How Indian Airline Industry is leveraging Social Media?

Air passenger traffic in India is increasing on a tremendous pace. It is a very well known fact that aviation sector not only brings immense benefits to communities and economies around the globe, but also is a key agitator of economic growth, social development and tourism in any country.

indian airline industry on social media

India is currently the 9th largest aviation market handling 121 Million domestic and 41 Million International passengers. Today, more than 85 international airlines operate to India and 5 Indian carriers connect over 40 countries. [source] Let’s look at some of the leading Airlines of India and see how their social media presence is impacting their brand.

1. Air India

Air India is the flag carrier airline of India owned by the government run Air India Limited. The airline operates a fleet of Airbus and Boeing aircraft serving various domestic and international airports. It is headquartered at the Indian Airlines House in New Delhi. Air India has two major domestic hubs at Indira Gandhi International Airport and Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, secondary hubs at Chennai International Airport and Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport.

  • Facebook: 70, 388 Fans
  • Twitter: 2,468 Followers

Takeaways: They have a fairly good presence on Facebook, and the contests they ran led them to more interaction, engagement and building a stronger relationship with their Fans. Not much effective on Twitter, they need to buckle up and start strategising and sharing content on Twitter as well.

2. Jet Airways

Jet Airways is the second of India’s two major airlines based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, both, in terms of market share and passengers carried after Air India. Socially they have-

  • Facebook: 1.1 Million Fans
  • Twitter: 45,424 Followers
  • YouTube: 517 Subscribers
  • Pinterest: 357 Followers

Takeaways: When we talk about social media numbers, Jet Airways is on the top of the ladder, engagement and interaction is also good and very prompt. We may take a closer look into this very soon in our upcoming articles.

3. Spice Jet

SpiceJet is India’s preferred airline, with more than 350 daily flights to 45 Indian cities and 8 international destinations. Their fleet comprises of 51 aircraft of which, 36 are Boeing and 15 are the Q400 aircraft.

  • Facebook: 541K Fans
  • Twitter: 10k Followers
  • YouTube: 191 Subscribers

Takeaways: They are active on Twitter, and the way they handle their account is exemplary. They are very prompt with their replies and their interaction. Facebook is something which is not working for the brand as it can, maybe they can consider re-working on their content calendars and start sharing content which is thought provoking and more engaging to their audience.

4. Indigo

IndiGo is an Indian airline company headquartered at Gurgaon, India. It is one of the fastest growing low cost carriers in the world. With its fleet of 72 new Airbus A320 aircraft, the airline offers 447 daily flights connecting to 35 destinations.

  • Facebook: 242k Fans
  • Twitter: 3,288 Followers

Takeaways: With their recent contest on Facebook ‘Snap, share, win’ they entangled a lot of engagement and participation from their Fans. They might need to consider leveraging other social media platforms also.

5. Go Air

GoAir is the aviation foray of the Wadia Group. The GoAir route network spans key business and leisure destinations across the Indian subcontinent. GoAir currently flies to 21 destinations with over 100 daily flights and is positioned as ‘the Smart People’s Airline’

  • Facebook: 15,119 Fans
  • Twitter: 1,188 Followers
  • Google+: 9 People have them in their circles.

Takeaways: Their presence on every platform is very average, and they need to share content which entices their Fans/Followers to be a part of and being on Google+ is a great step but it would intensify it they share content.

We also have a newcomer here, Air Costa which was launched on October 2013, they have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as due to they have just launched their social media presence is not that great. But the amount of posts they share per day is a good start for them. They should take some few cues from the above Airlines or if they are bold, adventurous and experimenting? They might want to follow the social media strategy by Virgin America.

Comparative Analysis

To give this entire industry a more realistic and comparative analysis, we tracked down all the conversations for four out of 5 above mentioned Indian Airlines with the help of Talkwalker, which is a great social media management tool. Here are some key findings based on data for last 30 days.

Total Conversations

conversations indian airlines

There have been total of 36,415 threads of conversation revolving around the Indian Aviation industry. As we can see from the above image Air India has peaked over all other airlines on social media. Followed by Spice jet and Jet Airways which are neck-to-neck, at one incident in this graph (16th January 2014- 24th January 2014) spice jet overtook Air India. Go Air has consistently remained the underdog in this entire conversation chart.

Share of Voice and Platforms

share of voice airlines

In comparison of these Airlines, Air India share of voice has been consistently on the rise, followed by Spice jet, Jet Airways and lastly Go Air. The tone of conversation has mainly remained neutral, some instance have provoked more negative reaction than positive. The mode of communication chosen to engage– Twitter, Facebook and other mediums all of them almost seem at par.

Top Influencers

Talkwalker provides a complete list of influencers based on different platforms, here is what excited us-

  • News– In the news segment the key influencers for these conversations are Indian Express followed by rediff.com, divyabhaskar.com, indianexpress.com and goibibo.
  • Blogs– Similarly for blogs Firstpost with 21 million views, listverse.com and others
  • Forums– The 5 forums which had a massive influence for these conversations are – airliners.net, flyertalk.com, skyscrapercity.com, pprune.org and airlinecrew.net
  • Facebook– Top Facebook Pages are – The Economic Times, Indian Administrative services (IAS), India Today, Fresherslive and The Hindu.
  • Twitter– The key influencers of twitter are – Times of India, Pranay Gupta, firstpostin, IndianExpress and ReutersIndia.

Apart from these influencers, we did in-depth analysis with Talkwalker and found more key influencers of the Airline Industry on Twitter.

influencers indian airlines

What they were talking about?

As we can see from the below image, the keyword cloud. There have been several mentions for Air India, Spice Jet, Indigo and other various Airlines. As we can see Air India has received 42% drop, compared to other airlines which all have the green sign due to various reasons being – Low fares, offers, good representation of themselves on their online portals etc.

keywords indian airlines

The Road ahead for the Indian Aviation industry is poised to become the third largest across the globe by 2020, according to industry estimates. As Social Media has become a integral part for conversation sharing, it is vital that all these airlines buck up and start taking notice of it, as they say out of site is out of mind and you do not want to be left out.

Have you interacted with any of these Indian Airlines on Social Media? How was your experience? Do share your comments with us!

A social media and web tech enthusiast. I keep myself busy with building social media strategies, tactics, exploring new platforms and sharing the best of my knowledge online. I like to play basketball and football.

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