Saturday, December 12, 2009

AirAsia Most Popular Airline Online

09 December 2009

Success in innovation, promo fares mark 8th anniversary bash

AirAsia is now the most popular airline in the world on giant social networking site Facebook, surpassing all other airlines – even all other transport companies – in terms of fan numbers.

The achievement caps AirAsia’s 8th year anniversary celebration today and highlights the airline’s innovative spirit that has led to its successful foray in new media and social networking. AirAsia’s achievement on Facebook at http://facebook.airasia.com comes only nine months after the airline launched its account. AirAsia leads over all other airlines with a fan base of approximately 100,000.

Meanwhile, the airline’s website airasia.com attracts 20 million unique visitors per month, http://blog.airasia.com is ranked as the world’s second most popular blog site by an airline, and AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes’s blog http://tonyfernandesblog.com is the most popular in Malaysia by a corporate leader. The airline’s blog site, launched in September 2008, registers an average of 55,000 unique visitors per month. Tony’s blog was launched a month afterwards.

The airline’s high rankings reflect its massive appeal across the globe. Facebook is the world’s leading social networking site, and it ranks second only to Google in website popularity across all categories.

AirAsia has attracted large followings on its other new media and social networking sites that include http://youtube.com/amazingairasia, which showcases AirAsia videos; http://twitter.com/airasiadotcom, which has 15,500 followers and provides updates on news as it happens; and http://flickr.com/airasia, which posts AirAsia photos. Tony’s own http://twitter.com/tonyfernandes has approximately 6,500 followers. YouTube, Twitter and Flickr are the world’s 4th, 14th and 32nd most popular websites, respectively, according to independent internet site ranking provider alexa.com.

AirAsia’s spirit of innovation has been a large component in its success and greatly differentiates it from other companies. It has put in place a strong Innovation, Commercial and Technology team to spearhead its initiatives in new media and keep up with technological trends. This focus on innovation has earlier seen AirAsia become the first airline in the world to allow mobile booking via SMS and to succeed, through its affiliate AirAsia X, in running low-cost long-haul flights.

Tony said, “AirAsia’s culture of innovation called on us to explore and fully utilize new media and social networking as communication and marketing tools. By adopting these, we ride on technology to very quickly and conveniently give tens of thousands of people constant up-to-the-minute updates about AirAsia. In turn, these people – social networkers – help us tremendously by spreading word about our services and providing feedback for our improvement. We’ve been directly interacting with people from all around the world, including those from places we don’t fly to yet, such as the United States.”

In a pleasant surprise for the airline, followers from the U.S. came up as the fifth biggest fan group on facebook.airasia.com. The biggest fan group is from Malaysia, followed by Indonesia, Thailand and Australia.

AirAsia’s new media and social networking ventures – launched to support the airline’s branding, marketing and communications strategies – have been warmly received by the public. AirAsia’s online projects, such as the So You Wanna be a Pilot campaign, generate mass appeal. The campaign, recognized by major media around the globe for its innovation, ran from March to mid-April this year and called for those interested in becoming pilot trainees to post their applications by blogging on AirAsia’s blog site. Three applicants who posted blogs were chosen as pilot trainees.

“New media and social networking have become integral parts of AirAsia’s growth. They help in our initiatives to socialize with key stakeholders and correspond with them in real time. These are definitely areas we’ll be getting much more aggressive in. We’re aware of the huge influence social networking wields on today’s consumers, whose use of the internet for information gathering, transactions and interactions is expanding,” said Tony.

To celebrate its achievements and 8th year anniversary, AirAsia is offering promotional all-in fares that start from RM 8 for domestic flights and from RM 25 for international flights. Guests must book seats online from 8 to 13 December 2009 and fly between 5 July and 30 October 2010 to enjoy the promotion. The special fares are for flights to destinations including Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Bali, Phuket, Taipei, Hanoi, Trichy, Abu Dhabi, Macau, Hong Kong and so many more. Guests may also book tour packages and hotel bookings on goholiday.airasia.com, AirAsia’s one-stop travel portal for over 180 Asia Pacific hotels.

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