No-frills airline Air India Express is preparing to bolster its brand visibility online, especially among the expatriates in West Asia and South East Asia, according to a tender document. As it embarks on ambitious expansion plans, Air India Express has floated a tender soliciting interest from entities that can set up and manage “search engine marketing channels” for the airline. The profitable carrier’s tender also comes amid the government working on the final contours of strategic disinvestment of its parent Air India, which has been in the red for long.
Air India Express is looking to “develop a search engine marketing strategy” and ensure its effective implementation as part of “revenue optimisation strategy”, as per the tender document. Besides, the carrier wants to reduce the dependence on “traditional media and sales channels”.
An airline official said the main idea is to increase the brand visibility of Air India Express through the online medium, especially as it prepares to increase frequency of flights as well as expand into newer markets. Detailing its plans in terms of the digital space, the airline is looking to increase its visibility amongst all air travellers and online bookers through search engine marketing platforms.
The document said Air India Express is looking to “establish and maintain positive impact amongst stakeholders in general and the expatriate population in West Asia and South East Asia” by way of ensuring that it is consistently amongst the top in relevant search engine results.
The Kerala-headquartered airline plans to commence operations from Surat, Madurai and Kannur besides increasing frequencies of flights and adding new destinations.
Earlier this month, Air India Express CEO K Shyam Sundar said the airline is in the process of drawing up a long term plan that would focus on expanding the fleet as well as the overseas footprint.
Staying in the black for the second straight year, AI Express recorded a net profit of Rs 296.7 crore in 2016-17. With a fleet of 23 Boeing 737-800 NG aircraft, the carrier flew around 3.5 million passengers in 2016-17 and the number is expected to touch 4 million in the current fiscal.
Currently, Air India Express operates about 550 flights every week connecting 15 Indian cities and 14 international destinations in the Middle East and South East Asia. It flies to Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Bahrain, Dammam, Dhaka, Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Muscat, Ras Al Khaimah, and Singapore, among other places.