AirMiles rebrands as Avios to meet global strategic aims
Travel rewards programme AirMiles is to rebrand and relaunch as Avios in November backed by a multichannel awareness campaign.
The brand overhaul is due to the merger of owner British Airways (BA) with Iberia to form International Airlines Group (IAG) and the need to create a common points currency across all territories.
The company says the changes will see new customer benefits, such as more opportunities for collecting points and greater flexibility, for instance the ability to book one way flights with points. Previously AirMiles could only be used for return bookings.
The scheme will continue to be run by BA subsidiary The Mileage Company in the UK and AirMiles current customers are being introduced to the brand today (1 September) via direct mail and email channels.
Head of brand at The Mileage Company Rahul Patel says that the Avios name has been tested and researched across several markets and while it is a created name, it does have resonance in connection with aviation.
He adds: “The ambition is to make the points a much more desirable and valuable currency than they currently are.”
The Avios brand development has been co-created with Interbrand and a full brand campaign will begin on 16 November developed by creative company 101.
The campaign will embrace television, outdoor and print advertising along with social media, digital and PR activity and will continue the AirMiles positioning of “Rewarding Travel”.
Avios will maintain its commercial partnerships for points collection with brands such as Tesco, Lloyds TSB and Shell.
Both BA’s Executive Club and Iberia’s Iberia Plus programmes will remain as separate brands.
AirMiles launched in 1988 and celebrated its 21st anniversary in 2009 with a raft of promotions.
· Two thirds of consumers have taken short breaks in the UK over the past year.
· However, the recession and its aftermath have taken a heavy toll on short haul, short breaks. Just over one fifth of adults have taken a European short break over the past year.
· Those who have continued to take European short breaks are most likely to be young single men under 25: essentially, confident travelers who have been less affected by the recession than older consumers.
· 1 in 4 young men between the ages of 16 and 24 have taken short breaks in Europe in the last year. This is well above the average of 15% across all demographics.
· 1 in 4 YouGov respondents said that having friends or relative in the area had a bearing on the choice of destination for their last short break.
· Half of ABC1s said that they just don’t like lying on the beach, while only 37% of C2DEs feel the same.
Click here to read the YouGov Holiday Travel Report