Low-cost carrier Volaris offers free tickets to Mexicans who have never flown before

By Raymond Kollau, airlinetrends.com

Despite the fiscal woes in Europe and the recession that is taking place in a large part of the developed world, a new middle class is emerging in rapidly developing economies such as the so-called BRICs and The Next-11. These countries are enjoying significant economic growth, which is resulting in the creation of a middle class who are ‘trading up’ from long-distance buses to travelling by air, often flying for the first time in their life.

Brazil, Kenya
We have reported before how an airline like TAM is targetting the rapidly growing middle class in Brazil in innovative ways, for example by selling tickets via kiosks at low-end retail chains and subway stations. The airline also allows customers to pay their ticket in multiple installments and provides ‘how to fly’ advice to first-time flyers. Meanwhile in East Africa, airlines such as Kenya Airways and Uganda Airlines have teamed up with mobile payment services like M-PESA and Airtel Money to allow people without a bank account to purchase air tickets via their mobile phone.

To demonstrate that air travel is no longer out of reach for the masses, Mexican low-cost airline Volaris in 2011 joined efforts with EnElAire – a Mexican aviation website and radio program – to realize the dream of 15 people with a passion for flying but who had never taken a flight before.

After asking the general public via radio and various social media, “Do you know anyone who dreams of flying on an airplane yet hasn’t been able to do so?,” Volaris and EnElAire received dozens of stories submitted by people nominating friends or family members to participate in the contest.

The jury, made up of 2 Volaris employees and 2 EnElAire staffers then selected the top 15 stories and invited the winners for a free return flight with Volaris between Mexico City and Guadelajara. The contest winners also were taken on a behind the scenes tour at Guadalajara airport. Video and images of the event here and here.

Volaris’ ‘Un sueno en el aire’ (‘A dream in the air’) campaign is a nice example of how brands can use an element of storytelling to engage the general public. Says Sai Sánchez, Volaris’ Public Relations Manager, “We received fantastic letters, such as one from two people who every Sunday visit the airport and take photos, yet never had had the opportunity to fly; or that of a kid who is practically a virtual pilot on his computer; or the story of a crew member who nominated her father who sacrificed so much for her career, yet never had the opportunity to fly.”


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