After a year which has seen air travel slashed to a fraction of its COVID-19 passenger capacity and punishing layoffs of crew, the aviation industry is starting to plan a return to a new normal. In Europe and the US, a system of ‘green light’ destinations and increased vaccinations are likely to see the first leisure flights take off in June.
To mark this, British Airways has filmed a new advertisement which will air on British terrestrial television for the first time on Friday May 7, thereafter during Premier League football matches and other sporting events. The campaign ‘You Make Us Fly’ features the airline’s employees and is the airline’s first advertisement since ‘A love letter to Britain,’ which aired in 2019, to mark the airline’s centenary.
Over 500 members of British staff applied to take part, 125 appear, from Helen Wetton, a captain on the British Airways 777 fleet to cabin crew and baggage handlers, all showing them making their way back to work.
Why, when with pent-up wanderlust is likely to fuel passenger numbers, does British Airways need to show an advert at all? Says Hamish McVey, British Airways Head of Brand Development and Engagement: ‘We are in a competitive market place. We want to reassure people that they will get the unique British Airways service when they book with us.’
Tom Otley, Editorial Director of Business Traveller agrees: “There are a lot of people desperate to get flying again, and, as the advert makes clear with its ‘You Make Us Fly’ strapline and imagery, BA needs us just as much as we need it. There are a challenging few months coming up, though, with inevitable frustrations around testing, proving vaccinations, digitally or otherwise and face masks….