Air India Marketing Strategy 2024: A Case Study

Air India, the flag carrier airline of India, has established itself as a dominant player in the international flight market, serving millions of passengers worldwide. The airline’s recent strategic partnership with Bangkok Airways has further expanded its travel options, providing connectivity to destinations in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.

The buyer persona for Air India, like Michelle Dsouza, a 21-year-old student from Mumbai, represents individuals seeking affordable fares, comfortable travel, and special offers. To cater to the diverse needs of its customers, Air India employs a marketing strategy that focuses on undifferentiated techniques, transactional positioning, and leveraging governmental aid.

Air India actively engages with its customers through various digital platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These platforms serve as channels to provide travel updates, share experiences, and engage with travelers globally. The airline also utilizes its iconic mascot, the Air India Maharaja, in its marketing campaigns to create memorable advertisements and enhance brand visibility.

One such campaign is the “Maharaja Direct” series, which showcases the mischievous side of the Maharaja while highlighting the airline’s direct flight routes. Air India strategically utilizes advertising to differentiate itself from competitors, employing playful dig campaigns that contribute to its marketing warfare approach.

Founded on August 15, 1932, Air India operates as a public limited company with approximately 16,000 employees. The airline offers multiple cabin classes, including Economy Class, Business Class, and First Class, to cater to different budgets and preferences. It is also a part of the global airline alliance Star Alliance, allowing it to offer customers a comprehensive network of destinations through codeshare agreements with member airlines.

As part of its commitment to customer satisfaction, Air India provides various in-flight services such as entertainment options, meal choices, and in-flight shopping. The airline leverages digital services for online bookings, mobile check-ins, and customer support through multiple channels.

With a dynamic pricing model that adjusts fares based on demand, competition, and booking patterns, Air India aims to provide competitive ticket prices. The airline frequently introduces promotional offers, discounts, and deals to stimulate demand, especially during festive seasons and holidays. Additionally, Air India focuses on ancillary revenue generation by offering services like baggage fees, seat selection charges, and in-flight meals to enhance customer experience and profitability.

To promote its services, Air India utilizes various channels including online options, membership promotions, tour packages, banners, print, and video ads. The airline leverages its government-operated brand equity and B2B tie-ups to effectively reach its target audience and promote its business.

Key Takeaways:

  • Air India holds the largest market share for international flights out of India, catering to millions of passengers globally.
  • The airline announced a strategic partnership with Bangkok Airways, expanding travel options to destinations in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia.
  • Air India’s marketing strategy focuses on undifferentiated techniques, transactional positioning, and leveraging governmental aid.
  • The airline actively engages with customers through various digital platforms to provide travel updates and engage with travelers globally.
  • Air India employs the iconic mascot, the Maharaja, in its marketing campaigns to create memorable advertisements and enhance brand visibility.

Overview of Air India

Air India, the flag carrier airline of India, is a prominent player in the aviation industry. With its comprehensive domestic and international operations, Air India has successfully secured the largest market share among Indian carriers. The airline has established itself as a key player in the industry, catering to a diverse range of customers.

In recent years, Air India has undergone a significant rebranding initiative, aiming to refresh its image and further strengthen its position in the market. As part of this transformation, the airline has entered into strategic partnerships, such as the collaboration with Bangkok Airways for seamless interline travel.

When it comes to international operations, Air India has achieved remarkable success, holding an impressive market share of 16%. This demonstrates the airline’s ability to capture a significant portion of the international travel market in and out of India. Additionally, according to reports from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Air India Airlines enjoys a market share of approximately 13.5% in the Indian aviation market.

Air India’s dedication to providing exceptional service has resulted in a growing customer base. In the fiscal year 2016-17 alone, the airline served over 13 million passengers, reflecting a growth rate of 7.5% compared to the previous year. The majority of Air India’s customers come from the Asia Pacific, Africa, and Middle East regions, catering to the travel needs of diverse demographics.

With a team of over 1400 pilots and 2100+ cabin crews, Air India ensures efficient and reliable operations. The airline operates a diverse fleet of more than 110 aircraft, representing various models from reputable manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus.

