Delta Air Lines has the strongest brand name in the aviation industry

Aviation brands around the world are rising in value after the widespread disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from brand valuation consultancy Brand Finance. The airline industry suffered major losses in brand equity during the pandemic as governments enforced travel restrictions to curb the rapid spread of COVID-19.

Brand Finance scrutinizes 5,000 of the largest brands each year and publishes approximately 100 reports ranking brands from all sectors and countries. The top 50 of the world’s most valuable and strongest brands in the airline industry are included in the annual Brand Finance Airlines 50 2022 ranking.

Delta is rising faster than the highest brand equity competitor in the ranking, up 27 percent to $7.3 billion.

Delta rolled out several new features during the year to help retain customers in times of low demand. New developments over the past year include the introduction of six new transatlantic routes to complement the existing network and new partner hubs in Europe in London, Paris and Amsterdam, among others. In addition, Delta has invested globally in airlines such as Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic, Korean Air and China Eastern.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it many travel restrictions around the world that had a major and direct impact on airline brand values. As the world moves towards a post-COVID future, aviation brands are beginning to appreciate in value.

Relative strength
Brand Finance not only calculates brand equity, but also determines the relative strength of brands using a balanced scorecard that evaluates marketing investments, shareholder value, and business performance.

Canada’s WestJet, whose brand value grew by 22 percent to USD 0.6 billion, is the world’s strongest aviation brand with a Brand Strength Index (BSI) of 84 out of 100 and an associated AAA brand rating. The Canadian airline has strengthened its brand identity in Canada with the addition of 24 new routes across the country, helping Canadian customers feel a greater affinity with the brand. The brand is steadily recovering from the effects of COVID-19 and is now flying for the first time since the nadir of the pandemic with more than 500 flights a day.

Spanish Iberia is the fastest growing aviation brand with a 36 percent increase in brand value. Singapore Airlines is also doing well with a brand value of just under 36 percent.

SAUDIA is the fastest growing airline in the Middle East. As part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to increase the number of tourists to 100 million by 2030 and the number of religious visitors to 30 million per year. Saudi Arabia invests heavily in both its product and its services.

AirAsia, with brand equity up 18 percent to US$1.4 billion, is in the top 10 strongest aviation brands in the ranking. The brand’s reputation is enhanced by its diverse offering of travel, business, food and finance services, in addition to its core air travel business. The brand prioritizes customer experience and digital integration with its versatile mobile application Super App for Online Travel Agents (OTA). The brand has captured 63 percent of the domestic market share in Malaysia, reflecting its strong market position in the geographically concentrated markets.

Indian airlines are recovering from a dip in demand amid a number of lockdown guidelines across India. IndiGo, whose brand value increased by 22 percent to USD 0.7 billion, and Air India (brand value increased by 19 percent to USD 0.3 billion) both delivered strong growth.

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