Monday, August 28, 2017

SkyWest marketing strategy to be rolled out the 'first week of September': North Central West Virginia Airport (KCKB), Bridgeport, Harrison County, West Virginia

Airport Director Rick Rock

Airport Authority President Ron Watson

BRIDGEPORT — The director of North Central West Virginia Airport said the marketing strategy for the airport’s new essential air service provider will be rolled out during “the first week of September.”

Airport Director Rick Rock said the comprehensive strategy to sell the public on SkyWest Airlines has been devised with the help of Volaire Aviation, a firm specializing in aviation marketing and strategic business planning for airports.

“Our strategy includes print, TV, radio, billboards and digital,” he said.

SkyWest, a Utah-based airline, which flies under contract for United Express, will offer passengers daily flights to Chicago and Washington, D.C., on 50-seat Canadair Regional jets, beginning Nov. 1, Rock said.

The members of the Benedum Airport Authority approved a $100,000 budget to market SkyWest’s services during their Aug. 16 regular meeting.

The budget will cover promotions for the new carrier for 12 months, Rock said.

“Basically we already have the strategy, we’re just working on rolling it out,” he said.

The marketing campaign will cover a large portion of the state, Rock said.

“All the away from Parkersburg all the way up to the state line above Morgantown,” he said.

Airport Authority President Ron Watson said the plan will target 17 counties in the central and northern parts of the state.

The campaign will hopefully help the airport be more competitive, Rock said.

“Our ultimate goal is to reverse the idea that we’re losing customers to Pittsburgh and other airports,” he said.

The strategy will hopefully not only attract new travelers to the airport, but will also make returning customers aware of the new services being offered, Rock said.

The airport never fully put in place a marketing plan for its previous essential air service provider, Via Air, Rock said.

Via saw its contract with the airport terminated in April following repeated delays and cancellations of flights.

The key to a successful strategy for the new airline is to ensure that the $100,000 budget is spent as efficiently as possible, Watson said.

“We want to make sure that it’s affordable and that we’re going to get the biggest bang for our buck out it,” he said. “I think what we’ve got is just about everything on the table. Then it’s just trying to prioritize and put some costs with it as to where we go from there.”

One aspect of the strategy includes advertising during West Virginia University sporting events, Watson said.

“We’d like to continue our relationship with the marketing people at WVU,” he said. “We feel that’s a good place to market the new service.”

These advertisements could include branded graphics displayed on screens and scoreboards during football and basketball games, Watson said.

Watson said the marketing strategy is important to the success of both SkyWest and the airport.

“We’re a partner,” he said. “SkyWest certainly will benefit by us working together because it’s a business. And they’re certainly looking to make a profit, and we’re looking to have a carrier that’s dependable and affordable.”

Original article can be found here ➤

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