Speaking at India Travel Congress on session titled “Delhi as a World-class Global Tourist City”, Suresh Nair, Country Manager, AirAsia Berhad believed that Air Asia was creating a buzz around the capital as a destination through its robust network and attractive fares. He further stressed that airlines were pivotal in creating a pull for destinations around the world. Excerpts:
Suresh Nair, Country Manager, Air Asia Berhad argued that Air Asia was making a consistent effort to market destinations “all through the airline network”, thereby aiding in driving footfalls to destination or cities. He illustrated his argument by sharing that Air Asia had only recently commenced operations between Jaipur and Kuala Lumpur, but Jaipur was “being sold as a destination at each of Air Asia’s key network such as Japan, Australia and the likes”, as much as four months prior to the launch of the service. He noted that it was in airline’s interest to create the market before coming in to India in order to drive numbers.
He explained the role played by Air Asia in marketing destinations, stating that the airline was “opening destinations to all of the airline’s network and offered “ridiculously low fare to create the buzz around them”, and argued that low fare created more likelihood of travel than higher fare.
Sharing his thoughts on how airlines could do more to market the available world-class products, he stressed that airlines were pivotal in creating new destinations and added that robust connectivity was crucial in developing a destination. He substantiated his argument by citing the example of Hong Kong – which shot in to prominence with Cathay Pacific’s connection to the city, transforming a sleepy harbour town in to a global powerhouse. He mentioned that the role of an airline in shooting a destination in to fame was most recently being demonstrated by Emirates in pushing Dubai and Air Asia in driving footfalls in to Kuala Lumpur.
Suresh Nair further added that along with boosting the profile of larger cities, air connectivity was also creating demand for much smaller destinations such as Phuket and Dannok.