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The Importance of a Direct Channel Strategy for Startup Airlines

Two startup airlines share their strategies to increase direct bookings while growing their new businesses

New travel brands need to establish awareness of their network and offers to compete with more established brands. In this session, we discussed with two new airlines what challenges they face face to best position their new, rapidly growing business and how Offer Marketing and direct channel strategies have been key for the success and initial months of operation.

PROS customers Breeze and Play joined us at Outperform for a panel discussion on how they are strategically using Offer Marketing to grow their direct channel sales.

Breeze Airways began operations in May 2021, immediately following the pandemic. The airline had a six day window between the time they started selling tickets and the time they started flying. The unique selling point for Breeze is that they serve direct flights between underserved markets, around 97% of the routes they fly have no direct competition when it comes to non-stop.

As a new and unknown airline with seats to sell quickly, Breeze used fares as the primary message in a SEM strategy to build brand awareness. With airSEM, Breeze was able to launch ads with dynamic fares on Google for keyword searches in markets they cover. Breeze then launched around 200 airTRFX pages so that every route and destination in their network has a landing page with dynamic fares where travelers can book directly.

The VP of Marketing at Breeze shares how she sees the airline’s direct channel strategy growing:

“We have tiny budgets and tiny teams and we’re growing very very quickly, so the ability for us to scale our marketing activity across many different markets was hard for us. PROS was this plug-and-play solution for us that made so much sense, especially given the growth that we’re undertaking. It’s just created so much efficiency for us and has been truly like an extension of our marketing team.“

Angela Vargo
VP of Marketing, Breeze


Play is a startup airline based in Iceland that opened for sales in June 2021. The low cost airline offers flights between North America, Iceland and Europe and enables travelers to customize their booking so they pay only for what they need.

When Play first came across Everyundo they had been operating for 6 months and were struggling a lot. At that time they did not have a booking mask on our pages and the only place where people were able to buy flights was on their home page. When Play launched airTRFX they instantly had booking pages with dynamic fares for every route and destination in their network, was well as built-in SEO structure and optimized performance.

PROS products enable Play to focus traffic to their direct channel. The airline now has been creating Custom Pages for marketing campaigns and promotions that they are then able to analyze data on click through rates, conversion rates to make better strategic decisions.

See what Play had to say about starting their airline, how they have been able to scale and overcome growing pains:

“My advice to another startup airline would be to buy the PROS products and collaborate with the PROS team. Our Customer Success Manager has been a great help and has had an impact on how we structure our site, our Custom Pages, and is guiding us all the time. It’s a true partnership that you can’t put a price on. It’s been amazing.”

Elsa Bjarnadottir
Product Owner IBE & Web, Play

Watch the full session on Strategies for Startup Airlines

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