What do Aerolíneas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Blue Air, Air Astana, Bangkok Airways, and Rwandair have in common? They all use representatives in foreign markets. As a matter of fact, they use the same representative, since in 2018 five different European and US companies merged into what is now called Best Airlines Rep.
Stepping into new territory might be a tricky business, as subtle nuances of local market might determine the difference between a successful expansion and a loss-making failure. This is where airline representatives step in. AeroTime has talked with Natalia Zaragoza, Founder and Managing Director of Friends Touristik Marketing to find out more about Best Airlines Rep and their work.
Best Airlines Rep is made of five companies: Spazio in Italy, Network GSA in Great Britain, Inter GSA in Benelux and France, Enlloy Aviation in Spain, and the United States, and Friends Touristik Marketing in Germany. How did you decide to collaborate?
We all knew each other through common clients and founded Best Airlines Rep in 2018. Each of us has at least 20 years of experience representing airlines in the respective markets. We already represent 17 clients from Europe, Asia, the United States, and South America.
What do you, as airline representatives, actually do?
We are specialists in aviation, we are enthusiastic about our job, we give an airline a face, a contact, an office in our respective markets. We are able to increase their revenues due to our expertise, our connections in the market, our ability to optimize distribution channels, providing airlines with the tools needed in each market.
We are known to publishing media houses, travel trade magazines, journalists, search portals, travel agencies, tour operators, consolidators, chains and corporate implants alike. Our vast network is an immense advantage when negotiating with potential partners.
We do their accounting, their statistics, benchmarking, fare optimization, competitor analysis, we help them to adapt their product to the market demands, which are different in each country.
Can you give us an example on how does that work in practice?
A good example is Air Europa, which we represented for two years in Germany before they went online. We prepared the market for their arrival and since operations started it has been a success.
We did all kinds of marketing campaigns (offline/online/events), sales calls, fare distribution, agent training, fam and press trips, social media campaigns, etc.
All that resulted in positive brand awareness, fantastic sales figures and higher yield.
In which cases should airlines seek your help?
We strongly believe that we are the best solution for an airline that wants to have market shares from our territories. We offer immediate access to our markets, at a very reasonable price, and which is probably only a very low percentage of what the cost and risk of opening an own office would be. With us the airline is immediately present in the market, with office premises, staff, phone lines, etc, and that within days and at a very affordable cost.
What are your prospects for expansion? Do you plan to expand to new markets or rather intensify your presence in those you already know?
Presently we offer representation in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Benelux, Italy, Spain, Portugal, UK, Ireland, the United States and Latin America. We will soon be incorporating new members to the Best Airlines Rep alliance in order to cover more territories. But we are also looking into an expansion with new clients.