Recognising the success of the airline’s marketing strategy, the judges, including Geoff Dixon (ex-CEO Qantas), Ray Webster (ex-CEO easyJet), and Joe Leonard (director Air Canada), stated that Air New Zealand is in an industry-leading position. The airline’s approach to marketing further propelled its brand on the international stage by using multimedia tools that showcase the carrier’s wit, humour and personality.

Airline Business editor Max Kingsley says the Airline Strategy Awards were founded a decade ago to recognise the best that the airline industry has to offer in leadership.

The publication says “In making our decision, the judges look for evidence of a focussed strategy which has helped to strengthen or reshape a carrier's market positioning. Attention is given to the clarity of the strategy and level of innovation applied across the whole marketing mix from sales and distribution, through to the on-board product and managing the customer relationship.”

According to Airline Business Air New Zealand’s safety videos are already the stuff of marketing legend. “A 2009 video featuring flight crew nude, except for body painted uniforms, was so wildly successful on YouTube that few in the industry could have imagined the carrier would be able to quickly replicate such viral video magic,” it said.

“But that is exactly what Air New Zealand did when it launched its latest video ‘Fit to Fly’ with American exercise icon Richard Simmons. The video drew in millions of viewers worldwide, captured the attention of the four largest TV networks in the USA and generated what the carrier acknowledges is an unbelievable degree of international reach.”

Reflecting Air New Zealand’s success in raising awareness of its brand, Airline Business says that the New Zealand carrier’s refreshing tongue-in-cheek attitude is certainly part of the carrier’s secret to success. And so too is its decision not to isolate its marketing team.

Air New Zealand General Manager Marketing Mike Tod says the airline’s use of social media alongside marketing and PR has given it exposure the carrier could never afford to pay for with traditional marketing.

“We believe you need public relations, social media, and traditional marketing standing side-by-side. All three work together to deliver a cohesive strategy. Each builds off each other and builds a snowball of momentum,” says Mr Tod.

The Airline Strategy Award follows a raft of accolades Air New Zealand has already received this year including:

  • Skytrax World Airline Awards 2011 - Best Airline Australia/Pacific - WINNER
  • Skytrax World Airline Awards 2011 - World’s Best Premium Economy Class - WINNER
  • Conde Nast Traveller’s 2011 Innovation and Design Aviation Awards Air New Zealand Skycouch - WINNER
  • Business Traveler Magazine - Best Business Travel - WINNER
  • Vanity Fair on Travel - Best Premium Economy Seat - WINNER
  • Crystal Cabin Awards - Customer Comfort Award (Skycouch economy seating) - WINNER
  • Aviation Awards Asia - Full Service Airline category - WINNER
  • Business Traveller - Cellars in the Sky Award - Best Presented Wine List - WINNER
  • UK Design Week magazine Awards 2011 - Skycouch best Furniture Design – WINNER

The Airline Strategy Awards, hosted by industry publication Airline Business, were announced at the Lincoln’s Inn in London, with judging carried our by a panel of respected and independent judges.


Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320