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V Air eyes social media to boost ridership

TAIPEI--V Air, Taiwan's first low-cost carrier, said at a promotional event on Saturday that it has relied heavily on social networks to pitch its service, which is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2014.

"The business models of legacy carriers and low-cost carriers are very different, and V Air's potential customers are more likely to do business with us directly online instead of through travel agencies," said Tommy Tang, V Air's head of marketing.

That's why the carrier, which is wholly owned by Taiwanese airline Transasia Airways, has launched several campaigns to boost visibility, Tang said.

At Saturday's event, passers-by in a downtown shopping area were asked to join the airline's Facebook fan page to get coupons and limited merchandise featuring the company's logo, a Formosan black bear.

Chosen by the public in January to represent the airline, the smiling bear embodies all of the elements of "positive energy" needed by a new company entering the market: voyage, vision, vitality, and victory, he said.

The three-hour event attracted nearly 1,000 people, and many of them also lined up to take pictures with the mascot for another lucky draw giving away passport covers.

More online campaigns are on the way to target younger travelers, who are more likely to be heavy Internet users, and consumers drawn to budget airlines, he said.

Tang said V Air has not yet finalized the destinations it intends to serve, although it will initially fly to four to six destinations in the Asia Pacific region, including Japan and South Korea and parts of Southeast Asia.

The airline's fleet will consist at first of three A320/321 aircraft and will be expanded by two additional aircraft each year, the airline said.

Though V Air may have an early advantage in the local market as Taiwan's only home-grown budget carrier, it will not have that edge for long.

China Airlines, Taiwan's largest air carrier, said it will launch a new budget airline in a joint venture with Singapore-based Tiger Airways later this year.

1 Comment
June 16, 2014    miller.henry641@
"V Air" ?
Never heard of them.
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