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Launching first-ever nonstop air service from New York to Tahiti

Case Study - Launching first-ever nonstop air service from New York to Tahiti

Spring, O'Brien garners major national broadcast coverage and multi-page print spreads in top US publications for Air Tahiti Nui

Challenge

•To launch Air Tahiti Nui's first direct flight from New York to Tahiti, conveys the message: "Tahiti is closer than you think". To also build and sustain brand buzz for this little known carrier, increase load factors and position Tahiti as a viable vacation alternative - for Easterners - to Hawaii and the Caribbean

Strategy

•Secured interviews with high-level business, travel and broadcast media for top airline executives and the President of Tahiti
•Leading up to and after the service launch, developed and rolled out a series of tactical package press releases to stimulate travel to Tahiti from the East Coast
•Managed an aggressive media relations campaign, arranging highly targeted press visits to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui, which resulted in first hand reporting on the airline and the destination
•Organized a short flight for travel agents allowing them to experience the new service
•Created "Tahiti Nonstop Week" - a series of events including Tahitian dance performances - in Grand Central Station and the Time Warner Center
•Organised an A-list media event for 900 guests

Results

•Secured live performances on CBS' The Early Show (national) and local WB Morning News with Marquesan dancers in New York. Interviews with Tahiti's President ran on Fox & Friends and CBS Marketwatch (both national)
•In the first six months of the NY service, 25 journalists were hosted on trips. Multi-page spreads included cover stories in National Geographic Traveler, New York Post, Star-Ledger, Forbes FYI, Business Traveler, Out Traveler, Cincinnati Enquirer plus features in New York Magazine and Gotham. The advertising equivalent of these nine features alone was over $1.5 million.
•Generated regular coverage of launch news, packages and airfare discounts in outlets including: The New York Times, Washington Post, Travel + Leisure, Frommers.com
•Air Tahiti Nui met its initial load factor goals for the start-up NY route with direct connecting service to Sydney. This led in turn to the launch of direct flights to Auckland, thereby establishing Papeete, Tahiti, as a key South Pacific hub
•Load factors on the airline's New York flights steadily grew and the route turned a profit within 12 months of launch
•Agency won two Platinum Adrian Awards (top industry honours) for the launch of the New York flight and for a related broadcast campaign

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