Air India’s commitment to its brand identity is evident through its iconic Royal Maharajah mascot, a symbol of rich Indian culture. The mascot adds value to the brand by resonating with customers and contributing to Air India’s equity in the market.

As a part of its strategic business units (SBUs), Air India operates subsidiaries and joint ventures, including Air India Express, which is classified as a Star in the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) matrix. These diverse business units strengthen Air India’s portfolio and support its market presence.

However, like any other airline, Air India faces various challenges in its operations. Factors such as increasing fuel prices, government regulations, and seasonal demand variations impact the airline’s performance. To overcome these challenges, Air India adopts a proactive approach, implementing strategies to enhance aircraft utilization, increase passenger capacity, improve fuel efficiency, and expand its network.

Looking ahead, Air India aims to consolidate its position in the market by targeting price-sensitive customers, with a focus on tier-II cities and exploring international market opportunities. By leveraging its strong brand presence, extensive network, and customer-centric strategies, Air India aims to capture a significant market share in India’s aviation industry within the next five years.

Buyer Persona for Air India

Air India, like many airlines, understands the importance of creating a buyer persona to cater to the specific needs and preferences of their target audience. One such buyer persona is Michelle Dsouza, a 21-year-old student from Mumbai. As a student, Michelle is always on the lookout for affordable fares to help her fulfill her wanderlust. She values a comfortable travel experience and is drawn to special offers that help her make the most of her limited budget.

Air India’s buyer persona research highlights the significance of understanding the needs of individuals like Michelle Dsouza. By analyzing customer behavior, the airline can develop targeted marketing strategies and tailor their offerings to meet the desires of their buyer persona. With the insight gained from studying customer data, Air India can anticipate Michelle’s preferences and provide her with personalized recommendations and deals that enhance her journey.

Customer loyalty programs play a vital role in Air India’s marketing strategy, just as they do in many other airlines. By offering rewarding perks and exclusive benefits, these programs incentivize customers like Michelle to book flights directly with the airline. They create a sense of value and loyalty, encouraging customers to choose Air India for their travel needs.

The Impact of Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs have proven to have a significant impact on customer behavior. Members of these programs are more likely to book their flights directly with the airline to earn rewarding perks and enjoy exclusive benefits. This loyalty not only benefits the airline financially but also enhances the overall customer experience, leading to increased customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

To provide insight into the power of loyalty programs, let’s take a look at Southwest Airlines and their Rapid Rewards program. This program offers an A-List status achievable after taking 25 flights a year or earning 35,000 points. A-List members receive benefits such as priority boarding, security line access, same-day change, and standby privileges. Southwest also offers the Companion Pass, earned after completing 100 flights or earning 135,000 points annually, allowing passengers to bring a companion on every flight for free. These enticing perks attract customer engagement and foster loyalty.

Customizing cross-selling and upselling offers based on a customer’s travel history, cabin class preferences, favorite destinations, and loyalty program status can further enhance engagement and conversions. By understanding the individual preferences and behaviors of customers like Michelle Dsouza, Air India can present targeted offers that are relevant and appealing.

Air India’s commitment to understanding and catering to the specific needs of their buyer persona helps build strong brand loyalty among their customers. By developing marketing strategies that resonate with individuals like Michelle, the airline can provide a travel experience that goes beyond mere transportation, creating lasting connections between the brand and its customers.

Marketing Techniques of Air India

Air India, as one of the leading airlines in India, has employed a variety of marketing techniques to enhance its brand presence and attract customers. By implementing undifferentiated marketing strategies, Air India aims to establish itself as a symbol of hospitality and rich heritage. Additionally, the airline adopts transactional positioning to cater to the diverse needs of its customer segments.

One of the key factors contributing to Air India’s marketing success is its participation in strategic alliances. By joining the Star Alliance in 2014, Air India gained access to a vast network of partner airlines, enabling the provision of more than 1,300 destinations worldwide to its customers. This alliance not only increases the airline’s reach but also allows for cost-sharing related to operations, maintenance, and marketing, resulting in significant cost savings.

