Danny Rogers: EasyJet has the experience to handle Stelios
Monday 03 October 2011
EasyJet, an airline founded on the principles of inspired public relations, is finally rediscovering its mojo – despite the bizarre actions of its creator, Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
It emerged last week that Sir Stelios, still the airline’s largest shareholder with a 38 per cent stake, is planning to launch a rival airline called Fastjet.
Stelios resigned last year amid a long-running spat with easyJet’s current management over strategy. But he recently upped the ante, claiming a smear campaign against him in themedia. It is so different from the mid-Nineties when Stelios was rarely seen without an orange t-shirt in endless promotional stunts. He was the star of ITV’s Airline,making easyJet a household name. Sadly his declining love affair with the airline sapped easyJet’s confidence and PR sparkle.
But it is fighting back. The plans for Fastjet appear to have been leaked to the media by easyJet, which has taken the gloves off.
This combative stance can be explained by several factors. First, its chief executive Carolyn McCall is established, after 18 months, and last week forecast record profits. Second, McCall this year hired a new comms director, Paul Moore, to drive the PR strategy, along with Roland Rudd’s Finsbury for City PR. Moore formerly looked after thereputation of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic.
Thirdly, the airline’s punctuality has improved. EasyJet regularly came bottom of the table for late arrivals. But it will give business flyers a free flight if they arrive more than 15 minutes late during October and November.
EasyJet may have lost the chirpiness and orange boiler suits from its days as a challenger brand but it is gradually forging a fresh and rather formidable reputation. Danny Rogers is editor of PR Week
Malaysia Airlines plane crash exposes alarming flaw in airline security: over one billion flights made last year without stolen-passport check
Kim Jong-un wins 100% of the vote in North Korean elections
Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Oil slicks in South China Sea ‘not from missing jet’, officials say
Swarm of killer bees sting woman 1,000 times
- 1 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 2 Australian man Rod Sommerville reacts to bite from deadly snake by reaching for cold beer
- 3 Teacher shows sex tape featuring herself to pupils during class by mistake
- 4 David Cameron resorts to paying for Facebook fans because not enough people like him
- 5 Steve Irwin’s final words: Cameraman present at death opens up about deadly stingray attack for the first time
£12000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a leading digital agency bu...
£16000 - £27000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre Limited: We're looking for...
£18000 - £27000 per annum + Commission + Award-Winning Benefits): Flight Centr...
£18000 - £40000 per annum + Benefits: Flight Centre First and Business: This i...