American Airlines is to launch a TV campaign to promote its business-class service. The activity will feature the airline's $1.3bn (£668m) international terminal at New York's JFK Airport as part of its push to become the leading airline serving the city.
The work, by McCann Erickson, which also developed American Airlines' £5m campaign starring US actor James Gandolfini, will take on ads from BA and Virgin Atlantic, which dominate UK bookings for transatlantic travel even though fares on the US carrier can be cheaper.
This month, Virgin Atlantic launched a TV campaign featuring Scottish actor John Hannah to promote its Upper Class Wing at Heathrow's Terminal 3.
The ad, created by RKCR/Y&R, flags up its facilities
for business-class passengers and the fact that it takes less than 10 minutes to travel from its Upper Class check-in point to the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse (Marketing, 15 January). The work is part of a wider strategy by the airline aimed at maintaining its volume of business travellers.
BA is launching an integrated drive to illustrate its dedicated facilities at Terminal 5. The work, by Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which uses the strapline 'Upgrade to BA', is intended to reinforce the premium positioning rolled out in a campaign the airline launched last September.
Meanwhile, business-class-only carrier Silverjet focuses on its private terminal at Luton Airport in its ads.
Activity in the transatlantic airline sector is heating up ahead of the implementation of the EU-US Open Skies Agreement, which comes into effect in March, and will liberal-ise the transatlantic air-travel market.
Under the current rules, American Airlines, BA, United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic are the only carriers permitted to fly from London Heathrow to US airports.