you are looking at, and allow you to have the same level of insights that a pro would have.

It’s called the Next Generation Storefront, or NGS™ for short. Here’s what it will do:




in shopping displays

consistently describe itinerary

system to align and group


features of an airline product

Group similar fare products

Create data standards to

Institute a common rating

This data will make it easier for consumers to find what they need, for airlines to differentiate their services and offerings, and for systems and sellers to build better shopping experiences.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

The standards will organize the data that better describes airline products so that your shopping experience will be richer, give a

Any economics major will tell you that when you increase customer choice, you also increase revenue, satisfaction, and loyalty. With over twenty years of leadership experience in global travel technology companies, Gianni is an innovative technology leader with extensive experience in curating and launching travel product solutions. Most recently, Gianni established an innovation labs strategy at ATPCO, partnering with early-stage startups and global airline brands to identify and leverage disruptive technologies, to drive new revenue streams.

The Next Generation Storefront (NGS)™ is a set of data standards that enable distribution channels to better present, sort, and find the airline products and services consumers are looking for. ATPCO and partners from every perspective are creating standards so consumers can clearly understand their diverse options in all sales channels—making them happier travelers and transforming them into loyal customers. You can read more here

For the latest developments on the Next Generation Storefront, see the September news announcement from ATPCO - ATPCO Evolves Next Generation Storefront™ Data Standard, Based on Industry Feedback


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

About the Next Generation Storefront (NGS)™

By Zachary Wynne, Manager of Airline Solutions within the Airline Retailing team, ATPCO The American college football season has begun, with universities across the USA ready to vie for on-field supremacy in this long-held US tradition. But through a peculiarity of geography, many of the games involve teams traveling between cities with limited flight connections. United Airlines saw an opportunity to add nonstop service between these cities to cater to the far-flung students, university alumni, and fans who want to attend the most anticipated matches.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Customer-centric flight shopping in practice: How ATPCO and United partnered to get sports fans to the big game

By partnering with ATPCO, United expanded its retailing reach and successfully

bridged the gap between marketing initiatives and the flight shopping experience.

ping,” explained ATPCO Senior Merchandising Strategist Darí Brooks Ahye.

“I saw the football flights promotion on social media and realized rich content would

be the perfect outlet to align the United marketing pushes with what flight shoppers are looking for.”

The ATPCO team reached for its playbook and proposed creating unique Universal Product Attributes (UPAs) with custom graphics to illustrate a sample promotion during a meeting at United’s headquarters in Chicago. Seeing the potential value of a campaign like this, United agreed to the approach and in just a few weeks, ATPCO had created and deployed custom graphics that are currently live in sales channels.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

“We’re always looking for new ways to represent branding initiatives within flight shop-

“Channel strategy was critical to this project,” Darí said. “Targeting UPAs to online travel agencies and metasearch engines helps broaden the distribution reach of United’s initiative and gets the content in front of flight shoppers as they search.” And Unittively to this approach. Just in time for the big game Hop on a direct flight between Los Angeles, CA, and South Bend, IN, with United to catch the big college football game this fall.

This partnership with United demonstrates how ATPCO is building and enhancing the foundation of a modern, customer-centric flight shopping experience. “It’s innovative of United to

ATPCO isn’t just talking

DC, to show great examples

do this,” said Darí. “So many

about the future of retailing,

of what United and others

airlines say they are trying

but is implementing it with

have done to further the

to connect with their cus-

airline and channel partners

cause of a more modern

tomers. United takes the

every single day.

retail experience for the

next step to not only understand what their customers really want, but then puts it in front of them throughout the customer journey.”


In early October, ATPCO is gathering leading innova-

flight shopper, and what’s coming next.

tors in the airline business

Learn more about how to

together at the Elevate 2019

use rich content to differen-

conference in Washington,

tiate your offer.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

ed has responded posi-

The hourglass consumer and why context matters, a look at how Chinese consumers with major Chinese travel companies TravelSky and Ctrip When it comes to rich content, as the earlier pieces explained, localisation and correctly targeting consumers by route and cultural preferences matters. As a result, here we’ll look at some of the research about how Chinese consumers react to different content types.

