Airline Branding | Giving the steel bird a face…

PhotobucketWhen talking about the spectacular growth of LCCs (Budget Carriers), it’s interesting to note that they have turned the airline industry completely upside down. Their impact has been felt by both passengers (more of mankind can now afford to fly), playing a part in fueling global tourism, while wreaking havoc to full service airlines, who have had to change their own strategy and not give in to the price war. Although some full service airlines have actually succumbed to this reality.

Globally, low-cost carriers have been the industry’s success story over the past decade, with their market share rising from 8% of all seats sold in 2001 to nearly 26% this year, according to the Centre for Aviation.

Budget airlines have largely focused on short- to medium-haul routes, with their success in winning passengers through low fares forcing many full-service “legacy carriers” to launch their own low-cost options in response.

But I choose to focus on the budget airliners Brand Strategy, some of which are truly unique, and never have been done before. Humor, informality, and fun are used by quite a number of budget airliners. This is a direct attempt to position them AWAY from full-service airlines, which are – by way of their history – more conservative, stoic, less flexible, more formal. Budget Airlines have the luxury of getting away with their unqiue and unorthodox approach. Here’s a look at some:

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Bangkok-based LCC, Nok Air [L]; German Wings, Berlin-bound flights. The bear is the City of Berlin’s mascot.

He said Asia was a logical market for long-haul budget carriers to succeed, as a natural outgrowth of the low-cost short-haul carriers that had proliferated in the region in response to deregulation of the aviation industry.

“You’ve got an emerging and growing middle class in Asia, with increasing aspiration and ability to travel,” said Cowen. “It’s also an extremely price-conscious market.”

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The Big Cheese’s steel bird awaits! South African LCC, Kulula Airlines [L]; Nok Air, Thailand.

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Bangkok-based LCC, Nok Air [L]; German Wings (Baden-Württemberg route), photo: flickr member: Forty Two Indeed

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German Wings [L]; US Airways’ tribute to the old PSA (Pacific Southwest Airlines) that merged into US Airways when PSA was acquired in 1995. PSA is one of the four heritage airlines that form US Airways, together with America West Airlines, Piedmont Airlines, and Allegheny Airlines[R]. In many respects, PSA is considered as a pioneer of Budget Airlines, long before the industry even existed. PSA was also known for its friendly service, and a “smile” painted on every aircraft’s “face”.


The now-defunct Mexicana, following its rebranding, which left it looking like Sea World’s Shamu, and for a more authentic Shamu, here’s Southwest’s version (for San Diego bound flights, home of Sea World, where Shamu resides) [R].

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German Wings‘ Bear, the mascot of Berlin. This design was used for Berlin-bound flights. Photo credit: flickr member Callidus80 [L]; Japan Airlines promoted the Disney Parks in Tokyo with this livery design.

Inspiration: Jaunted; The Ambassablog; Flugzeug Bild; Airline World; Travel Ripple’s Web

About dianhasan

Brand Storyteller, Travel Writer, Speaker, Creative Writer & Thinker - avid observer of randomness in everyday life - Sustainable Business, Eco Matters, Sustainable Urban Issues, Architecture, Heritage Conservation, Innovation & Brand-Strategy, Cross-Cultural Communications, Travel, Tourism & Lifestyle.
This entry was posted in Germany, Mexico, South Africa, Thailand, USA and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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