The latest aviation related insights and articles about the Covid-19 crisis.
25 March 2020
Welcome to the Corona AvDaily where we share relevant aviation-related links, insights and articles about the Covid-19 crisis. 
Qatar Airways - #TakingYouHome
Last night, Dubai International, the world's busiest international airport and home of Emirates, shut as the UAE closed to international flights.
Nearby Qatar however is taking a very different approach. It is actually laying on extra capacity on key routes.
Speaking to UK travel journalist Simon Calder, in the Independent newspaper, Simon Talling-Smith, chief commercial officer of Qatar Airways, said:
“Having downsized our operation a little bit about a week ago, we’re upscaling again: adding additional flights to some destinations, putting on bigger aircraft – for example our A380s are back in the sky now."
A video, which ends with the hashtag #TakingYouHome. mentions upgraded services to Perth, London Heathrow and Frankfurt, while the Qatar Airways press release talks about adding an extra 48,000 seats on flights to Australia.
No doubt, the new Qatar Airways services will help some people stranded away from their home country.
However, we imagine it's also been done with an eye on the post Covid-19 world.  It effectively gets thousands of people flying Qatar Airways, because there's no alternative, and these are people who by their very nature of having been stranded somewhere, fly and travel long-haul - and will probably do so again.
Of course, the demand for these flights means many are not going cheap. 
The Independent says that Qatar Airways has been accused by some of profiting from the crisis, with a one way flight from London to Sydney on 28 March being available in first class only, and at £6,200.
In response, Qatar Airways' Simon Talling-Smith told the Independent that last minute demand meant there were indeed only the highest priced seats available on some routes, but there were some flights that could be booked for much cheaper.
'It's the recession on steroids'
In our above story we talked about Qatar Airways clearly thinking about the post Covid-19 world, with their #TakingYouHome campaign.
There's a good argument that thinking long-term is exactly what aviation executives and marketers should be doing right now.  Yes, the instinct is to pull in every cent and it's hard to justify marketing when you are laying off staff and asking for Government money.
However, there's ample evidence to show that brands that keep visibility high when times are tough are the ones best placed to take advantage of any recovery.
This is a point made at length in an article published yesterday by Sarah Vizard of Marketing Week, which carries the headline, ‘It’s the recession on steroids’: Why brands need to think long-term amid the coronavirus pandemic."
Sarah Vizard's very detailed piece actually includes a case study from the airline industry as evidence.  In 2008 Virgin Atlantic ran a campaign during the financial crisis called 'Still Red Hot'
In a 2010 ad industry awards entry, the airline claimed it saw a 10:1 return in terms of revenues vs marketing spend.
There are suggestions as well that there will be a renewed appetite for travel from people shut in their houses for weeks or even months.  In our good news story of the day, we've pointed to a Daily Telegraph piece claiming there is a surge in (UK) winter travel bookings.
Meanwhile, easyJet has started its Winter Sale early to start generating revenue. By doing so, easyJet will also keep the brand in the public eye during the lockdown.  
Positive news story of the day
With more restrictions being placed on travel to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, learn how airline brands can minimize the eroding effect on their brands.

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