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Thursday, 07 November, 2013, 15 : 00 PM [IST]

AVIAREPS: Towering the Skies of Representation

Providing a single platform of global representation to a cluster of clients, AVIAREPS has penetrated into the Indian market and aims to triple its growth in the country in the next seven years. Throwing light on its plans and strategy, Leanne Zara Rodrigues shares its journey of growth and diversification
Years ago in the industry, airlines and tourism boards were on the lookout for a single global marketing network. They needed a body that had the capability, connections, specialisation and business acumen to be able to represent them worldwide. Their search ended with the emergence of AVIAREPS, a global airline and tourism representation company. Headquartered in Munich in Germany, AVIAREPS was established in 1994 with the ambition to develop new markets for airlines, destinations, hotel groups and other travel related brands.

Today AVIAREPS successfully conducts its business with approximately 600 employees in 38 countries. Representing more than 200 global clients, including more than 90 aviation and 90 tourism companies among others, AVIAREPS has become the trusted model and partnership platform for change management, outsourcing and globalisation for many private and government affiliated entities around the world. In addition to aviation, airport and tourism promotion, the AVIAREPS Group has a rapidly growing trade and retail promotion division to represent cities, states, nations, retailers, and trade associations seeking to boost trade flows around the world. Additionally, clients seeking international marketing support also rely on AVIAREPS’ advertising, IT solutions and financial services. AVIAREPS has established a worldwide network of self-owned offices totaling to 46 worldwide, ensuring pinpoint market access to clients supported by local AVIAREPS specialists, incorporating international best practices.

aviareps_1.jpgThe Journey
...After 5 years and 8 subsidiaries worldwide
Following the first five years since the establishment of offices in Munich and Frankfurt, Germany, AVIAREPS’ expansion plans were mainly concentrated on setting up new offices within Europe. This resulted in the opening of subsidiaries in Switzerland, Austria, Russia, the Czech Republic and Sweden, respectively.  

...After 10 years and 24 subsidiaries worldwide
Ten years since its establishment, AVIAREPS’ expansion plans moved with a focus on the USA and in Central and South America. As a result new branch offices were opened in France, Ukraine, South Korea and the Netherlands.   

...After 15 years and 39 subsidiaries worldwide
Due to the constantly rising volume of clients and service orders, AVIAREPS began to focus on both the enlargement of its existing branch offices and on the founding of new subsidiaries in markets worldwide yet to be covered. Consequently, new offices were opened in the United Kingdom, Canada, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Hungary, Mexico and South Africa. Due to a merger with Marketing Garden Ltd., countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, Australia and the United Arab Emirates also become part of the global AVIAREPS network.

...After 19 years, 46 offices worldwide and counting...
AVIAREPS continues to face a growing demand for its professional and specialist services, from its current and expanding client base, thus continuing its international expansion. Turkey, the South American countries of Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Colombia, and the South East Asian countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore are among the destinations AVIAREPS recently opened its office.

In the recent years AVIAREPS has achieved its strongest growth rates in China, Korea, Russia and Latin America with a special focus on Brazil. In the coming years strong growth is anticipated especially for Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia offices.

Throwing light on their journey, Michael Gaebler, Chairman & CEO, AVIAREPS said, “We started out by representing airlines and then added sales and marketing to our portfolio. Post this we ventured into the tourism marketing business and being specialists in marketing and representation enabled us to extend our reach to destinations, regions and cities that required representation as tourist boards or fulfillment or service centres on request. We would analyse their requirements, speak to the media and understand the image of the destination and then in turn promote it and showcase it accordingly in the specific country. We then moved to car rentals, hotels and cruise liners as these products forayed into different markets of the world.”

India Presence
Foraying into the Indian market in 2008, AVIAREPS has grown from representing three clients to a total of 13. Having started out with a team of three people, the company today has a brimming 28-member team in its Mumbai office; an office in Delhi and is in talks to set up office in Bengaluru in the coming years. Speaking on the importance of the Indian market, Gaebler said, “India is a very important and a high potential market for AVIAREPS owing to its 50 per cent year-on-year growth, and it is the fastest growing region according to Asian standards. Asia is our largest market and we witness a 30 per cent year-on-year growth from the region. We plan to triple the growth in India in the next seven years. Seeing the huge potential in the Indian market, more and more tourism boards are expressing their interest in being represented here; more Indian travellers are travelling abroad and new innovative tourism products are being introduced. Nowadays Indian travellers are well educated and well travelled and seeing this more people wish to associate with them professionally.” AVIAREPS has also forayed into hotel representation in India with the handling of trade sales and marketing of Small Luxury Hotels of the World in India and is looking at representing Indian hotel chains globally.

Focus and Diversification
2013/2014 will see AVIAREPS lay extensive focus on their first non-travel related diversification i.e. trade promotions. These trade promotions see them representing, promoting and showcasing the offerings of the California Wine Association for the markets of China and; the Arctic fish products in Japan. “As we represent California as a destination in China, we have our base in the market and hence it is a smooth task to promote the California Wine Association in China and the same applies to representing fish products of Alaska in Japan, given that we represent Alaska as a destination in Japan,” explained Gaebler. AVIAREPS has also ventured into malls with the four to five retail clients onboard. On the aviation frontier AVIAREPS is working with IBCS, an effective distribution system for airlines, and get an agreement in place with IATA which enables airlines to have easy, cost-effective market entry; have a representational frontier as well as it will act as an additional revenue source for agents enabling them to book online.

Commenting on the developments in Indian aviation space, Gaebler said, “The Indian aviation sector is developing fast and we have noticed that there is a great return in investment with entrepreneurs loving to fly. With our regular route studies and scenarios we convince authorities to introduce fresh airlines into airports to in turn raise the profit margins.”

Going forward

In 2013 AVIAREPS launched the Agenda 2020 programme, which is a strategic corporate plan to increase growth while ensuring that AVIAREPS remains ahead of competition and at the forefront of international best practice. A key part of the agenda will see AVIAREPS further opening and deepening its activities and dealings with emerging markets for client growth, as well as extending multinational contracts with current and new clients through the development and delivery of cost effective and tried and tested results-driven products and services. Another key of Agenda 2020 will be the creation of new products and services based on innovation, creative solution making, synergy maximisation and the development of cost reducing platforms. Generating added value for clients was, is, and will remain the source of AVIAREPS’ success and main driver and consideration within all of its client portfolio operations.
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