In addition to the Star Alliance, Air India has established several codeshare agreements with partner airlines. These agreements extend its route network, enabling the airline to offer customers access to a wider range of destinations without increasing operational flights. The benefits of these alliances include enhanced services such as seamless baggage transfers, coordinated flight schedules, and access to airport lounges, enhancing the overall customer experience.

To further optimize its operations and streamline its offerings, Air India is exploring potential alliances with regional carriers, technology providers for revenue management solutions, and ground handling service providers. These collaborations aim to streamline operations at airports and enhance the passenger experience.

Moreover, Air India’s marketing techniques extend into the digital realm. The airline leverages digital marketing strategies to establish closer connections with travelers and engage in targeted advertising based on users’ preferences and online behaviors. By utilizing real-time data and analytics, Air India can track digital campaigns and make quick adjustments based on traveler trends, resulting in more effective and efficient marketing efforts.

As Air India looks to revamp its brand image under its new ownership by Tata Sons, the airline is considering opportunities to expand its routes and international destinations. It is also evaluating the option to launch a Low-Cost Carrier to cater to a wider range of customer segments.

However, Air India does face challenges in its marketing efforts. The airline must navigate stiff competition on international routes while also grappling with rising fuel costs and labor expenses. Additionally, market conditions in the aviation industry are volatile, making marketing efforts more challenging due to the perishable nature of travel products.

Despite these challenges, Air India remains committed to implementing effective marketing techniques to maintain and grow its market share. By leveraging both traditional and digital strategies, the airline aims to reach a broader audience and establish itself as a competitive player in the industry.

Air India’s Digital Presence

Air India, the iconic Indian airline, has embraced the digital era with a robust and engaging online presence. With a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, Air India has successfully enhanced its brand visibility and customer engagement on various platforms.

As part of its rebranding efforts in 2023, Air India underwent a significant transformation in its visual identity, marking a new era after decades of government ownership. Collaborating with Futurebrand and its Mumbai counterpart, Air India launched a new global brand identity that included a redesigned website and app.

The airline’s website and app now offer an intuitive and user-friendly experience, providing passengers with round-the-clock customer service, full access to lounges for premium travelers, and an upgraded loyalty program. These initiatives have not only improved customer satisfaction but have also contributed to Air India’s digital growth.

With its revamped logo, Air India replaced the iconic red swan and Konark Chakra with a gold window frame, symbolizing a ‘Window of Possibilities.’ The new visual system incorporates deep red, aubergine, and gold hues, along with a chakra-inspired pattern and a custom type family called Air India Sans.

Air India’s rebranding sparked mixed reactions in India. While some appreciated the modern aesthetic, others expressed concerns about the potential disregard for cultural nuances. This highlights the ongoing tension between global aspirations and cultural preservation that many companies face in their quest for international recognition.

Boosting Digital Reach and Engagement

Air India has leveraged its digital presence to reach a wider audience and connect with customers on a more personal level. In 2024, the airline witnessed a substantial 30% increase in its digital presence, reflecting its successful efforts in expanding its online footprint.

On social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, Air India has built a strong following, with a remarkable 25% growth in the number of followers within a year. The airline actively engages with its audience by sharing updates on new operations, promoting travel offers, and providing essential travel information.

Furthermore, Air India’s online campaigns have experienced a significant rise in engagement, with a remarkable 40% increase in the engagement rate. This reflects the effectiveness of the airline’s digital marketing efforts in capturing the attention and interest of its target audience.

Implementing a new digital marketing strategy has also had a positive impact on Air India’s website traffic. The airline witnessed a remarkable 35% spike in website traffic, highlighting the success of their efforts in driving online engagement and attracting more visitors.

Not only has Air India excelled in its digital presence, but its email marketing campaigns have also shown remarkable improvement. The click-through rate on Air India’s email marketing campaigns increased by 20% in 2024, indicating the effectiveness of their email marketing strategies in driving customer interest and action.

Air India’s enhanced digital marketing efforts have yielded tangible results in terms of online bookings as well. The airline experienced a 15% increase in online bookings, showcasing the positive impact of their digital initiatives on driving customer conversions and revenue.

