Keeping your customers happy is a key facet of running a well-respected, profitable business. But…
In modern age of transportation, air travel is a highly sought after service and the airline brands are the top dogs of business. Quite naturally it brings a lot of competition to the industry and it is true that operating an airline is not a job for the weak hearted businessman. Well, airline brands may constantly try to up their game to beat their competitors, some of these brands have set their niche in luxury, customer service and efficiency. We take a look at some of the very popular airline brands to find out what’s their secret of success.
- British Airways – British Airways was formed in 1974 by UK government by merging two international airlines and two regional air carriers operating out of Briton. You may not have been a fan of British Airways in the past, but this airline brand has managed to obscure its previous image (of bad service) with the launch of the A780 and A387. The new advertising campaigns which promises great improvement, and with the high marketing campaigns they run smoothly all around the world. British Airways has a distinction to be one of the first commercial airline to offer supersonic transatlantic travel on their fabled Concord planes which are out of service now since 2003. Currently they are the biggest operators of Boeing 747s. British airways has invested remarkably in their branding so far as launching their global advertising campaigns and buying their website domain name ba.com which was previously owned by Bell Atlantic. This 40 year old English airline is still going strong.
- Virgin Atlantic – Virgin Atlantic was established in 1984 by Randolph Fields and Alan Hellary. Since the beginning, Virgin Atlantic is the leader in the field of commercial air travel with no major accident history. As the competition got stronger and bigger, Virgin Atlantic maintained its plus points making people feel proud and safe to fly with them. After Richard Brandson picked up the stakes of Fields, he made sure that his trademark maverick image got embedded in the airline. When it comes to airline branding, anyone should take lessons from Virgin. From bright red uniforms to catering the high flyer experience, this airline is a statement to the times. One example is its Heathrow Upper Class Lounge & clubhouse. Many other airlines are working hard in providing luxurious services to their passengers in less cost but people still feel good with 787s on order and A380′s of it. Virgin Atlantic has chance to win their pace back with their new big Delta behind them.
- Singapore Airlines – This Asian airline has a long history dating back to 1947 when it came into existence by the acquisition of Malayan Airways Limited by the Ocean Steamship Company of Liverpool. Singapore airline or SIA has been very successful in their branding. Their products are slick and comes with innovation in design, while travelling with them gives a sense of luxury. Contrary to most airlines which focus on their fleet and services in their promotional campaigns, SIA has marketed their staff. The very well known cabin crew of Singapore Airlines, popularly called the ‘Singapore Girls’ have added a personality to this airline. This airline’s strength is not only in it’s people focused services but also pioneering advances in technology. Singapore Airlines was the launch customer of Airbus A380, currently the world’s largest and biggest passenger aircraft. Singapore Airlines only had two bad incidents in it’s entire history, one in 1991, where its Airbus A310-300 was hijacked by Pakistani militants and other in 2000 when Boeing 747-400 crashed during take-off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport.
- Turkish Airlines – This old airline is a testament of a nation’s struggle and coming of age. Began in 1933 as a military carrier, Turkish Airlines has seen a lot of ups and downs. During the second world war, this airline began operating as a domestic transport and eventually after 1947 it started expanding it’s services across borders. It earned bad reputation during 1980’s and 90s for bad service and delays. Also several accidents and hijackings further deteriorated their good will. In 2000s the airline began serious efforts in turning around their image with new fleet and branding. The booming tourism in Turkey and economic stability as a member of EU also brought fresh life to the airline. Turkish Airlines has been very successful at sports sponsorship with all the well known football clubs of Europe.
- Emirates – Emirates was founded in 1985 by the Government of Dubai’s Investment Corporation of Dubai. While the airline brand hasn’t done much in bringing new products or services except providing A380 to more and more destinations but the super luxury, five star services are enough to sway the high flying customers. Emirates has capitalized its service quality and their tagline ‘Fly Emirates’ is almost always accompanied by the visual imagery that suggests this airline is committed to make you feel like home with flat beds and bars. In fact, this fits with Emirates because the airline is a major promoter of Dubai as a tourism destination. Emirates is also very popular for their Air hostess’s unique dress uniforms. Lately, many European airlines find Emirates as a very strong competitor due to it’s aggressive strategy and financial performance.
Malaysian Airlines in 2014
Malaysian Airlines is probably the most unfortunate airline brand in the history. Formed in 1947, this airline shares a history with Singapore Airlines. Although it showed some promise with the booming Malaysian tourism in 2000s, it suffered many hiccups. Their controversial decision to ban children from travelling in certain classes caused uproar among passengers.
In 2014, Malaysia Airlines lost two Boeing 777 airplane within five months, with more than 500 passengers and crew lost leaving no evidence behind. Flight 370 disappeared unknowingly in Southern Indian Ocean with 239 persons aboard whereas Flight 17 crashed in eastern Ukraine with 298 passengers and crew died. It is assumed that surface-to-air missile hit it accidentally.
After these two incidents, Malaysia airlines collapsed completely. On one side this brand is battling with their investors and on the other side facing people’s anger through social media. Recently, company issued their plan in which they are planning to eliminate 6000 jobs in turnaround effort. Malaysian Airline has much extra staff per plane than any other airline brand. Moreover, it has put out a large portion of it’s fleet for sale or lease in an effort to raise capital. So, it’s like the company is still trying to give another shot to making it work which will need around $1.9 billion. Let’s see what the future holds for this airline.
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