First Car Rental is proud to announce the exclusive car rental partnership with the new, low cost airline, Velvet Sky, as of March 2011.
Says Melissa Storey, Executive Head: Strategy, Development & Marketing, “This is an exciting partnership for First Car Rental. We take our strategic alliances very seriously and adopt an approach that selects the best partners to grow with. We firmly believe in mutually beneficial relationships, focussing on each partner’s strengths, leveraging each opportunity that presents itself, and this will be the case with Velvet Sky who shares similar beliefs.”
First Car Rental’s business is well-segmented in terms of direct consumer, corporate, retail, replacement, tour operator, inbound and film but a market sector that they haven’t enjoyed, until now, is aviation.
Says Storey, “This segment will assist us in combating seasonality, enabling us to manage and balance our fleet with less risk of high volume last minute up-fleeting or de-fleeting to try and match demand. Car rental is a cyclical business, and the purchasing as well as the planning thereof, is crucial to make this contribution model work.”
Storey continues, “A low cost airline like Velvet Sky presents us with an opportunity to become the preferred car rental company of their daily direct consumer and corporate SME base, and inevitably, a stable, less seasonal domestic base. They present us with the ability to reach a captive, and more importantly, a targeted audience.”
Storey says that the stronger the exclusive relationship is, the more both customer bases are likely to utilise combined air and land services that these two companies, as partners, provide.
She says, “We on the other hand can provide Velvet Sky with an existing customer base, all our valued customers, the majority of them having to fly to a local destination before they collect a car from us. We will do all in our power to expose the Velvet Sky product to them, and ensure that we enable loyal First customers to become loyal Velvet Sky customers. We have agreed to make all our channels available to our new exclusive airline partner so that Velvet Sky has an automatic catapult into the market.”
She concludes, “We will create brand awareness for our new partner and support them with everything available to us, which includes actual flight bookings from our website and corporate booking tools. On a lighter note, First Car Rental and Velvet Sky share similarities in their logo palette, they are both predominately purple and this will make the creative process of dual branding campaigns easy on the eye and a pleasure to create - this is an advantage, but just the start of great things to come.”