Azul communications and brand director Gianfranco Beting, speaking on the sidelines of CAPA's World Aviation Summit in Hong Kong, stated (29-Nov-2012) the carrier is currently the third largest carrier in Brazil with 850 flights per day, over 230 routes and 115 aircraft. He noted Brazil is social media and online "crazy" and the importance the carrier places on online media is indicative by the way the carrier spends on marketing including more than half of its budget on online marketing including google adverts, Facebook adverts and buying online media. The carrier spends the other half of its budget on offline marketing including “guerrilla marketing” which involves bringing people online. Azul sees online as being the funnel and offline marketing involves bringing people to the funnel. He also said the carrier’s share of first time travellers has declined from 50% to around 25% at present as the carrier grows and positions itself as more of a business airline with more frequent travellers.
Azul notes importance of social media
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But the emerging optimism was significantly clouded when the US selected Donald Trump as its next president in Nov-2016. An already weak Mexican peso (MXN) plunged against the US dollar (USD) on fears of a Trump Administration abolishing NAFTA, engaging in mass deportation and following through on plans to erect a wall on the US-Mexico border. Economists have already issued revisions to Mexico’s projected economic growth for 2017, and the benefits of a new liberalised bilateral between the two countries are in jeopardy as airlines have to adjust their growth prospects to reflect a potential new era of protectionism.
Broader implications of Mr Trump’s presidency on Latin America will emerge over time; hopefully they will not be as sombre as the politicking noises might suggest.
But even so the current cloud of continuing uncertainty ushered in by his election could become an impediment to recovering economies and air traffic flows within, and to and from the region – just as demand was starting a tepid recovery near the end of 2016. Any downward revision to Latin America’s economic forecast for 2017 places airlines operating in the region in a precarious position.
Ryanair's 117million pax in 2016 tops European airline groups. The first time an LCC topped rankings
For the first time ever in Europe, in 2016 a low cost airline carried more passengers than any other airline or airline group, as Ryanair's 117 million passengers pushed Lufthansa Group's 110 million into second place. Ryanair had beaten Lufthansa itself, but not the whole Lufthansa Group. IAG's first full year of including Aer Lingus helped it to take third place from Air France-KLM. Europe's number two LCC, easyJet, was ranked fifth.
The big five can be expanded into a big seven to include Turkish Airlines and the Aeroflot Group, although these two had contrasting growth rates in 2016. A chasing pack of middle sized airline groups includes three LCCs (Norwegian, Pegasus and Wizz Air) and three legacy airlines with varying challenges to establishing sustainable profitability (SAS, Air Berlin Group and Alitalia).
Most of the faster growing airline groups in the top 20 are LCCs and the main growth drivers for Europe's big three legacy groups are their LCC subsidiaries. Just outside the top 20 are some fast growing legacy airlines in Eastern Europe, demonstrating the potential there. Nevertheless, unless there is a big merger or acquisition, Ryanair looks set to remain at number one for some time.