Malaysia Airlines to get more aggressive in its marketing efforts

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) has reported steady progress this quarter following turnaround plans, with costs remaining a central focus as the airline delivers ahead of budget. According to the airline, MAS saw an increased recovery of its customer service index as product improvements were introduced in the quarter. On-time-performance had also remained stable amidst external challenges.

According to a press statement, Malaysia Aviation Group’s chief executive officer Peter Bellew said that MAS has made progress in what is usually its weakest quarter. Competition domestically and globally remains intense and is expected to intensify.

In an interview with Starbiz, Bellew added that MAS has an 8% market share on its London route. It has also seen increases in market share of 3% and 4% in other routes generally. This was seen as an encouraging sign following the two air disasters in recent years.

The improvement was attributed to an aggressive sales push, coupled with advertising campaigns. Bellew said in the interview that MAS saw a 10 to 20 fold return on the amount spent on advertising.

The national flight carrier recently launched a new marketing push in late August to celebrate the second phase of its turnaround plan. The campaign celebrated Malaysia Airlines’ position as the national flag bearer the airline with a two-day promotion, called “Here, There, Everywhere” on seats to selected destinations, both domestic and international, from as low as RM99 one way on Economy Class.

In July, it also made another marketing push through its loyalty programme, Enrich. Called “Wo Ai Ni”, the campaign offered members a chance to enjoy up to 50% off flight redemptions from Malaysia to Greater China.

“In the second half of 2016 we are working hard on revenue generation with more aggressive marketing and sales initiatives whilst maintaining strict cost discipline. We need to move quickly to maximise revenues and I am confident with the steady progress seen that we will succeed,” Bellew said in a press statement.

Meanwhile, the airline also appointed Arved von zur Muehlen recently as chief commercial officer. Muehlen took over from Paul Simmons who is set to leave this month. Prior to his appointment, Muehlen was senior vice president of commercial network operations for Qatar Airways.

MAS also concluded a global media review in May, appointing GroupM and Rally Worldwide to work cohesively to assist the airline in driving business revenue. GroupM was awarded the business on all paid media and media strategy and IPG Rally only manages social media.