Since 29 September 2016, Beijing Capital Airlines has started to fly an Airbus A330 three times a week from Melbourne in Australia to Qingdao in China. In this way, the name of Capital Airlines, together with the red brave
troops painted on the plane, has received the public’s attention and recognition step by step. To respond to the call of China’s“ One Belt, One Road” (the land-based“ Silk Road Economic Belt” and oceangoing“ 21st-century Maritime Silk Road”) initiatives, Capital Airlines launched a new route from Shenyang-Qingdao to Melbourne with the intention of deepening the communication and collaboration between China and Australia. As the capital of Victoria as well as the second largest city of the Australian states, Melbourne deserves to be developed into the center of the extended south line of “Maritime Silk Road”. Meanwhile, Qingdao is a gateway to both waterways and land routes on“ One Belt, One Road”. The latest air route not only strengthens Capital Airlines’ ties with Melbourne, but also serves as a basis for business contacts, cultural exchange and overseas tourism between the two countries.
Why does a carrier based in Beijing, the capital of China, become attached to Melbourne, a city located on the other side of the ocean? How does it get access to Melbourne and open up the market here? What will it do in Melbourne in the next stage? Recently, BC has had an exclusive interview with Beijing Capital Airlines in terms of its recipe for management.
“Tourism + Airlines” = A Dual Strategy
Launched in 2010, Beijing Capital Airlines is jointly funded by the Hainan Airlines Group and the Capital Tourism Group. It proudly owns the safety record of zero accident in one-million flight hours and boasts a young but large executive jet fleet of over 70 aircraft in four types, namely A319, A320, A321 and A330, currently flying more than 200 routes and reaching 207 destinations including both domestic and international cities. On 29 December 2016, Capital Airlines announced that its annual revenue reached 10 billion RMB.
Undergoing the strategic transformation to a tourism-oriented carrier, Capital Airlines soon becomes an exemplar other medium-sized airlines aspire to learn from. By the end of 2016, it reaped the harvest of transformation and innovation. On 22 June, the World Brand Laboratory, a leading independent consultancy for brand evaluation
and marketing strategy in the world, published “China’s top 500 most valuable brands” for 2016, on which Capital Airlines listed 298 with a total brand value of 10.789 billion RMB, rising through the ranks to become a new star in the industry of civil aviation services. On 28 December, Capital Airlines once again received recognition for its
distinguished services from the same organization; it won the prestigious‘ Five Star Diamond Award’ for the first time. It manages to map out a tourismoriented as well as customer-oriented business strategy and stands out as the first youngest brand with a value of over 10 billion RMB among other airlines in China.
Beijing Capital Airlines’ goal of becoming a tourism-oriented carrier is primarily determined by the market. At present, the tourism industry has been large enough in scale with a steady growth worldwide. Especially in China, there’s an increased demand for travelling of a higher quality among the rising middle classes. Hence, people are craving for the long-distance tour of the unknown as well as a novel and healthy life style. As the aviation industry is inseparable from tourism, it is necessary to set up an international tourism-oriented airlines in order to meet the market demands. Moreover, Capital Airlines aims to upgrade the production line and offer costeffective services, enhancing the efficiency of all contributing factors and maintaining a competitive edge in the industry. Capital Airlines is not just a carrier any more.
In this way, Beijing Capital Airlines strives to become a professional service provider acting as a one-stop shop for all air travel needs. It intends to combine the single most important factor in airlines“, transport”, with other key links in the tourism chain, namely“ meals, accommodation, sightseeing, shopping and entertaining”, rising to an all-round service provider. To satisfy customer demands, Capital Airlines pools all available resources in collaboration with the Caissa Touristic Group, a leading Chinese large-scale integrated operator targeting Chinese outbound tourism market, and Tuniu Corporation, an online leisure travel giant in China offering third-party tour packages. Based on big data analysis of air travel and tourism, Capital Airlines supplies custom-made travel packages to tourists with different preferences, liberating customers from repetitiveness and tediousness of the planning and preparation stage.
