The Inadvia Insights Series: Advertising is set to play an important role in the recovery of the Aviation industry

How can advertising revenue support the recovery of the commercial airline industry post-COVID? In this instalment of Inadvia Insights, Inadvia co-founder Ryan Afshar shares his thoughts.


The aviation industry has never faced such a challenging time.

The International Air Travel Association (IATA) has warned that revenue for 2020 will be cut in half with many carriers potentially facing extinction.

With the prospect of air travel potentially taking years to return to its pre-pandemic levels, the role of ancillary revenue streams for airlines has never been more important. Advertising is one of them, and one that we are seeing a renewed focus on from our partners in the inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) sector.

As lockdown measures in Europe start to loosen and the traditional summer travel period approaches, advertisers can play an active role in the recovery of the airline industry whilst reaching hugely valuable and engaged audiences.

Inflight advertising opportunities will continue to evolve in the wake of COVID-19

There has been a lot speculation that the inflight magazine is unlikely to return in the short term. So what other ways can brands effectively reach the in-market traveller?

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The trend for airlines to offer increased access to content streaming services and connectivity on passengers’ personal devices will continue to accelerate. Just as with other media channels, such as TV and Out-of-Home, that have recently undergone successful digital transformation, the aviation sector’s approach to advertising is also ripe for disruption.

The continuing shift to a more data-driven and automated advertising solution will allow airlines to generate increased revenues and a higher yield from advertising. It also presents an opportunity for advertisers and their agencies to plan and buy inflight media at scale, alongside other addressable media channels. Importantly, buyers will finally be able to see a clear return on investment.  

A media channel fit for modern marketing

With significantly enhanced targeting and measurement capabilities and far less wastage, inflight advertising will no doubt attract new brands to invest and see increased demand for the video inventory. We have already witnessed this trend in the CTV and addressable TV space.

The results of Inadvia’s Attitudes to Inflight Media Survey (AIMS 2020) highlight that 96% of advertisers and media agency respondents said they would consider buying inflight media programmatically in the future. This is particularly relevant when programmatic spend as a whole appears to have fared significantly better than direct IO business during the current crisis.

At times like this, it is more important than ever to make sure consumers receive the right advertising message, at the right time, and in the right context. The future of inflight advertising does not lie in blanket marketing the same ad to every passenger across one airline. Instead, a more focused approach is required. One that examines the unique data points available and allows for a more personalised conversation between passengers and brands.

As we all navigate what the future of air travel looks like, one thing is for certain. Inflight advertising, if planned and executed thoughtfully and with the passenger in mind, can be a win-win for both airlines and brand marketers alike.


This article was originally published on LinkedIn here