What is it with the “one stop service” ads near Sydney Airport?

Admittedly Australia is a bit out of the way, so it’s not possible to serve many destinations nonstop. But I think you can get to just about any major city in the world from Sydney with one stop. What I find bizarre is the number of advertisements I’ve seen revolving around that.

While leaving the airport last night I saw a billboard for Emirates advertising “one stop service to Geneva.” Fair enough, I find it a bit strange, but I guess that’s accurate. I assume the advertising is more to generate interest as opposed to informing. In other words, it’s probably to make people say “oh yeah, I’d love to visit Geneva” as opposed to “oh, I didn’t know I could get to Geneva from here with only one stop.”

But what’s really strange, and unless I’m mistaken, kind of deceiving, is this ad that V Australia has on the parking garage car park (you Australians proud of me yet?;-)) at the airport:

So V Australia is advertising the fact that Etihad Airways has service to London (not even mentioning the stop in Abu Dhabi)? What part of that is new – is it the route (which I don’t believe is the case), or is it the partnership with V Australia? To me, that’s the equivalent of JetBlue having a billboard in New York advertising Lufthansa’s daily service from New York to Singapore.

Anyway, merely an observation from someone that loves marketing…

Filed Under: Travel
  1. The one stop service more refers to the fact that more often than not in the past London was the ONLY gateway from Australia. So pretty mucn anywhere in continental europe meant a trip to singapore, then london then onto europe.

    As for the V Australia ad, i think they are just trying to get the fact they fly somewhere other than the USA.

  2. Well, if your previous options were “well, sir, you can connect through Heathrow from Qantas to BA with a terminal change”, one-stop service looks like the holy grail!

    I think the Emirates ads are intended to give a “oh, wow, Emirates are connecting to Geneva now? Well, thank God I don’t have to connect through Singapore and Zürich to get there any more” feeling.

    And the new Virgin Australia/V Australia/V Confused route to London is actually pretty new — it’s one of their CEO John Borghetti’s pride-and-joy bilateral agreement routes. VA and EY fly from Aus to AUH, from where EY takes passengers on to various destinations. It’s actually a pretty interesting set of strategies — he’s also using Aerolineas Argentinas and Delta for South and North American flights, for example, and he told us he has his eye on an Asian carrier (which I reckon is MH) and a Chinese carrier (which I reckon is CZ) for similar bilats.

    Glad to hear you made it to Australia and have not yet accidentally been killed!

  3. The V Australia (now Virgin Australia) tie-up with Etihad is relatively new – was launched in February – and it’s a big part of Virgin Australia’s plans to be Australia’s second carrier on an international as well as domestic basis, hence the advert – to promote consumer awareness that there’s an alternative to Qantas (along with BA codeshares, SQ, CX and EK).

    As to ‘one-stop’ – well, again, Aussies who are used to Qantas would basically think of SYD-LON as the primary route (stopover in SIN or BKK of course) and then LON to anywhere else… but the UAE-based airways especially are now promoting one-stops to those ‘anywhere else’ cities, mainly in Europe, which let you bypass Heathrow entirely (SQ and to a lesser extent CX also).

    It’s really got to do with the way that many Aussies have been thinking the QF way and now starting to be made aware of more effective alternatives if they don’t want to go to LON, for example. So the one-stop to Geneva are adverts are perhaps as much about informing as enticing interest.

  4. I understand the earlier comments about QF/BA to contintental Europe via SIN/BKK + LHR but hasn’t SQ been a viable alternative for one-stop service to continental Europe via SIN for quite a while?

  5. @Jim S as well as Cathay and Thai of course. And Emirates isn’t new either, with 3 daily SYD-DXB flights (including an A380)

  6. JimS: SQ has indeed been, but for many (too many) Aussies there is a tendency to think of QF first and foremost, and research & book accordingly… I have no hard stats but that’s my observation. We’re talking about super-mainstream here of course, not the more savvy frequent flyers.

  7. The V Australia ad refers to the fact that V Australia now flights to Abu Dhabi and you connect with Etihad from there to Europe. Hence the ad.

    In terms of the one-stop. Singapore and Other Asian carriers serve predominantly European capitals, but smaller cities such as Geneva have previously required a minimum of two stops (eg: SIA connects via FRA or ZRH). As more cities are served with a one stop service, this is a key selling point of reducing already long flight times.

  8. Just to add to what has been written, the idea of being able to go from most anywhere (Asia, South Asia, Australia, Africa) to most anywhere (Europe, Africa, North America) via DXB in one stop is a key part of Eremites business plan. They are blessed by location.

  9. Yes, as with the others. The big thing VA and Emirates are pushing are the fact that Australians no longer need to go to London and backtrack to get to the rest of Europe — which was (and is) pretty much the norm for Qantas and there are a lot of Qantas FF’ers who wouldn’t have contemplated the alternative.

    VA now fly SYD-AUH on their own metal with connections from there via Etihad to a wide range of destinations. By contrast on QF the vast majority of connections are via LHR which is the exact opposite end of Europe from Australia.

  10. @John – hilarious video. Reminds me of a comment a few years ago in Sydney by a local expat who referred to it as the most poisonous country in the world.

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