Looking ahead, Air India’s strong digital presence and successful marketing strategies position the airline well in an industry that is undergoing significant growth and transformation. With the Asian market predicted to nearly double in passenger traffic by 2035, Air India is poised to play a crucial role in catering to the increasing demand for air travel.

The future holds tremendous potential for Air India as it continues to adapt to evolving market dynamics, solidify strategic partnerships, and leverage the power of digital marketing to effectively engage with its target audience and capture a larger share of the growing aviation market.

Air India Marketing Campaigns

Air India has a strong reputation for implementing successful marketing campaigns that effectively reach their target audience. With an extensive network connecting over 102 domestic and international destinations, Air India is able to cater to a global audience, making their marketing efforts incredibly impactful.

One key aspect of Air India’s marketing strategy is their ability to target a diverse clientele, including affluent professionals and executives. Recognizing that business passengers form a significant portion of their customer base, Air India tailors their advertising to appeal to this demographic. By understanding their audience’s high disposable income and receptiveness to brand messaging, Air India is able to create campaigns that resonate with their target market.

When it comes to advertising formats, Air India provides a range of options to suit different campaign goals. From print placements to digital displays, seatback pockets to audio announcements, Air India offers a variety of avenues for brands to promote their products or services. This versatility allows advertisers to choose the medium that best aligns with their objectives.

What sets Air India’s advertising efforts apart is their commitment to measuring results. Through tracking metrics such as brand recall, engagement rates, and website traffic, Air India ensures that their campaigns deliver measurable outcomes. This not only helps advertisers assess the effectiveness of their marketing efforts but also provides valuable insights for future campaigns.

Air India also recognizes the power of inflight advertising as a gateway to the lucrative Indian market, attracting businesses seeking entry into the growing economy. Inflight advertising provides a distinctive environment that fosters genuine engagement, thanks to Air India’s captive and receptive audience. This unique setting allows brands to showcase their offerings in a way that captures the attention of travelers and creates lasting impressions.

As part of Air India’s rebranding efforts, their marketing campaigns showcase their revamped identity. With a new logo and livery featuring colors like golden, red, and aubergine, Air India aims to revitalize its brand image. The airline plans to leverage technology enhancements within the next 9 to 12 months to stay competitive in the aviation industry.

One of Air India’s most recognizable elements in their marketing campaigns is their iconic mascot, the Air India Maharaja. The Maharaja, symbolizing unique and luxurious service, has evolved over the years in style and attire. This beloved character adds a touch of nostalgia and charm to Air India’s marketing efforts, making them stand out from other airlines.

Year Campaign
2017 “Maharaja Direct” – Celebrating the iconic Maharaja, this campaign highlighted Air India’s direct flight routes, emphasizing convenience and efficiency.
2019 “Fly Like a Maharaja” – Focusing on the luxurious and personalized experience of flying with Air India, this campaign showcased the airline’s commitment to exceptional service.
2021 “Unforgettable Journeys” – Showcasing the diverse destinations and cultural experiences offered by Air India, this campaign aimed to inspire travelers to embark on memorable journeys with the airline.
2023 “New Horizons” – Aligning with their rebranding efforts, this campaign symbolized Air India’s transformation and its commitment to innovation and progress.

These are just a few examples of Air India’s successful marketing campaigns. By leveraging their extensive network, understanding their audience, and showcasing their unique branding elements like the Air India Maharaja, Air India continues to captivate travelers and deliver impactful marketing messages.

Brand Development and Marketing for AISATS

AISATS, a joint venture between Air India Limited and Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS Ltd), offers comprehensive cargo handling services and has significantly enhanced its operations at the ground level. To establish a strong brand image and promote its services, AISATS collaborated with The Brand Bee, a renowned marketing agency.

The Brand Bee provided AISATS with a range of services, including brand development, brand marketing, and content creation. They worked closely with AISATS to understand their unique value proposition and target audience, and then developed a comprehensive brand strategy that aligned with their goals.

As part of the brand development process, The Brand Bee conducted a comprehensive brand photoshoot to capture key elements of AISATS, such as air traffic control, ground staff, aircraft interiors, and more. This helped create a visually appealing and authentic representation of the brand.

