US carrier Delta airlines took the top spot with a brand value of $7.3 billion, followed by American Airlines ($6.3 billion), and United Airlines ($5.5 billion). Delta’s valuation was up 27 per cent from a year earlier. The leading US carrier has rolled out various new features over the year to retain customer loyalty.
The airline introduced six new trans-Atlantic routes adding to its existing network and new partner hubs across Europe in London, Paris, and Amsterdam, among others. Additionally, the Delta business has invested in airlines across the globe like Aeromexico, Virgin Atlantic, Korean Air and China Eastern.
The airline industry suffered big losses in brand value during the pandemic as governments enforced travel restrictions to reduce the rapid spread of the virus. “While many airline brands are growing again, they have not yet returned to pre-pandemic values,” the report said.
“The pandemic brought many travel restrictions across the world which had very big and direct impacts on airline brand values,” said Savio D’Souza, Valuation Director of Brand Finance. “As the world looks to a post-COVID future, airline brands are beginning to taxi for take-off. Brand values have grown this year but have a long way to return to pre-pandemic levels,” said D’Souza.
Saudia is the fastest growing airline in the Middle East, with its brand value growing 13 per cent to $500 million in 2022. Saudi Arabia plans to increase the number of tourists to 100 million and the number of religious visitors to 30 million a year by 2030 Saudia is investing heavily in both its product and service to enhance customer experience as it welcomes first-time visitors to Saudi Arabia.
Indian airlines are recovering from a dip in demand during several lockdown guidelines across India. IndiGo (valued at $700 million) and Air India ($300 million) have achieved strong growth, although Air India remained outside the top 50 airline brands.
With a brand valuation of $600 million, Canada’s WestJet is the strongest airline brand in the world with a brand strength index (BSI) of 84 out of 100 and a corresponding AAA- brand rating. The Canadian airline has strengthened its brand identity across Canada with the addition of 24 new routes across the nation, leading to domestic customers feeling an increased affinity with the brand. The brand is steadily recovering from the impact of COVID-19 and is now operating over 500 departures per day for the first time since the pandemic.
Spain’s Iberia is the fastest growing airline brand in the ranking with an impressive 36 per cent growth in brand value, marginally ahead of Singapore Airlines, which increased brand value by just under 36 per cent to $2 billion.
“Iberia has achieved its brand value growth by adapting quickly to the COVID-19 disruption, and the Spanish airline is also building a new strategic partnership with Spanish oil producer Cepsa to decarbonise air transport and deliver sustainable fuel for air travel,” said Brand Finance. .