There's been a bit happening in the aviation scene lately: Air New Zealand has shifted to DraftFCB (and Saatchi's), the nation's alpha chief executive Rob Fyfe is hanging up his captain's uniform in December, there are rumours of Emirates changes afoot and Qantas has just announced the appointment of Mango as its public relations agency in New Zealand after a competitive pitch.
The unlucky contestants weren't named and Mango's managing director Claudia Macdonald doubts they'll be revealed any time soon. She says there was no incumbent, "or at least not for four years", and the airline didn't have an agency in Australia either as it's all been done internally up until now.
Mango, which has a good travel heritage through clients like Tourism Malaysia and Tourism Victoria (it still has Air New Zealand listed as a client on its website), will handle PR, media relations and events for Qantas, working closely with the airline’s teams in Auckland and Sydney. And, with the 'Spirit of Australia's' reputation faltering recently after strike action grounded planes and the #QantasLuxury Twitter competition backfired, Macdonald says "it's going to be very interesting".
“Qantas is one of those brands you dream about working with," she says. "There is so much more to the Qantas story in New Zealand than has been told in recent years and we’re very much looking forward to partnering with them. It’s very exciting.”
Qantas’ regional general manager for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, Rohan Garnett, says the airline, which has served New Zealand for over 50 years, has "a clear focus on the premium market" and part of Mango’s role will be to help strengthen Qantas’ reputation as the leader for trans-Tasman business travel.
"Mango will also play an important role in publicising Qantas’ community activities and sponsorships in New Zealand," he says.
Mango joins a global roster of PR agencies representing Qantas in Europe, the United States and across Asia.