To ensure consistency in messaging and tone, an integrated content creation strategy was implemented across various marketing collaterals. The Brand Bee worked on designing brochures, flyers, and other materials, including AISATS’ Corporate Brochure, that effectively showcased their services and capabilities.

In addition to digital marketing efforts, The Brand Bee also executed offline brand activation strategies that aimed to enhance stakeholder and customer experience. This resulted in increased brand awareness and engagement.

The collaboration between AISATS and The Brand Bee has been ongoing, with a focus on developing collaterals and leaflets that effectively communicate the brand’s message to its target audience. The Brand Bee’s expertise in marketing and brand development has played a crucial role in helping AISATS establish a strong presence in the market.

Overall, AISATS’ partnership with The Brand Bee showcases the importance of brand development and marketing in creating a distinct identity and promoting services effectively. By leveraging the expertise of a reputable marketing agency, AISATS has been able to enhance its brand image and reach its target audience with impactful marketing collaterals.

Capabilities Exhibited by The Brand Bee for AISATS

The Brand Bee, a renowned brand development and marketing agency, brought its expertise to AISATS, a ground handling service provider across Indian airports. The Brand Bee showcased its capabilities in brand development, brand marketing, and content creation, helping AISATS overcome challenges and achieve its marketing objectives.

One of the key areas of focus for The Brand Bee was creating a strong brand image for AISATS. Through extensive research and strategic planning, they developed a comprehensive brand identity that accurately represented AISATS’ core values and services.

To effectively promote AISATS’ brand, The Brand Bee crafted compelling marketing collaterals, including brochures, flyers, and catalogues. These materials showcased AISATS’ unique offerings and highlighted the company’s commitment to excellence in ground handling services.

In addition, The Brand Bee managed a brand photoshoot that captured various aspects of AISATS’ operations. From air traffic control to ground staff and air hostesses, every element was meticulously captured to ensure the photos accurately reflected the professionalism and efficiency of AISATS’ services.

An integrated content creation strategy was also implemented by The Brand Bee to maintain a consistent brand tone throughout AISATS’ collaterals. This strategy effectively communicated AISATS’ value proposition to its target audience, further enhancing the company’s brand presence and recognition.

Collaborating closely with AISATS, The Brand Bee focused on fixing the company’s brand identity, creating impactful marketing communications, and developing offline brand activation strategies. Their in-depth understanding of AISATS’ goals and target market allowed them to deliver tailor-made solutions that resonated with AISATS’ audience.

Ongoing work between The Brand Bee and AISATS includes the continuous development of collaterals and leaflets, both internally and externally. By maintaining a strong partnership, The Brand Bee ensures that AISATS’ marketing efforts remain consistent and impactful.

Performance Highlights of The Brand Bee for AISATS

As AISATS faced challenges in creating and differentiating its brand image and services, they turned to The Brand Bee for their expertise in brand development and marketing. The Brand Bee’s performance highlights in helping AISATS achieve their goals are as follows:

  1. Brand Development: The Brand Bee offered comprehensive brand development services to AISATS, ensuring a strong and cohesive brand identity. They collaborated closely with AISATS to understand their vision and values, resulting in a brand that resonates with their target audience.
  2. Brand Marketing: The Brand Bee’s extensive experience in brand marketing played a crucial role in promoting AISATS effectively. They implemented strategic marketing campaigns that aligned with AISATS’ objectives and target market, maximizing brand exposure and engagement.
  3. Content Creation: Recognizing the importance of compelling content in conveying the brand’s message, The Brand Bee conducted an in-depth brand photoshoot for AISATS. This photoshoot captured various aspects of the brand, including air traffic control, ground staff, aircraft interiors, and equipment, creating visually captivating content that reflected the brand’s essence.
  4. Offline Brand Activation Strategy: One of the key highlights of The Brand Bee’s performance for AISATS was the successful creation of an offline brand activation strategy. This strategy aimed to immerse stakeholders and customers in the AISATS brand, providing seamless experiences that fostered stronger brand loyalty.
  5. Ongoing Collaboration: The collaboration between AISATS and The Brand Bee continues beyond the initial brand development and marketing initiatives. The Brand Bee supports AISATS in creating captivating marketing collaterals and leaflets, ensuring consistent brand messaging and visual identity.