A salutary lesson in the dangers of assuming that Chinese consumers want what their Western counterparts want, comes from British fashion retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S). After expanding into China, M&S closed its bricks and mortars stores in 2016 and then stopped selling online last year. Why? Quoted in the South China Morning Post, Shaun Rein, managing director of China Market Research says that M&S failed to cater to consumer tastes by offering styles that were too “middle class, suburban, UK housewife�.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

This year ATPCO signed two agreements

The hourglass shopping model The other insight from the M&S example is that the brand didn’t cater to the ‘hourglass shopping model’ in China.

Chinese consumers are receptive to buying at the top and at the bottom of the scale, but not in between. Buying at the top confers prestige, and you will pay a premium for that. Buying at the middle does not. So you might as well buy something functional and cheap.

‘The War for China’s Wallet’. In his book, he talks about Chinese travellers going abroad wanting to fly business or first class - but if they can’t do that, they’ll look for a cheap ticket on an LCC. Middle priced options however won’t do so well -

“It is unlikely they will pay for premium economy seating on an airline like United — they either have the money and want to luxuriate in a topend cabin or save as much as possible by flying budget airlines.” As a result, if you are an airline, the solution would seem to be to talk something like Premium Economy as much as possible so the emphasis is on the premium and not the economy.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Shaun Rein directly looks at this when it comes to aviation and tourism in his book

ent, there are lots more characters. That

at how information is typically present-

means information on the page has to

ed for Chinese consumers online. As

be used more efficiently, and links are

this piece by Jeff Rajeck in econsultancy

often preferable to having to type out

says, to the Western eye Chinese sites


can look busy and crowded, full of text, links and animations.

Similarly, many Chinese consumers still have slower Internet speeds, that means

But as he says there is a good reason

more information per page, more links

for that. The Chinese language is differ-

and more text makes more sense.

Content is king, context is God Finally, there’s the point made by Ashley

/ seat images have Chinese passengers,

Galina Dudarenok in another econsul-

and that when showing in-flight dining

tancy piece, that while “content is king,

options, you show Asian choices you

context is god.�

have available.

Chinese consumers are very content

Do you want further information on how

driven, but that content needs to speak

rich content can be effectively localised

to them in a Chinese context. This could

for different regions / cultures? Get in

be as simple as ensuring that your cabin

touch with the ATPCO Agency team.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

The other point to remember is to look

Aviation Campaigns

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019


Air Asia - Your journey, our passion

The centre-piece is a video narrated by

In addition, the airline offered a 20%

Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir

celebratory discount during the National

Bin Mohamad and novelist and poet

Day celebration week.

Dato Sri A Samad Said. Air Asia says that the “video depicts the everyday lives of Malaysians from all walks of life striving together for a better future.” So far the video has been viewed over six million times on YouTube.


Separately, with Air Asia being the latest A321neo customer, the airline has released a ‘sneak peek’ video showing the aircraft in the Airbus paint shop.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

To celebrate Malaysia’s national Independence Day (31 August), Air Asia launched a campaign called ‘Your Journey, Our Passion.’

Air New Zealand Skycouch

one positive post by someone active on

Zealand’s ‘Skycouch’ product (where

social media can generate masses of

an economy row becomes a sleeping

positive PR.

area) has been featured extensively in English speaking news media.

It also comes as Air New Zealand

The coverage all stems from a post from

Service award at the Airline Passenger

leading Australian travel blogger, Adel

Experience Association (APEX) Awards in

Barbaro, who shared information on her

Los Angeles.

Facebook page about how the Skycouch is an excellent economy option for families.

While the Skycouch product was initially introduced in 2011, Air New Zealand has since made further enhancements to it,

Adel’s Facebook post has received 37k

including introducing a dedicated infant

comments so far, and has been featured

harness allowing infants to remain lying

in publications ranging from The Sun

down throughout the cruise phase of

to Metro, to the New Zealand Herald

flight, new infant pod, and modifications

featuring it.

to the existing Skycouch Cuddle Belt

This is obviously a prime example of how


won the APEX/IFSA Best Product or

which mean two children can share the Skycouch lying side by side.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Over the past few weeks’ Air New

Frontier Airlines Green Week Is your last name Green or Greene? If so, you would have been able to fly for free, or alFrontier Airlines in mid August, when Frontier staged ‘Green Week.’ As part of this people called Greene or Green received refunds of up to $400 when booking flights. What’s the significance of

the competition. Some of

which happens to have en-

Green? It’s of course a pri-

these are of course simply

vironmental benefits.

mary colour in the Frontier

a by-product of its business

Airlines brand.


