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Let me start off by saying the airlines of Ukraine are making me eat my words from my first Battle for Kiev post. In that post I stated that after years of posting bonus offers from Aerosvit and Ukraine International that there was little to no matching of bonus offers like we see in other parts of the world. Well a month after my post the big wigs in both airlines FFP departments decide to one up me and my previous observations! Actually, I have nothing to do with the following route bonus being matched in fact I believe it has more to do with new competition on one of the largest routes out of Kiev.
The battle extends to Moscow
On July 20th Ukraine International began flying between Kiev and Moscow, a route that was previously only flown by Aerosvit (for Ukraine based airlines that is, 3 Russian airlines also fly between the 2 cities). To celebrate the launch of the route and to stimulate demand, UIA is offering double miles to their Panorama Club members until the end of October. It didn’t take long for Aerosvit to notice the incentive being offered and in an attempt to retain their loyal flyers on the route announced a quadruple Meridian miles offer on July 25th, only 5 days after UIA started their service. As would be expected Aerosvit’s offer also ends on October 31st.
Not all matches are created equal
Here we have a example of two different FFP promotional methods, one to stimulate demand on a new route (new and to pull from competitors) and one to for customer retention. Unlike much of the route bonus matching we typically see where an airline reacts to another airline’s FFP offer by matching the offer exactly, we have an airline that goes over and above to ensure they don’t lose clientele. Aerosvit could have easily offered double miles on the route just like UIA but by only matching Aerosvit knows that the bonus may not be the only factor taken into account when booking as a slight difference in ticket price could sway a customer to UIA since the mileage bonus is the same. By going beyond UIA’s offer and rewarding loyal Meridian members with quadruple miles those flyer’s have an incentive to stay with Aerosvit even if the price may be slightly higher then UIA. Any extra amount spent (which may be none at all) could result in Aerosvit Meridian members earning a free award ticket sooner then those on UIA. If you only take the Kiev-Moscow route as an example, one only has to fly as little as 3 round trips on Aerosvit to earn an award ticket for the same route (dependent on fare class) while one would have to fly a minimum of 5 round trips on UIA to get an award ticket.
Will there be a Battle for Kiev Part 3? Perhaps, FFB does track offers from these airlines on a weekly basis like all the other airlines globally and if another interesting battle comes about we’ll be sure to let you know.
About FFB Insider
This article is part of the FFB Insider, our corporate/B2B newsletter for those who work in the travel, travel rewards and/or loyalty industries. It offers insights into bonus offers and other loyalty promotions found in the world of travel. It also features updates and news on the FFB Group. The FFB Insider is sent once a month and you can subscribe to it here.