Last updated: 01:00 PM ET, Mon April 27 2015

Airline Names Airplane After Another Airline. Huh?

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | April 27, 2015

Airline Names Airplane After Another Airline. Huh?

Singapore-based Scoot Airlines is having fun tweaking fellow low-cost U.S. carrier Spirit Airlines over apparent “striking similarities” in the way the two go to market.

The latest jab? Scoot officially named its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner after Spirit, at the Boeing Factory in South Carolina. Spirit CEO Ben Baldanza was invited to attend a naming ceremony for ‘Inspiring Spirit’ plane, but in what seems to be a social faux pas, Baldanza neither replied nor attended.

Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson said he was disappointed not to meet Baldanza.

Referring to Spirit’s only on-record comment, which mentioned that the two airlines were “doppelgangers” and “share an approach to saving customers money,” Wilson said: “There certainly are similarities in our low fares, and obviously in branding and marketing since Spirit was, well, inspired to change theirs, but I think that might be where the similarities end. Scoot was voted 2015’s Best Low Cost Airline Asia/Pacific earlier in the year.  Spirit… well, let’s just say that in a recent public poll about airlines in the US, they stood out in a very different way.”

Wilson was referring to Spirit’s continued presence at the bottom of most customer satisfaction surveys.

When Scoot first heard about the similarities in branding and marketing, it decided that instead of taking the legal route, it would respond in a fun way and engage with the public and Spirit at the same time.

So it posted this video on YouTube and its Facebook page:

That was almost three weeks ago.

Five days ago, Scoot posted this video offering to name a plane after Spirit – as well as inviting Baldanza to attend the plane naming ceremony.

“We were flattered to see that we had inspired the look, tone and style of Spirit’s branding, so it was fitting to name our new plane ‘Inspiring Spirit’,” Wilson said. “Naming a plane after another airline may be a world-first.”


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