However, as a specially built

For example, yes, Frontier

a good job in showing how

micro-site explains, the

does have relatively more

different improvements are

campaign is also designed

seats on its aircraft, and that

making a difference (e.g.

to show how Frontier is

does mean that the carbon

Frontier has stats such as

reducing its overall carbon

footprint per passenger is

that the the A320neo in-

footprint. As a result, Fron-

lower, but as an LCC, flying

troduction will result in a

tier flew a new A320neo

more people per aircraft is

50% reduction in the noise

from Denver to Greenville

simply how it operates.


Similarly, Frontier doesn’t

It’s a good example of how

Greenest Flight.’

offer an IFE system or in-

an issue like this can be

flight WiFi, which reduces

communicated in clear,

The micro-site lists various

the weight of the aircraft.

easy to understand lan-

ways in which the airline

But the reality is, this is a


claims it is ‘greener’ than

money saving measure

(get it?), North Carolina, calling it ‘America’s


However, overall the campaign and micro-site does

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

most free, with US LCC

Firefly - We are going green Frontier wasn’t the only airline to run a green-themed week.

This came as Firefly partnered with packaging giant Tetra Pak to recycle its in-flight beverage cartons. In addition to talking up its recycling efforts, the airline mentioned how its ATR aircraft are “more environmentally friendly compared to jets.” According to Marketing (Malaysia), the airline is planning further initiatives to talk up its green credentials throughout the coming year. As part of its green promotion, passengers who wore green on board were also in line to receive prizes.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

In August, Malaysian carrier Firefly Airlines changed its logo from orange to green for a week.

JetBlue - Just Alright doesn’t fly here

the Alright Brothers are

the widest seats and most

tising campaign, which

shown developing a fic-

legroom in coach of any

was released just as we

tional 1920s airline, where

US Airline.

were going to press last

their policy includes ‘ the

month, takes a stand

customer comes last’ and

against what it says is

a ‘seatbacks to kneecaps’

mediocrity in the airline

seat configuration.


Mint premium product, but as this campaign shows, the airline also has

The ads then cut to Jet-

the confidence to shout

The starting point of the

Blue staff today expressing

about high standards in

campaign is a series of

amazement that this is


fictional carriers called

how standards in the rest

“The Alright Brothers.”

of the industry took off.

The campaign ads all claim that after the Wright Brothers took aviation to new heights, the Alright Brothers brought it back down to new lows in 1920.


JetBlue of course has a

In the campaign videos,

As we mentioned in the earlier Air Italy article, not

The JetBlue campaign

all airlines do this, some-

comes as the airline re-

times thinking that they’ll

styles its Airbus A320

cannibalize business or

aircraft, and just before

first class sales. But actu-

the first A321neo comes

ally promoting economy

into service. JetBlue says

helps put a quality stamp

that these aircraft will have

across your whole brand.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

JetBlue’s latest adver-

Jetstar - Win a year in the clouds

Jetstar Australia, which

Appreciation Society has

pliFlying, we became

has launched a ‘win a year

additionally recorded a

aware of a phenomenon

in the clouds’ competition

video for Jetstar Australia,

called Cloud Spotting,

(a year in the clouds, be-

promoting the art of cloud

with its own Cloud Appre-

ing a year’s free flights).

spotting, and announcing

ciation society and conference. We advised a few partner airline clients that

meteorologist Jane Bunn,

the fact that he will be judging the entries.

the mechanic is fairly

The mechanic is simple,

straight-forward. Aus-

the link to air travel obvi-

tralians are being asked

ous, and the prize is one

to post their best cloud

that people will actively

At the time no one went

photos onto Facebook or

want. As a result at the

for it, but another carrier

Instagram using the hash-

time of writing there had

has since independently

tag #Jetstarclouds.

been well over 6000 im-

this could be a good starting point for a marketing campaign.

also identified this group and trend and developed activity around it. Namely


Launched by Australian TV

Gavin Pretor-Pinney, the founder of the Cloud

ages posted to Instagram using the hashtag.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Several years ago at Sim-

Kulula - 18th birthday

Recently Kulula celebrated

areas being decked out in

its 18th birthday, with Au-

green in honour of Kulula,

gust being designated the

and passengers being sur-

airline’s birthday month.

