· Emirates is the most valuable airlines brand worth US$7.7 billion
· Qantas posts very strong brand value growth, up 64% on 2015
· American Airlines brand value up 69% following US Airways rebrand
· Lufthansa brand value falls 27% and drops in rank from 4th to 10th
Every year, leading brand valuation and strategy consultancy Brand Finance puts thousands of the world’s top brands to the test, evaluating which are the most powerful and the most valuable, including the 50 most valuable airline brands.
Emirates remains both the World’s strongest and most valuable airline brand. Brand Finance Chief Executive David Haigh comments, “Emirates continues to soar, adding 17% to its brand value this year. Brand Finance’s analysis shows that Emirates is more popular than ever– its brand equity scores for consumer factors such as familiarity, consideration, preference, satisfaction and recommendation are up across the board. Emirates’ growth this year, which builds on impressive historic trends, suggests that by 2020 it could become the first Middle Eastern brand to enter the top 100 of our ranking.”
American Airlines has grown by a huge 69%. This is in large part due to the rebranding of US airways under the AA brand (following the merger in 2013) rather than organic brand value growth. However the rebrand contributes more than a mere re-allocation of revenues. The merged carrier can offer passengers a wider network of routes, improving brand strength and generating economies of scale for marketing investment. American is pioneering the opening up of Cuba to air travel from the US, helping to reinforce its position as more than just an incumbent.
Qantas has also seen impressive brand value growth. Scores in the ‘consumer’ section of Brand Finance’s Brand Strength Index have seen a marked increase, while perceptions among external stakeholders and staff have also improved significantly on 2015. The financial picture looks positive too with forecast revenues and margins on the up. Brand Finance Associate Director Savio D’Souza said, “Qantas has been able to maintain brand vitality in the face of some significant but important cuts that have improved profitability, brand value and Qantas’ financial sustainability.”
In contrast Malaysia airlines has had another bad year as it continues to endure the fallout of two notorious plane crashes in 2014. Brand value is down 26% to US$462 million and it has become the weakest brand in the top 50, with an ‘A’ brand rating. Lufthansa has experienced an even more significant decline however. Brand value is down over a billion dollars following a 27% drop. Brand contagion from the Germanwings crash has been relatively limited, Lufthansa’s problems are rather more systemic. Its market share is being eroded by budget carriers, with Ryanair launching a four times daily service between Berlin and Cologne (one of Lufthansa’s key routes) in 2015.
Brand values for hundreds of the world’s top brands from all industries can be found on Brand Finance’s website.