Taking advantage of shared resources, Capital Airlines allows tourists to have their trips tailored in one place through“ Capital Airlines Vacation” services. Capital Airlines has started to team up with Tuniu on 23 March, offering more dynamic package products integrating air tickets and tourism services at various levels. Their strategic cooperation is to realize the mission of making travel easier. Capital Airlines and Tuniu further unveiled plans for their brand partnership with new cobranded livery on 29 November. To date, “Capital Airline • Tuniu Vacation” has sold 15,000 travel packages within a year, and its characteristic tourism products have received a broad welcome from tourists.
Capital Airlines not only works together with other partners, but also seeks support from its parent company, HNA Tourism Group. As one of the top 5 largest tourism groups in China, HNA Tourism is internationally famous for its diversified global investment strategy, comprehensive management system and substantial high-quality resources.
Recently, the World Tourism Forum, known as the “Davos for Tourism”, has awarded HNA Tourism “Best Tourism Investment Group” in recognition for its strategic development strengths. With HNA Tourism’s help, Capital Airlines is sure of consolidating its market shares by creating firstclass travel experience for global tourists.
To develop Capital Airlines into a tourism-oriented airline operator, it is very important to take the golden opportunity for expanding the Chinese outbound tourism market and integrate both internal and external resources. Capital Airlines will link air transport to all kinds of resources within the tourism industry chain and build a closed
loop around the passenger consumption chain of tourism products. Aiming to become a global renowned air travel operator, Capital Airlines dedicates to working as a tourism terminal and providing meticulous travel plans for customers. It is Capital Airlines’ strategic decision to become such a cross-sector service provider, which is also the characteristic that distinguishes it from other traditional airlines.
Place Top Priority on Customers
Besides launching new air routes and deploying various resources, Beijing Capital Airlines has paid special attention to the improvement of services since 2016. It not only works strictly on the principle of safety, but also guarantees excellent services on board. To allow customers to enjoy the delights of characteristic cuisine and have satisfying experiences on board, Capital Airlines has introduced its innovative programs, i.e. “In-flight Kitchen”“, In-flight Bar” and“ Lemon Time”. For instance, in the newly launched route Melbourne=Shenyang=Qingdao“, In-flight Kitchen” offers stylish seafood to passengers taking off from Qingdao, such as braised sea cucumber in abalone sauce and grilled eel in Japanese style. Whereas on the return trip, it serves passengers Australian local delicacies, for example
fresh steaks and lamb chops. Meanwhile“, In-flight Bar” is equipped with on-board bartenders for concocting cocktail on site, adding great fun to passengers’ journey.
To add extra values, Capital Airlines has joined hands with several domestic and international leading brands to realize cross-sector innovation in order to attract customers, including giving Paul Frank a home in the sky. On 10 September, Capital Airlines’ newly painted planes bearing the image of the famous cartoon character were showcased
at the Haikou Meilan International Airport, marking its collaboration with Paul Frank for the first time.
Capital Airlines spent a considerable amount of time and effort on the plane design revolving around Julius, the much-publicized Paul Frank monkey, with the goal of maximizing the visual impact for passengers. An environmentally-friendly paint was used for the outside of the aircraft, while cabins and other on-board facilities, such as food packaging and the crew’s uniforms, have been customized based on the theme altogether.
Capital Airlines also plans to work with premium airport lounges at major destinations along its routes by redecorating them with a Paul Frank theme. It expects the popular brand, which is famous for its bright colors, fashionable style and the spirit of adventure it embodies, will be instantly recognized and deeply loved by Capital Airlines’ passengers.
What’s more, Capital Airlines dedicates itself to providing services in every possible way. In case of customers’ demands, it prepares all kinds of travel companions for on-board purchasing, such as scarves, shawls, folding backpacks and inflatable cushions. Based on big data analysis of tourists’ traveling habits, Capital Airlines customizes a variety of travel accessories and souvenirs with characteristics, including cosmetics and model airplanes. Customers can purchase these accessories not only during their trips on board, but also anywhere at any time on Feidian Mall, an online e-commerce platform owned by Capital Airlines.
Since the smooth day-to-day operation of the company and word-of-mouth brand building are based on customer experience, Capital Airlines promises that it will keep improving its services and optimizing its resources, enabling customers to enjoy their journey in top-quality airplanes. Beijing Capital Airlines believes that everyone has the right to travel around the world comfortably and pleasantly. To fulfill this objective, Capital Airlines will try its best to provide more considerate, convenient and professional services in the future.
Beijing Capital Airlines looks forward to seeing you in 2017.