Archive for the 'marketing' Category

Air Asia Airbus in Williams F1 Livery

AirAsia WilliamsF1 livery Airbus A320 - by

AirAsia is a sponsor of the Williams F1 team, and has recently extended the 3 year contract. As the 2008 Formula-1 championship was kicked off a week ago in Melbourne, Australia, the second round is arriving to Kuala Lumpur for the coming weekend. To mark the Malaysian Grand Prix and the sponsorship with Williams, AirAsia has painted one of its Airbus A320’s into a special, Williams F1 livery.

The aircraft, whose livery is an exact look-alike of the AT&T Williams racing car, with Williams’ traditional racing colours of blue and white, whilst the ‘nose’ of the aircraft is designed to look like Nico Rosberg’s racing helmet. At the belly of the aircraft you can also find painted Bridgestone tyres in the front and in the aft part as well. The aircraft (new registration number: 9M-AFW) was named ‘Sir Frank Williams’ in tribute to Sir Frank Williams, Team Principal of Williams.

Nico Rosberg said: “It has been incredible to see the AT&T Williams livery on AirAsia’s plane. I’m delighted that the design of my helmet, which I have been racing with all my life, has been used to create a lasting tribute to the team’s partnership with Air Asia.” Kazuki Nakajima has added: “I am very impressed at how well the Williams Toyota FW30’s design has translated to the SFW30 Airbus. I think we would all like to thank AirAsia for this great venture and we are proud to be associated with the Airline of the Year 2007. This is indeed a source of inspiration to both of us going into the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend.”

A high resolution picture of the plane on by Rajesh Changela:

Link to for the Large photo

by balint01


Low Cost Airline Marketing at AirTran

As I reported earlier in a flight review, I have flown with Atlanta based AirTran about a month ago. Being an airline enthusiast I have kept my eyes open all the way through the booking/boarding/flying experience. I found some of their marketing tools very smart, and some even unrivaled, and have decided to share these impressions and these marketing tricks with you in an article, so here it goes.

A) When arriving to the airport, you may check-in using their ByePass Check-in Kiosks, which offer the possiblity to already purchase drinks for your flight and receive the vouchers, which onboard you can exchange for an alcoholic drink in economy class.
Smart! Less worries for the flight attendants, less change to be carried around, happier passenger who knows while boarding that they will get a nice beer or cocktail, and may sell the drinks easier after all.

B) They offer a few “Rebooking Area“s around the terminal, where you can rebook your flight. The simple, easy to understand text on the huge poster reads: “Enter here to rebook reservation. / Pick up phone. Agent will assist you. / Go to kiosk. Print new boarding pass.
Smart! Sounds very easy, makes the people believe they can do it (it’s simple), and it’s cost effective, AirTran only has to have a few booking agents in a far away, cheap location answering phones, instead of renting high-price ticketing location at the airport, and hire lots of ticketing agents around all locations. And I saw a few people talking on the phone, so it works, too.

C) Business Class advertisements. Even though AirTran is classified as a low-cost airline, they offer business class on all of their flights. A very cool, again simple worded molino I have seen several times around the terminals/gates reads the following: “Affordable Business Class on every flight. / More room. Free drinks. Less explaining yourself to accounting. / Book at
I found it’s a very smart idea to point out a step of a business flight, that most airlines don’t care about: expense reporting to accounting! 🙂 Great way to influence passengers, smart again!

D) At most of the gates, or in between two gates in the waiting area you can find small Coffee Stations, with the following text: “Free coffee. See, we’re always finding ways to save you money. /
Really smart! Another great tool, people feel that a low-cost airline is actually delivering some extra service: coffee on the ground, before the flight (!) which traditional airlines have never offered outside their business lounges. So they pay less, get more, and AirTran makes sure that all passengers realize this with the text shown above. Small costs, big image building, effective!

E) Programs: Co-branded A+ Visa Card, A+ Rewards program for frequent fliers, and my favorite: AirTran U – specially designed for people between ages 18-22, offering standby flights, therefore selling the seats which otherwise remained unsold, in the last minute before the flight closes ( They even give half credits if the student is a member of the A+ Rewards program!
Most of the other low-costs simply do not worry about cargo, but AirTran uses the cargo holds of its Boeing 717 and 737 fleet by offering cargo services to its customers.
Smart again, using all capacity as much as possible, selling unsold seats at the last minute (with AirTran U), thus reducing losses.

F) My “favorite,” dumbest marketing tool, which may still work, though: the Gourmet Pretzel packaging. While onboard, you receive a small package of pretzels. The basic situation is the following: you’re bored onboard, finally receive the pretzels and start to open the bag. But then you take a look at the bag: what exactly will I eat? And you find the following text on the top side: “How to eat Gourmet Pretzels on a low fare airline. (see back for complete details).” – Just in case somebody would not turn to the back, they place another message at the bottom: “Book at for our lowest fares and no booking fees.” Just so that you know. But let’s see the back of the package for complete details:

How To Eat Gourmet Pretzels - AirTran

In the same style as any other packaging, they placed the following text on the left top side of the back of the packaet:
Eating Instructions
1. Think about our wonderful low fares at as you open packet.
2. Place pretzel in mouth. With each crunch, be reminded of our low fares.
3. As you swallow, remember again just how low the fares are.
4. Repeat until pretzel packet is empty.
5. Keep empty packet to remind yourself to book at for our lowest fares and no booking fees.

