MischaMannix-Opie, Area Manager South & South East Asia, Air New Zealand, reveals why the airline has increased its sales and marketing activities in India through Global Destinations.
Q) Please shed some light on your recent partnership with Global Destinations.
A) Global Destinations became our new General Sales Agency partner in India effective November 1, 2016. Global Destinations will support us in our sales and marketing activities, and provide reservations and ticketing support to travel agencies. For this, Global Destinations will employ two new roles – Sales Manager, Air New Zealand and Market Development Executive, Air New Zealand.
Q) Why have you decided to do so?
A) New Zealand is becoming an increasingly popular travel destination among Indian travellers. According to Tourism New Zealand, Indian arrivals into New Zealand is steadily growing – total arrivals for the year ended August 2016 was at 48,720, up 12.3 per cent on the previous year. The India market today offers huge potential and it is where we’re focused on for growth. We began our Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand Alliance in 2015, flying Indian travellers to New Zealand on our Air New Zealand SIN-AKL service via an interline arrangement with SQ and MI. In June this year, this expanded to a code share. This has given us the opportunity to be more visible to the travel agent community in India. The positive market response to this change is a further sign of the growth opportunity in India and we’re keen to capitalise on this.
Q) What activities has the airline chalked out for the next few months?
A) We have ramped up advertising activities in India – with a key focus on the Mumbai market – promoting our fares from India to New Zealand via the Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand alliance. We have also launched our India homepage to share relevant information with our Indian consumers. We will also be working closely with Tourism New Zealand and Singapore Airlines on marketing collaboration opportunities to further promote New Zealand as a destination to Indian travellers. Lastly, we have also started working with a small number of key travel agency partners in market development activities and we expect to grow this scope of activities over the months ahead. Greater engagement with the travel trade is one of our focus areas.