South African Airways’ ‘Extreme Fares’ campaign has seen record January 2013 figures for the airline in the UK, with revenue up 70% year-on-year across some channels.
The unprecedented growth in January bookings follows the recent launch of SAA’s targeted winter adventure travel marketing campaign. This saw the airline partner with adventurer Charley Boorman for his recent four-part TV series ‘Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure’ that aired on Channel 5 and showcased South Africa’s ultimate experiences throughout January.
The country was also in the spotlight last month on the BBC thanks to David Attenborough’s ‘Africa’ show. Both shows generated interest that SAA capitalised on.
Jon Danks, Head of UK & Ireland Marketing and Communications, said: “The integrated campaign ran across key digital, print, and social media channels, anchored to the range of adventures showcased in both shows. Our tie-up with Charley and Channel 5 presented a cost-effective broadcast solution alongside great support from partners such as Lonely Planet and tourist boards from across Southern Africa.”
SAA’s UK January growth is even more impressive given that in January last year it flew direct to both Johannesburg and Cape Town, since when it has dropped the direct service to Cape Town to focus on its network. The new campaign focused on the wide range of destinations across Southern Africa accessible via SAA’s Johannesburg hub. The TV show has been hailed a success by broadcaster Channel 5 with nearly four million people in the UK watching, in turn engaging with SAA’s brand.
Gary Kershaw, SAA’s General Manager UK & Ireland, said: “The campaign was another stage in SAA re-positioning the brand in the UK following our re-launch last October. It had an immediate effect on bookings, with SAA’s UK online revenue 70% higher during the January campaign period, alongside some strong reported numbers through our trade partners.”
Last October Gary Kershaw unveiled a new commercial and marketing team to lead the airline forward in the UK and Ireland, which included many high profile individuals with several decades of combined experience working in the aviation industry, including Liam Quinn, Business Development Manager; Jon Danks, Head of UK Marketing and Communications; and Stephen Gerrard, Commercial Manager.
Gary added: “I am delighted with our start to the new year. We set a goal to be the best aviation commercial team in the UK & Ireland bar none and the new team are working hard to build key relationships to put SAA firmly back on the map.”