Then comes the Nutrition Facts, which are normal.
Pathetic! I was just amazed how an airline can give their name to such a cheesy, baby-like advertising and marketing tool, it’s amazing. But to be honest, I have read it, so maybe other passengers read it as well, and it may work in the end. But I just find it the most dumb marketing text in the airline business ever…

Of course, everywhere they place the “” logo, instead of a simple AirTran Airways logo, so you meet with the website address everywhere and you will never forget it (engines on the planes, flight details screen at the gate, any communication material, pretzels, etc.).

And their slogan is: “Go. There’s nothing stopping you.” Not advertising how great their services are, or how high they fly, but urging people to simply “Go.”, or “travel” in other words, which will most probably include a flight. A flight with AirTran. Good general marketing job guys, only those pretzels…!

by balint01

Happy Birthday, KLM!

A nice press release from the 88 year-old Dutch airline company:

A new KLM Delft Blue house is being issued to mark our 88th anniversary on October 7. The building selected to be the 88th KLM House is ‘t Lootsje on the Rozengracht in Amsterdam. The Delft Blue miniature houses are all replicas of historical Dutch buildings and are filled with Bols Jonge Jenever. The first “House 88” will be presented by Bart Vos, EVP Inflight Services, to Mr. Huub van Doorne, CEO Lucas Bols.

From 1575, ‘t Lootsje on the Rozengracht, Amsterdam, was the home of the Bols liqueur and jenever distillery and tasting room. Bols is the oldest Dutch company still operating and the world’s oldest distillery brand.

The Delft Blue houses have been presented by KLM to our World Business Class passengers on intercontinental flights since the 1950s. Since 1994, the number of houses in the collection has matched the age of KLM. Every year a new house is added to the collection and they have become popular collectables both at home and abroad.

History of ‘t Lootsje

Lucas Bols headed the Bols company between 1678 and 1719 and turned it into an internationally renowned brand. As a major shareholder in the Dutch East India Company (VOC) he had first choice of exotic herbs and spices which he used to make almost 300 different liqueurs and jenevers.
The drinks became so popular that the company had to keep expanding, buying the buildings on either side. In 1892 a canopy appeared above the entrance to the tasting room ‘t Lootsje and the neck gable became a stepped gable. A decade later Eduard Cuypers designed a long facade for all the Bols buildings. The front of the tasting room at No. 99 remains unchanged to the present day.

Source: KLM

By Szafi 

Smart Gift for Online Bookers at KLM

KLM has launched a new promotion, which is very-very smart and other airlines should take the idea and come up with similar campaigns in my opinion. So what is it and why is it so great?

Easy Boarding Bag by KLM

Good for the passenger: Free gift. It’s always good for the passenger when they receive something free, of course. And this gift is an “Easy Boarding Bag”, a very practical gift. It’s one of those bags that we all need to use in our hand luggages when boarding a plane or each time we go through security at an airport. I started using such a bag last October when these new regulations were introduced all around the EU and it worn out by Christmas. Then I bought a pack of 3 better quality bags, for EUR 1.5 that have a tougher zip and are made of tougher material. One of them is getting worn out by now again… And in case you’re not traveling that much, you would not want to buy such a bag, and would not have all those small packs and portions of toiletries at hand by default. You would have to go to a specialized beauty store (as the standard packages are bigger than 100 ml in most cases), which takes time, money and extra effort before you travel and have a thousand of other things to think about already… So besides being a free gift, this gift makes your life easier! It takes away the hazzle to search for these toiletries, for such a bag, etc. AND in this campaign you get it before you travel, so you can be SURE that you don’t need to deal with these things at all, KLM has done it for you.

Good for the airport: More passengers will come to the security checks with the already prepared, standard and acceptable toiletrie bags, which speeds up the checks.

Good for the cosmetics company: Rituals is the cosmetics company that provides the toiletries to these bags. It’s a great promotion for them, they reach out for a target group that has money available and this way receives a free trial collection of all products bascially!

Good for the airline: As they have connected this free gift to online booking, the online booking engine will get more traffic, and maybe passengers will try it out, who have not used it before, thus the (cheapest) online sales channel gets promoted. And of course customer loyalty raises as well, as people will talk about “the free gift bag I got from KLM” before their travel (“how nice it is that I don’t need to worry about all these small toiletries, they just gave them to me”), and if they are visiting family/friends, it could easily be brought up there too, especially if they share bathroom! 🙂

So this is a very wise promotion, all players win from it, congratulations to whoever came up with this idea at KLM! (If the person may read this article, please drop us a comment!)

by balint01

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