Turkish, Qatar, and Emirates Airlines’ Marketing Strategies

Company’s Background

Turkish Airlines

The Turkish Airlines company began its operations in the year 1933 under the ownership and operations of the national government of Turkey. It is the largest airline based in Turkey with a wide range of planes as well as global and local destinations. The Turkish Airlines company has its headquarters at the Ataturk airport in Istanbul from where the airline operates its flights to over 187 international airports worldwide.

The company also operates from 35 local airports within Turkey by offering domestic flights within the country. Kilinic, Oncu, and Emre (2012) reveal that the company had sales of over $5600 million from its operations (p. 326) according to the 2010 annual report. The Turkish Airlines company offers both passenger and cargo services to its clients. It has thus grown its portfolio on the global market as one of the biggest airlines in terms of services and destination coverage.

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is an airline company owned by the Qatar government has its headquarters in Doha. It has been dubbed as among the top developing companies operating to at least 120 destinations worldwide. Qatar Airways has over 122 planes, which comprise both passenger planes and cargo planes with different carrying capacities. The airline has also made an order for 175 more planes as part of its expansion program that is meant to give it a bigger outreach in terms of destination as well as passenger numbers. Having been established in late 1993 and commencing its operations in early 1994, it has become one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world with very ambitious growth plans. The airline has different divisions for attracting specific clientele to its services.

Emirates Airlines

Emirates Airways is an airline business with headquarters in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. It started to run in the year 1985 with a startup capital of $10million provided by the government of Dubai. The Dubai government owns the airline though it finances its own operations independent of government support. Initially, the airline started with two aircraft leased from the Pakistani airlines before it acquired its own. So far, it is among the leading companies in the globe as well as one of the top rising airlines on earth. According to the Air Guide (2012), it has a collection of over 170 planes making up its fleet that consists of both passenger planes as well as cargo planes (p. 4). The airline has a great scope of services concerning destinations to over 74 countries operating from over 122 facilities. This figure adds up to over 10000 flights monthly to different destinations worldwide thus making it one of the biggest airlines in the world.

Marketing Strategies

Turkish Airlines

Pricing as a marketing strategy is known to have been used by many companies in their quest to attract more clients towards their businesses as a way of consolidating their place in the market. Richardson (2009) states that pricing as an approach is usually employed by organizations to capture a specific target market that will find the price favorable to them or within a range of their buying power (p. 61).

Airlines in the world use ticket pricing to target different cadre of clientele from economy class to business class. The Turkish Airways company has categorized the pricing of its tickets into three categories, which include economy class, comfort class, and business class. The economy class has been made to be the most popular with its clientele due to the pricing of the tickets. Turkish Airways has been dubbed as one of the cheapest airlines in Europe. Therefore, it has been able to attract so many travelers to its services (Richardson, 2009, p. 61). Most of the passengers who used the airline before said that they got the reference from friends who recommended the airline due to its cheap and affordable ticket prices relative to other airlines.

Targeting in this case can simply be referred to as segmentation. Market segmentation is a marketing strategy that involves the partitioning of the market into different groups according to need. In this case, it is done according to clients’ travel needs. Turkish Airways has come up with different groups, which comprise business travelers, tourist travelers, and students’ traveler packages that would suit the different categories.

With such segmentation, the airline is able to offer services to clients according to their needs thus attracting them to it (Erika, 2013, p. 1). By targeting specific groups and selling them its services, the Turkish Airlines company will have gone deeper to research the market preferences of the different groups in an attempt to provide them with what suits them. This strategy is smart in such a way that it beckons at undecided travelers who have not yet made a choice on what is best for them. Thus, when they come across a ready package, they take it up (Mihaela, 2011, p. 42). By targeting groups, the airline is able to satisfactorily serve the seasonal markets that happen every year without any problems.

In terms of advertisement, Turkish Airways has invested heavily in a global advertisement for capturing more of the global market. The airline is already a major global operator. Therefore, it has to advertise a lot to maintain its presence in the market as well as to catch the eye of many other would-be clients (Kilinic, Oncu & Emre, 2012, p. 327). With this regard, Turkish Airways has invested heavily in creating advertisements that involve “world stars like Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Kobe Bryant” (Mihaela, 2011, p. 42). Commercials featuring such stars are likely to create more awareness of the airline in this market that is so competitive and limited in nature.

The airline has employed the use of advertisements as a way of reminding its clientele about its services thus creating awareness to those who are not aware of it and its destinations. The airline has also invested in online advertisements as well as outdoor advertisements in areas where it has its operations as a way of announcing its presence as Erika (2013, p. 1) reveals. An advertisement is meant to influence the thinking of its audience that in turn influences their choices.

Qatar Airlines

In terms of pricing, Qatar Airlines has come up with one of the modest tickets available with some of the modest services that can be found in any airline. The modestly priced tickets are meant to capture mostly the middle-class clientele that makes up the majority of travelers from the Middle East as well as from North Africa. As Richardson (2009) finds, by offering fairly priced tickets to almost all the destinations in the world, the airline is able to tap into a big client base that mostly travels in the economy and comfort classes, which at the end of the day count a lot when it comes to passenger traffic as well as revenues (p. 62).

Pricing as a marketing tool has been employed by the airline to attract customers who wish to get the fairest price for their travel needs. Thus, the airline has come up with attractive price ranges for the different cadre of travelers. The Middle East and North Africa have some of the biggest emerging premium clientele who would not mind spending their money.

