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It is time for ads to board A-I Express...

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It is time for ads to board A-I Express...

The exotic and iconic images that adorn the tailfins of Air-India Express aircraft will soon be complemented by logos of banks, moneychangers or any others willing to pay for some unique ad space.

Like several other low-cost airlines, A-I Express has decided to sell space on its aircraft exteriors and interiors to raise additional revenues.

It has signed up with the Mumbai-based Network Media Solutions, an advertisement concessionaire, for the project.

"The objective is to generate additional revenue so that passengers can continue to enjoy our low-fare structure," said an airline spokesperson.

Mr Ajaz Memon, a consultant with the advertising company, said it was in touch with potential clients and the initial response was good.

Banks and moneychangers, keen to target customers travelling on the Gulf sector, have shown interest. This form of advertising, he said, assured both high visibility and a pre-qualified audience.

The company would initially book space on its three aircraft, as well as the four aircraft expected to join its fleet by April next year. The first advertisements would roll out by January, said Mr Memon.

The bulk of the revenue would come from selling space on the aircraft exterior. On the interior, companies can buy space on overhead luggage bins, the bulkhead, food trays, snack boxes, serviettes and headrests.

Currently Air Deccan is the only domestic carrier tapping such revenues. According to an Air Deccan official, the idea was to maximise allied revenues from space selling and activities such as sale of food and gift hampers onboard.

According to the official, allied revenues accounted for about 14 per cent of the annual turnover of Ryanair, the international low-cost carrier.

Allied revenues are expected to account for 1.5 per cent of Air Deccan's turnover this year; this is expected to increase to 10 per cent over the next few years, he said.

NDTV, Sun Microsystems, Dainik Bhaskar, and Zee are among the companies that tied up with Air Deccan for branding on the aircraft exterior, while Idea Cellular had bought advertising space on the interiors of two of its ATR aircraft.


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