News Column

American Airlines Has its Eye on Hispanic Travelers

June 16, 2009


American Airlines, hispanic travelers, airline industry, oneworld alliance

American Airlines has teamed up with Zubi Advertising Services to launch its first ever Hispanic-centered advertising campaign in hopes of tapping into the burgeoning Hispanic market at a time when airline competition is tight. AA is aiming to promote its AAdvantage program through commercials on Spanish-language networks, such as Telemundo and Univision, as well as through Hispanic-focused publications, including Hispanic Business Magazine. AAdvantage, the airline's frequent flyer membership program, was established in 1981 and boasts more than 60 million affiliates.

The airline believes that Hispanics can greatly benefit from the AAdvantage program because AA has more flights to more Latin America and South America than any other carrier. Accordingly, frequent fliers should have a wide selection of flights to countries where they may have relatives.

"We have an extremely strong Latin American route system," said Billy Sanez, the Director of Advertising and Promotion for AA. "The advantage program is like being part of our family. Latinos fly with us a lot but don't take advantage of all the benefits we offer. [Advertising] is a strong opportunity to bring Latinos into our program and be part of our family."

AA is a part of the One World Alliance, a league of international airlines that allow program members to use assets across the networks. Meaning an AAdvantage member can use his or her acquired miles to fly with LAM Peru or another airline in the alliance.

Although AA is starting its big advertising push to the Hispanic market, Sanez said that AA has been focused on Hispanics since 1942, when the airline took its first flight to Mexico. Since then, AA has been increasing the number of Latin American nations that it flies to as well as the number of flights to these countries.

"In the past decade as we have seen the Latino businesses continue to grow and the disposable income in the Hispanic market has also grown," said Sanez. "We know that the more we invest in the Latino community we create a great opportunity for American [Airlines]. We want to be there not only because it's the right thing to do but it's the right business decision too."

Sanez indicated that television advertisements will be focused in Miami, Dallas, and Chicago, the three cities in which a reported 41 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population lives. AA will reach out to U.S. Hispanics nationwide by running TV and radio advertisements during major league soccer match broadcasts.

"[Zubi has] been a key ally into making sure that we are communicating to the Hispanic market in the most opportunistic way," said Sanez. "The Latin market is a huge business market for us."

Source: (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

Story Tools Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters