In South Africa there is a little airline called kulula that readers might enjoy learning about. The airline is owned by Comair, which also flies around Southern Africa as BA. Comair operates an LCC and a full service airline.
But, as one can imagine, its the LCC that generates the most fun. Take a look at this video of the safety announcement. For non-African ears you may want to replay it a few times to pick up on the quirkiness. kulula only has eight 737s. But its impact is way bigger than its small fleet. Indeed, this private airline has to compete against a much larger state funded and supported competitor brings up instant comparisons with private Indian airlines competing with the same sort of (money losing, perennial tax payer supported) competitor.
Recently kulula took delivery of a new 737-800. Most places this sort of news would attract no attention. But not in this case. The airline did some clever PR – they found a look alike of the president and sneakily named him Jacob Z for the event. Since the first flight with the 737 coincided with South Africa’s presidential new airplane debacle, there was clever use of that too. Passengers turning up for the flight had no idea what they were in for. As the video shows, the airline offered an amazing meal plus other entertainment.
It was a stunning PR success. You don’t need to be big to be clever. You don’t need to fear a big state funded dinosaur either. Clever PR stunts like this have built a following for little kulula. Take a look here at another example of how this airline is stirring things up.
Take a look: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8rHN5OhKHo]