mid-day Travel and Hospitality Icons: Siddhartha Butalia on winning 'Iconic Marketing of an Airline in India'

Updated: Jan 07, 2020, 12:19 IST | A correspondent | Mumbai

Siddhartha Butalia the CMO of AirAsia India talks about winning 'Iconic Marketing of an Airline in India' awards at the mid-day Travel and Hospitality Icons 2019

Siddhartha Butalia
Siddhartha Butalia

1. What are your thoughts on being conferred with the 'Iconic Marketing of an Airline in India' recognition?

We're delighted to receive this recognition of our campaigns to strengthen the AirAsia brand in India. As a younger brand in an established category, AirAsia's share of voice and engagement leads our share of the market. Salience and communication metrics steer our marketing strategy, and positive affirmation from credible industry and media channels is a welcome validation that bolsters our efforts.

2. What would you say are the stellar qualities of your services that won you this recognition?

Testament to our service, AirAsia won World's Best Low-Cost Airline for the eleventh year in a row at the Skytrax World Airline Awards. A young fleet with plush leather seats, BIG loyalty program and unparalleled inflight dining experience stand out as benchmarks. Our menu now offers a dozen oven-hot meals, with regional, vegan and kids options, a Pioneer's Picks section paying tribute to JRD Tata, and innovative seasonal additions. 

3. How do you think your sector can benefit and leverage with such recognition?

Airline brands lack significant differentiation in the minds of consumers. To enable sustainable business category commoditization and price-driven purchase behaviour must make way for differentiated offerings relevant to distinct audiences. It is thus essential that brands drive salience with distinctive marketing and a source of encouragement when marketing efforts in this regard receive such validation.

4. What has been the key to your success? How have you managed to stay ahead of the competition?

In the past year, AirAsia India has grown its fleet, introduced new destinations from Agartala to Ahmedabad and added Mumbai as a network hub. As a well-loved brand, AirAsia is focussed on reliability, on-time performance and a delightful guest experience. These, along with our deep consumer understanding have been the drivers of our market share growth.

5. How do you see your establishment/company grow in the coming years?

We operate in one of the largest and fastest-growing aviation markets, with a young, diverse population for whom the AirAsia is relevant and poised to make the most of the inevitable growth. As a travel technology player, AirAsia has a strategic advantage in leveraging data and consumer insights to expand our ecosystem, enhance guest engagement and deliver sustainable growth.

6. What is your success mantra?

Our success lies in dedication to our values - safety and sustainability, guest-obsession, putting people first, the desire to dream and make it happen and the commitment to our unified vision. The cornerstone is the strong ethos of our parent organisations from whom we inherit our culture and ambition for operational excellence, pioneering innovation and drive to improve the quality of life of the communities we serve.

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