Concerning targeting, Qatar Airways has fashioned itself as a global operator thus setting its clientele to be people from all lifestyles from all over the world. To achieve this goal, it has enlisted the services of staff from almost all nationalities in which the airline has destinations. In particular, the airline has employed the use of language to catch the attention of its intended client base. Staff members at the company’s offices are multilingual with most of them speaking the local languages (Air Guide, 2012, p. 6).

Targeting is one of the strategies that the airline has adopted to attract its clients. By having staff people who speak the local language, the airline wishes to make sure that the problem of communication barrier is done away with to ensure smooth operations with regard to language. The airline has set its target on the middles class that has become the biggest traveler by coming up with attractive packages to the middle class (Air Guide, 2012, p. 7). The airline had to identify the needs of this group in a bid to come up with a package that would attract it to its services.

Advertising as a marketing tool has been known to be very effective for convincing customers to buy certain goods. The way an advertisement has been prepared and disseminated speaks a lot because it will determine the effectiveness of the advertisement. As Mihaela (2011) finds, through the Qatar Foundation, Qatar Airways has taken to sponsoring some teams in the major world leagues such as soccer as a way of advertising its services (p. 43).

A good example is the sponsoring of the Barcelona football clubs shirt, which availed it an opportunity to be seen and be known by millions and millions of football fans and television viewers who love watching European soccer. This advertising enables it to catch the attention of clients who never knew about it and who would then go ahead and seek its services once they need to travel (Mihaela, 2011, p 43). The company has used advertising to establish its brand name because it can be described as fairly new or young in the industry. Thus, it has been used to propagate the brand name on the global stage as a way of matching its fleet growth.

Emirates Airlines

In terms of pricing, Emirates Airlines has employed pricing as one of its marketing strategies by coming up with ticket prices that are friendly to clients. Although it is not the cheapest airline compared to other airlines, its prices are friendly thus attracting other advantages that may not be found in other airlines. Emirates too has targeted the middle class by coming up with ticket prices that are affordable to this group because it constitutes the majority of the passenger traffic (Butler, 2008, p. 170). The airline has also established premium prices for its business class, which is used by the rich people coming to Dubai to do business as well as those traveling out of the country.

Concerning targeting, Emirates Airlines targets all classes of people due to its established market. In its marketing, it has marketed its services to almost all groups of the possible clientele as well as established clientele due to an already established global market. The Air Guide (2012) reveals how the airline has targeted the European market for further establishment due to its receptive nature to air traveling as well as the American market (p. 5).

It has targeted the African market as one of the biggest emerging markets in the world as a way of filling the gap left by previous airlines that closed shop on some African routes. This mode of approach to marketing has set the carrier on a model of direct sales whereby the services are taken to buyers. The Emirates has targeted the North African as well as the Middle East market as a native airline, which brings a sense of pride and belonging to people (Butler, 2008, p. 174). The emirates can be dubbed as one of the earliest Arab airlines to make it on a global stage. Thus, when selling to its people, it is sold as a sense of pride and belonging.

Emirates Airlines has invested heavily in advertising its services. It has invested multibillion dollars in commercials that are meant to enhance its presence in the air transport industry. The airline has invested heavily in sponsorship deals with some of the world’s top sports clubs as a way of getting a larger spread in terms of publicity (Butler, 2008, p. 176). The airline has sponsored the Arsenal football club as their main shirt sponsors. These clubs are watched globally. Such a move is a sure way to global recognition. The airline has also bought the naming rights of the arsenal football club stadium that has been named the Emirates.

This strategy has captured the attention of millions and millions of soccer lovers worldwide. Therefore, it has given the airline a very strong brand name. Mihaela (2011) observes how the airline has used advertisement as a marketing tool to create awareness to masses about its presence in the market as well as the services it offers (p. 44). The airline already has the capacity to operate on the global stage. All it needs is more awareness of the potential clientele so that they can come straight for its services.


The three airlines discussed above have invested heavily in marketing their services on the global stage due to their strong capital base and the capacity to expand and offer services. The airlines should go further to improve their services especially in customer care where the clientele always go to when they have a problem. The need for better customer care service has been brought about by complaints that customers have about the way the staff people at the customer care office have treated them.

A better customer care service desk can be a good value addition to the companies’ marketing quest due to the reviews that the client would have on the airline. The Turkish Airlines company for instance offers very good ticket prices, which in turn are shrouded in the complications of the different exchange rates that wipe out the difference. Turkish Airlines can also be cited for the poorest customer care services, which can be improved to enhance the company’s marketability on the global stage.

Reference List

Air Guide. (2012). Airline and Travel News- Airport News. Air Guide, 1(1), 1-9.

Butler, C. (2008). Planning with Ble Ocean Strategy in the United Arab Emirates. Strategic Change, 17(5/6), 169-178.

Erika, F. (2013). Turkish Airlines Goes Global. Fortune International, 167(3), 1-1.

Kilinic, I., Oncu, A., & Emre, Y. (2012). A Study on the Competitions Strategies of Airlines in Turkey. An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism, 7(1), 325-338.

Mihaela, C. (2011). The Relationship between Quality of Life and Marketing Ethics. Romanian Journal of Marketing, 6(3), 41-44.

Richardson, D. (2009). Best Prices in a Decade. Travel Trade Gazette UK & Ireland, 2878(1), 61-62.