ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronCrossEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business

Advertising boost drops airfare at budget carrier

AirAsia fills plane compartment with ads to offset prices

Cosmetics ads cover the overhead storage bin doors inside an AirAsia plane.

BANGKOK -- On a recent flight aboard AirAsia from the Thai capital to Singapore, I unexpectedly saw a dazzling array of colorful cosmetics ads adorning the overhead storage bin doors.

All of the ads are written in Chinese. They promote face masks, foundations and face cream made from snails. The ads apparently come from Thailand and are designed to appeal to the many Chinese tourists. 

When I took my seat, I spotted another cosmetics ad on the backside of the tray table in its stowed position. 

The Malaysian budget carrier gives consumers the opportunity to travel cheaply between the countries in the region. 

I am accustomed to simple and stark aircraft interiors, but I became convinced that these ads help AirAsia generate profit by taking advantage of as much space on its airplanes as possible. 

The main attraction of budget carriers is cheap airfare, which is possible because of thoroughly streamlined services. The carriers charge for meals and beverages as well as seat selection and also impose strict weight limits for checked baggage. 

With AirAsia's cheapest ticket, the departure dates can be changed, but a fee will be applied, and cancellations are not eligible for a refund. Pillows and blankets are provided at an extra charge. 

In 2005, AirAsia started to sell ad space on aircraft fuselages and inside planes. Since then, ads from a wide variety of industries, such as banks, theme parks and auto, insurance and fashion companies, have been featured on the baggage storage doors and tray tables. 

Once empty spaces are now contributing to cheaper fares. 

An AirAsia official said aircraft interiors covered with ads go down well among clients. However, the official noted that the airline does not know whether passengers enjoy flying on such planes. 

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media