prised with gifts and prizes

Different elements of the


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Shashank Nigam’s book ‘SOAR’ looks at eight exceptional airline brands, one of which is South African LCC Kulula.

on board.

and car rental vouchers. In tandem with its birthday month promotion, Kulula also ran a competition celebrating the role of its female

celebration included a

However, the centre-piece

employees, featuring indi-

birthday sale, celebrity vid-

of the month was a com-

vidual staff stories. Social

eos congratulating Kulula

petition where fans had to

media fans were encour-

on its birthday (e.g from the

show (by way of images,

aged to share stories about

Titans cricket team, which

video etc) how they had cel-

women who they found

signed a partnership deal

ebrated their 18th birthday.

inspiring, for a chance to

with the airline), airport

Prizes included flight, hotel

win travel vouchers.

London City Airport is currently in the process of under-going an expansion, with a view to handling 6.5 million passengers by 2025.


In tandem with that, the air-

Titled, ‘Destination Lon-

In 2020, The Line will cele-

port has announced that it

don’, the artwork will be

brate its fifth anniversary

is supporting East London’s

curated by ‘The Line.’ The

with several new installa-

creative talent to commis-

Line is a public art walk run-

tions and commissions, of

sion a new, site-specific

ning between the Queen

which Destination London

installation to welcome

Elizabeth Olympic Park and

is the first to be announced.

arriving passengers.

The O2.

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Photo - a ‘future airport’ image from London City Airport

London City Airport Destination London

MIA gets ‘more Miami’

Messages from the celebrities, welcoming passengers to their home city, are being played in rotation at 30 minute intervals over the airport’s public announcement system. The celebrities involved include basketball stars Alonzo Mourning and Udonis Haslem along with Grammy-winning recording artist Willy Chirino and singer and telenovela star Jencarlos Canela. The initiative is also being promoted with digital signage and ads.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Miami Airport has recruited ten local celebrities to, in the words of the Miami Herald, “make the hub a kinder, gentler place.”

Singapore Airlines Seattle sounds even better now

Airlines has released a music track filled with ambient sounds recorded on an A350-900. The track, a creative collaboration between SIA and Seattle-based artist Chong the Nomad, is part of an SIA campaign titled “Seattle Sounds Even Better Now”. The instrumental track, titled “Non-Stop”, features a seamless arrangement of A350 aircraft and cabin sounds– the roar of the engine, clink clinks from silverware, the seatbelt click, the ding of the flight attendant button and the welcome from cabin crew. Other sounds, including taps on the tyres of the A350’s nose-wheel or the whirrs and ratchets of cockpit controls, are embedded in the mix as beats and bass. Singapore Airlines has released the track on Spotify, as well as producing a behind the scenes video showing how it was created.


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

To celebrate the launch of its non-stop Singapore / Seattle flights, Singapore

Virgin Atlantic Dream Gap Project

up with Barbie UK to create

cancelling headphones.

five years old, many girls

three special edition dolls.

The cabin crew doll wears

start to develop self-limiting beliefs. Because of their gender, they stop

dolls have been designed

the red Virgin Atlantic Vivienne Westwood uniform.

in the likeness of real Virgin

The pilot and cabin crew

Atlantic uniforms and show

dolls will be on sale on-

ethnic and body diversity,

board and in select stores

This was the thinking

reflecting the body types

later this year.

behind the ‘Dream Gap

available in the Barbie line.

believing that they can do or be anything.

Project’ by Barbie, a glob-

Virgin’s collaboration with

The pilot doll has articulat-

Barbie is part of a wider

ed ankles and flat shoes

initiative at the airline to

and wears a pilot’s uniform,

encourage more females

complete with wings and

in STEM (science, tech-

badge. The engineer doll

nology, engineering and

As part of this initiative,

wears flat safety boots, an

mathematics) and aviation

Virgin Atlantic has teamed

access lanyard and noise


al initiative that gives girls the encouragement and resources to believe they can be anything.


Virgin Atlantic says that the

Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

From as soon as they are

Brands featured in this issue Aer Lingus Air Italy Air New Zealand ATPCO British Airways Emirates Fiji Airways Firefly Frontier Airlines Garuda JAL JetBlue Jetstar Kulula London City Airport Lufthansa Miami Airport Qantas SAS Singapore Airlines Virgin Atlantic


Airline Marketing Monthly | September 2019

Air Asia