Here's how high low-cost airlines flew in the media

31 May 2016 - 12:56 By TMG Digital

FlySaFair found that good press is child’s play. Kulula courted trouble in the media‚ but survived. Mango flew under the radar. And an airline that hasn’t flown for some time garnered some headlines.Those are amongst the highlights of Media Tenor’s analysis of the “coverage on South Africa’s low cost airlines” between April 18 and May 19.“In terms of coverage‚ FlySaFair far outperformed its competitors as the airline was the focus of media attention‚” a statement said.It “did well to leverage positivity from its promotion where children would be able to fly for free in June”‚ Media Tenor noted‚ but added the “leading driver of coverage has been the airline’s complaint against Comair concerning the company’s levels of foreign ownership”.That could have been damaging to Kulula – which is in the Comair stable – as the court action could have seen Comair’s licence to operate flights being taken away.“However‚ once the courts granted an interdict preventing the licence from being revoked this assisted the brand’s image‚” Media Tenor said.Kulula also “has had to deal with the negativity surrounding a worker’s strike‚ particularly as its employment practices have been labelled ‘exploitative’ by the South African Communist Party”.Media Tenor research showed that just short of 20% of stories about Kulula were “negative”‚ and the rest were described as having “no clear tone”.Grounded airline Skywise had a similar reponse profile‚ according to the survey.“Despite no longer being able to operate [it] continued to receive media coverage on its failed operation‚” the report said. Skywise operations were suspended due to a payment dispute with Airports Company South Africa.The airline’s co-chair Tabassum Qadir most notably made news when she penned an open letter in support of embattled South African Airways (DAA) chief executive officer Dudu Myeni.SAA-owned Mango “maintained a relatively low media profile‚ although the airline was able to focus media attention on its 10th anniversary” which took place at the Swartkops SAAF Museum Air Show. – TMG Digital

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