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Asian Airlines Exploding with Separate Brandings in Specific Markets
By: Cindy Wendland
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The U.S. airline market is mature. The Asian airline market is in its infancy and showing signs of exploding. At the recent Singapore Air Show, Boeing and Airbus saw significant orders while GE leasing made a deal in Myanmar.

The U.S. airline industry has experienced many changes, including deregulation, consolidation, 9/11 economic impacts, and a recent return to profitability. In contrast, the Asian airline industry is seeing growth due to a growing middle class, economic expansion, and large numbers of cities with more than a million people.

As start-ups race to serve the market, Asian airlines are popping up to serve intra-Asia routes. These are some of the new airlines since 2012: Thai Smile Air out of Thailand; Scoot out of Singapore; Cinnamonair out of Sri Lanka; Philippines Airasia from the Philippines; Malindo Air out of Malaysia; Air Incheon out of S. Korea; Jetstar Japan and Peach Aviation from Japan, as well as Vanilla Air — AirAsia Japan rebranded; Air Costa out of India; Golden Myanmar and Mann Yatanarpon Air out of Burma; and Novo Air out of Bangladesh.

Introducing a new product takes times. Introducing a new airline takes even more time and expertise. Yet companies are sprinting to get to the finish line with a new airline to service this market. Experienced industry experts say if you don’t know the business, don’t do it. The airline industry is a complex industry. It is about much more than setting ticket prices and assessing whether the market will accept the airline. It also involves technical and operational logistics, aero politics, economics, and branding.

With all the established airline brands, the emerging airlines need to stand out. Perhaps that is why some of the brand names are so interesting — Smile, Peach, Vanilla, CinnamonAir. According to Thai Smile, the name was chosen out of 2,229 entries in a contest to name the airline. This market will see significant change as it grows and matures. Will people prefer to fly on Peach or Cinnamon or established brand names? It all depends on the extension and impact of the brand.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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