Air China Marketing Mix (4Ps) Strategy

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Marketing Mix of Air China analyses the brand/company which covers 4Ps (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) and explains the Air China marketing strategy. The article elaborates the pricing, advertising & distribution strategies used by the company.

Let us start the Air China Marketing Mix:

Product:

Air China is one of the main airlines based out of China, which serves flyers globally. Air China has fleet of 600+ passenger airplanes and freighters of Airbus and Boeing with average age of 6 years. The operations offered in its marketing mix are customer centric with emphasis on their 4Cs of credibility, convenience, choice and comfort. Keeping up with their philosophy of offering passengers easier and pleasant travel experience, they have introduced full flat seats for maximum comfort. For long and medium haul routes they offer exclusive services in every step of travel for First class/Business class travellers. Keeping up with the trend of mobile accessibility, they have introduced ‘Your Flight Assistant’ and ‘Air China App’ for customer interaction and assistance. Air China offers services like Transit Hotel and Lounge, Chauffeured transfer for select class customers, variety of food offering and Transit Lounge in between the flights for some locations. Air China offers wide selection of duty-free goods to buy from in its many domestic and international flights. These include cosmetics, gifts, fashion accessories, wines perfumes etc. It has joint venture with Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Corporation of Beijing (AMECO) and Sichuan International Aircrafts Engines Repair.


Image: Wikimedia


Price:

The pricing of the flight services is in the mid range similar to its competitors. Like many other Airlines, Air China offers different pricing for different classes of the flights with corresponding variation in services. They have many other value added services like Prepaid Baggage, Advance Seat selection. Air China have standardized luggage allowance on the flights beyond which the additional becomes chargeable depending on the route travelled. Different pricing is offered depending upon the timing of booking. Earlier the ticket is booked, more is the discount percentage offered. This is applicable to domestic as well as international flights. In case of cancellation of tickets, it can be done up to certain time before the flight. The refund request can be initiated through website, app or call centre.


Place:

The headquarter of Air China is located in Beijing; however it has regional operating units in different regions of country as well as regional operational bases like South China Base and East China Base. They operate in 41 countries and regions including 64 international cities. They have 378 routes out of which 102 are international. Due to collaboration with Star Alliance, they are able to access 1330 destinations in 192 countries. Air China is official airline for the travel of various government and political leaders on their official visits to other countries. AMECO, a joint venture of Air China is operative in more than 160 domestic and international service locations offering maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) for customers all over the world. This MRO system has technical licences given by 30 countries and regions.


Promotion:

For increasing the revenue, detailed data collection regarding passengers with various collaboration is carried out followed by understanding customer needs and segmentations. Following it, Air China comes up with many promotional schemes. For business class travellers special attention is given considering their time sensitivity. For frequent business class flyers, separate cards are issued as per their travel mileage such as normal, silver and gold. Quick check in counter and free hotel pick up services are offered to such travellers. This is done to keep up the customer loyalty. Direct mailing and voice enquiry and assistance system help in this objective. Air China was the first airline in China to introduce frequent Flyer program called PhoenixMiles which has membership of 42.97 million as of December 2016. The website currently features many promotional offers for students, adventure lovers, destination specific offers depending on time of booking.


Since this is a service marketing brand, here are the other three Ps to make it the 7Ps marketing mix of Air China.


People:

Building customer relationship is crucial in service industry. Air China has maintained the relationship with its customer through loyalty program called PhoenixMiles to reward frequent customers. To serve the best flight experience, they have team of well trained pilots and flight attendants. They have received many accolades like ‘International Civil Organization (ICAO) Medal’, ‘Flight safety Role Model’ and ‘National Production Role Model’. For training of staff, the Flight training Centre has state-of -the art facilities and accomplished instructors with rich expertise. The training centre also harbors flight training squad at Tianjin Binhai airport where a separate Boeing 737-300 aircraft is devoted to training of new pilots. Air China Airline considers itself truly international with flight attendants from South Korea, Japan and Germany. They believe that their flight attendants are best friends of the passengers on air and cater to their needs with their dedication and professionalism. Also, their services are unparalleled due to attentiveness and meticulousness of the staff.


Process:

Air China has devised the customized Operation and Management system integrated with Satellite Communication System, Air Ground Data Communication and Shortwave Radio System. This enables the organization to carry out all their processes seamlessly. All the flights are continuously monitored by expert flight controllers for entire duration. Air China has computerized system to collect data from databases of aircraft performance, global navigation, global airports, high altitude weather. Based on this, best flight routes and flight plans are developed. The data also helps in evaluation of aircraft performance and flight qualification. Due to this excellence in process controls and monitoring, it is the first domestic carrier with super remote monitoring and control capabilities. Additional processes for customer service include aircraft load balancing, loading and unloading on tarmac, cabin cleaning and special equipment maintenance and repair. The quality monitoring Flight route of Chengdu-Lhasa is termed forbidden for flights; yet Air China has established 52 years safety record for this route since 1965.


Physical Evidence:

The bookings for the flights of Air China is available through their country specific websites as well as through intermediary websites, through travel agencies etc. For most of the airports, the web check in is offered which saves the time. The baggage allowance for First class, Business class and Economy class are 40kg, 30 kg and 20kg respectively. Air China is the first airline to offer on-Board WiFi facility in China. It was also the first in offering combined tickets including the shuttle bus fare in the country. The airline strives for passenger comfort and provides standard legroom seating with seat pinch of 30-31 inches in Economy class and 38-80 inches in First class. Flights with more than 90 minutes durations offer in flight meal services. The gourmet meals are provided in First and Business class while Economy class passengers are provided standard menu offerings with Western or Chinese options. For the flights of duration 60-90 minutes, complementary snacks and beverages are provided. MOR system wing of Air China has 10 large hangers and has state of the art facilities and capabilities and have 80 international customers. Hence this concludes the marketing mix of Air China.


About Air China:

Air China is the Chinese airline carrying official flag of the country. It enjoys many privileges as an authorized airline of China. It is a member of prestigious Star Alliance group and believes in catering the same service standard to customers irrespective of the type of seat they booked. As per the international valuation by World Brand Lab, Air China had brand value of RMB 115.689 billion in June 2016. It has stakes in many Chinese airlines (domestic and international) and cargo services and was official airline for the Olympic Games of 2008.

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The names and other brand information used in the Marketing Mix section are properties of their respective companies. The companies are not associated with MBASkool in any way. The brand names are used purely for educational/academic purpose only.

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