There’s no doubt Malaysia Airlines has had a terrible year, and I feel horribly for all of their employees (and of course the families of those on MH370 and MH17). Malaysia Airlines wasn’t doing well financially even prior to these tragedies, and things have only gotten worse since then.
They’re about to lay off thousands of employees, and even so, it’s still uncertain how they’ll be able to survive.
Malaysia Airlines has been running quite a few campaigns to improve their image and get passengers flying with them again. For example, about a month ago they ran a “Bucket List” contest, which ended up backfiring a bit.
But it seems that Malaysia Airlines isn’t just trying to lure customers, but also travel agents. Via WatchReport:
So what is an embattled airline that hasn’t turned a profit since 2010 supposed to do? In the case of Malaysian Airlines, you offer luxury incentives to travel agents. In a deal with the Consolidated Travel Group, the carrier is giving away one of five Rolex watches priced at $8,000 each and 20 return trips to those travel agents who sell more than $20,000 worth of international tickets on Malaysian Airlines by October 5.
Flight Centre executive Haydn Long called the promotion “not unusual because suppliers often rewarded top-selling agents.” He told The Australian, “I have not heard of Rolex watches before, but it can be a trip overseas on offer. A lot of airlines and hotels do the same thing.”
As the article notes, it’s normal for travel providers (airlines, hotels, cruise lines, etc.) to offer travel agents incentives for performance, though they usually come in the form of free travel or some other monetary incentive (higher commission or something).
As far as I know it’s rare for them to be offered incentives other than that, though. I don’t inherently see anything wrong with their approach, and I guess it falls under the theme of “desperate times call for desperate measures.”
What do you think? Is Malaysia Airlines’ Rolex incentive creative, wasteful, or…?
Malaysia Airlines A380