The Brand Bee’s innovative approach to fixing brand identity and developing marketing communications has greatly benefited AISATS. Their emphasis on content creation strategy that reflects the brand’s tone has helped AISATS establish themselves as a prominent player in the industry.

Overall, The Brand Bee’s performance highlights in providing brand development, brand marketing, and content creation services to AISATS have played a pivotal role in shaping and promoting the brand’s identity and driving its success.


Air India’s marketing strategy has proven to be successful in positioning the airline as a key player in the competitive aviation industry. By combining undifferentiated techniques, transactional positioning, and governmental support, Air India has effectively captured market share and maintained a strong presence.

Their focus on brand image, digital presence, and innovative marketing campaigns has contributed to their success. By prioritizing service quality and delivering high-quality experiences to passengers, Air India has been able to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Despite facing challenges and the impact of the global aviation industry turmoil, Air India has maintained an impressive on-time performance rate of around 80%, surpassing even Singapore Airlines. This, coupled with their reported revenue of INR 26,400 crore (approximately USD 3.57 billion), demonstrates the effectiveness of their marketing strategy.

In conclusion, Air India’s marketing strategy, with its emphasis on competitive differentiation, service quality, and productivity, has positioned the airline for future success. By focusing on passengers’ satisfaction and delivering high-quality services, Air India has gained a core competitive advantage that will contribute to their profitability and sustained growth in the years to come.


What is Air India’s marketing strategy?

Air India employs undifferentiated marketing techniques, transactional positioning, and governmental aid as part of their marketing strategy to effectively position their brand in the competitive aviation industry.

Who is Air India?

Air India is the flag carrier airline of India, operating both domestic and international flights. They recently underwent a rebranding initiative and have announced a partnership with Bangkok Airways for interline travel. Air India currently holds the largest market share for international flights out of India.

Who is Air India’s target audience?

Air India’s buyer persona includes individuals like Michelle Dsouza, a 21-year-old student from Mumbai. They aim to attract customers who are motivated by affordable fares, a comfortable travel experience, and special offers.

What marketing techniques does Air India use?

Air India utilizes undifferentiated marketing techniques to establish a brand image of hospitality and rich heritage. They also focus on transactional positioning strategies to cater to different customer segments. Additionally, the airline benefits from governmental aid to implement strategic initiatives.

How does Air India engage with its audience?

Air India has a strong digital presence on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. They actively engage with their audience, promote new operations, and provide updates on essential travel information.

What are Air India’s marketing campaigns known for?

Air India’s marketing campaigns are known for featuring their iconic mascot, the Air India Maharaja. These campaigns create memorable advertisements and differentiate the airline from competitors.

How did The Brand Bee help AISATS with brand development?

The Brand Bee provided brand development, marketing, and content creation services to help AISATS achieve their goals. They conducted deep research, developed brand collaterals, and managed a brand photoshoot.

What capabilities does The Brand Bee exhibit for AISATS?

The Brand Bee offers a range of services to AISATS, including brand development, brand marketing, and content creation. They collaborate with AISATS on ongoing marketing collaterals and leaflets.

What were the performance highlights of The Brand Bee for AISATS?

The Brand Bee successfully created an offline brand activation strategy for AISATS, providing stakeholders and customers with a seamless experience. They continue to collaborate with AISATS on ongoing marketing collaterals and leaflets.

What is the conclusion of Air India’s marketing strategy?

Air India’s marketing strategy combines undifferentiated techniques, transactional positioning, and governmental aid to effectively position the airline in the competitive aviation industry. Their focus on brand image, digital presence, and innovative marketing campaigns contributes to their success.
About the author

Nina Sheridan is a seasoned author at, a blog renowned for its insightful exploration of the increasingly interconnected worlds of business, technology, and lifestyle. With a keen eye for the dynamic interplay between these sectors, Nina brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her writing. Her expertise lies in dissecting complex topics and presenting them in an accessible, engaging manner that resonates with a diverse audience.