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India has always been an important destination for British Airways, now more than ever.

Today we have a look at some current marketing initiatives..

India is one of the most important markets for British Airways. It is the airline’s second largest market globally with connections from five key cities in India 48 times a week to over 500 destinations around the world.  British Airways has been flying to India for around 85 years.

photo of BOAC poster India

How a campaign used to look

The “Go Further to Get Closer” campaign, was launched on Valentine’s Day and narrated the story of how British Airways helped Sumeet Gupta surprise his wife and made it possible for them to get closer.

The premise of the  story is that surprise and love go hand in hand and of how British Airways helped him surprise his wife Chetna by giving them an opportunity to escape from daily distractions and get closer to each other.

“Go Further to Get Closer”, produced by Ogilvy India, is an emotional campaign and shows how British Airways’ marketing strategy for India focuses on introducing India centric naratives to create an emotional and meaningful connection with the younger audience.  The campaign is based on the view that affluent young couples today have fallen into the trap of making work their top priority in life, and that this focus is takes a toll on their personal relationships as they are unable to spend enough quality time with their partners. But a solution for this is to travel internationally to see their family and friends.

In December 2013 in what was another inovative move, BA brought Silent Picturehouse in Mumbai- A three day film extravaganza to commemorate 100 years of Indian cinema. Launched in London in 2010, British Airways’ Silent Picturehouse created a unique cinematic experience, screening three films on three screens, combining the in-flight entertainment experience with the traditional cinema environment.

Viewers were able to tune in to their movie of choice from the available options using wireless headphones thus immersing themselves completely in the world of film. This was the first time that ‘Silent Picturehouse’ was launched in an international market outside the UK.

As part of the marketing campaign to promote the UK globally, the GREAT Big British Invite, British Airways and VisitBritain in February 2013 hosted a four-day grand event at the Phoenix Mall in Mumbai showcasing British fashion, music, heritage among others in the form of pop-up stores in true British style. The activity reportedly generated great amount of interest among the people of Mumbai.

 

British Airways is to increase its Cape Town flights from May 2014

BA will add three extra flights per week to its schedule from May to October which corresponds with Winter in the Southern Hemisphere taking flights up to 10 per week.

The change comes after South African Airways decided to halt its Heathrow-Cape Town service in August 2012 due to a lack of demand.

BA is currently operating a double-daily service between the two cities during the busy October to May summer season in South Africa.

British Airways today launched “Yourope”, like ‘Europe’ but ‘Yourope’ (geddit?) a ‘choose your own adventure’ digital campaign that is intended to inspire travelers with new ideas for travel to popular European destinations, including Barcelona, Paris, Rome and Berlin.

Love Paris BA launches Yourope

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves

BA says “We know our customers have different tastes and different motivations for travel so we designed a campaign that would celebrate those different perspectives. We believe the adventures in each Yourope video will provide new ideas for even the most seasoned traveler”

A video series now live on ba.com provides travelers with two entry points to a city via an airport check-in kiosk, for example ‘classic or curious’ Paris and ‘posh or punk’ Berlin. The viewer can then download the itinerary and view available travel packages to inspire their own trip to the city.

The lovely videos were directed by Brandon LaGanke, a winner at the 2013 Emerging Directors Showcase in Los Angeles. The city adventures are choreographed to tracks by emerging artists including “The Chase” by Groenland (Montreal, Canada), “I Can’t Sleep at Night” by The Deadly Snakes (Toronto, Canada), “Midas Touch” by Bourbon Rose (UK), “Dynamite” by The Measels (California, USA), “Getcha Good” by Jenn Grant (Canada), “The Stroke of Return” by Big Data (Brooklyn, NY), “Summer Rain” by Tiger Love (London, England), and “Get Up & Go” by Broadcast 2000 (London, England).

So the music is cool and the videos really work reminding the writer of a children’s book where you have a choice about what happens to the characters and thus the path the book takes.

In the forthcoming weeks, a full on social media campaign is on its way. British Airways will be launching six second postcards through Vine, featuring a snapshot of each city. People will be able to view the videos and create their own versions. In addition Pinterest boards will be designed for each European destination showcasing the beautiful scenery, incredible landmarks, and hidden gems in each city.

We aren’t exactly sold on the ‘Yourope’ bit. To us it reads like ‘You’ ‘rope’. What has rope got to do with travel? Nice videos though…

The British Airways officially closed the Zambia route on Saturday after Having announced the route closure a month ago, yesterday 27 October 2013, saw the suspension of the tri-weekly service to Lusaka.

While the Lusaka route has been suspended the traffic in other countries by the British Airways has increased, and BA continues to serve East Africa with a daily service to Nairobi and a thrice weekly service to Entebbe, increasing to four times a week from the start of the summer schedule 2014.

airlineBA777flying3British Airways has announced that it will be reducing capacity on flights between London Heathrow & Bangkok by replacing the existing 747-400 with a 747-200. While the 747-000 has a seating capacity of some 339 spread across all 4 classes (First, Club World, World Traveller Plus & World Traveller), the 777-200 to be used on this route has just 275 seats and no First Class, ie 48 seats in Club World, 24 Seats in World Traveller Plus and 203 seats in World Traveller. As well as changing aircraft, British Airways has also changed the timings of the flights. Whereas the existing flights are both overnight services, the new outbound fight ex London will still be overnight but departing at 15:05 instead of 22:05 (arriving Bangkok at 09:20 the following morning) while the return flight ex Bangkok will be a morning service departing at 10:55 and arriving back in London at 16:55 the same day.

Heathrow Terminal 5Despite the reduction in capacity, it’s not all bad news for fans of British Airways. While the current service operates out of Terminal 3, the new service, which commences on 27th October, will operate from and to the airline’s main base at Terminal 5, thereby offering passengers much easier connections to the airline’s extended route network as well as far more pleasant surroundings. With the airline already having switched its Sydney & Singapore services from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5, from this November it could be that all British Airways long-haul flights from Heathrow operate out of Terminal 5.

new wtThe other point worth making is that some of British Airways fleet of 747-400 aircraft really are beginning to show their age (hence the recent spate of new aircraft orders from the airline) and British Airways have already said that they will not be retro-fitting the aircraft with their new World Traveller & World Traveller Plus cabins. Hopefully, the 777-200 operating to Bangkok will be one of the aircraft that will be retro-fitted; alternatively, it could even be that this switch to the 777-200 is only temporary and that British Airways introduce their new 787 Dreamliner on the route next summer.


Although no explanation has been given by the airline, it would seem that Bangkok is now primarily a leisure destination (as opposed to the more business orientated routes of London to Hong Kong & Singapore for example) and the airline has been struggling to compete against more competitive Gulf carriers, such as Emirates, who have added significant capacity to the route. By operating the far more efficient 777-200, British Airways will probably carry a similar number of passengers as before but with higher loads and lower costs.