(United)92.3 million50.4 million(Continental)-45.1 million
86.3 million86 million
54.2 million52.9 million
32.3 million30.4 million(Express Jet)32.3 million16.1 million(Atlantic Southeast)-14.2 million
28.9 million26.3 million
26.1 million24.4 million
21.7 million24.5 million
18.7 million17.3 millionJanuary-December 2012 scheduled domestic and international enplanements. *Southwest and AirTranreported as separate carriers with the exception of financials. Source: Bureau of Transportation statistics.Below,
highlights four hot buttons in the airline category.
Gain business from sponsored properties.
Airlines are increasingly placing more focus on gainingbusiness back from sponsored properties.Gaining business is a key driver for United Continental, sources say.“The new leadership looks at sponsorship as a revenue-driving vehicle. They’re not as heavily invested inactivation as they were in the past,” said a contact close to the company.United joins other companies looking for business from sponsored teams. US Airways in 2011 expanded itslong-running partnership with the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks by providing transportation for the team.US Airways has two contracts with the team: one for marketing, the other for charter service.“The cost of charter service is hard to pin down. It’s never been a negotiating point that we have used insponsorship negotiations,” said Cullen Maxey, executive vice president of the Diamondbacks.In a different twist, Madison Square Garden tries to facilitate business-building opportunities with other sponsors.“Business-to-business is a huge driver for the airline category. We want to introduce Delta to our partners,”said Johnson.
Engage frequent customers.
Nearly every airline uses sponsorship to access perks that can be used tosupport loyalty programs.For example, American Airlines activated the South by Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Conference topromote BusinessExtrAA, while JetBlue activated University of Southern California athletics with tailgateevents for TrueBlue members.“The opportunity to use sponsorship assets to engage high-yield, high-loyalty customers is very valuable,”said Schiller.
Promote co-branded credit cards.
Airlines should try to secure pass-through rights for co-branded creditcards when negotiating contracts.