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Mom Air: A free spoof airline
Mom Air: A free spoof airline

Mom Air: A free spoof airline

(CNN) – Think 2020 was a surprise? Try out this race for the most likely news of the tourist year: New Airlines.

As the aviation industry struggles relentlessly, with the remaining airlines on the right and center, it’s a surprise to see the “launch” of Air Mom, An airline that will fly in the skies soon (or so the website promises), connects Ireland to both sides of the Atlantic.

The route from Europe to the United States – serving major cities including London, Paris, Berlin, Boston and Toronto – seems reasonable.

But it is Mom Air’s other policy that catches the eye.

The airline seems to be removing the leaves from the Ryanair playbook, charging not only for seats, in-flight Wi-Fi and in-house luggage – but also toilet paper, soap and even life (which is illegal).

It also offers “Covid Flight,” for those who test positive and those with the disease. These, it claims, will be employed by employees who already have it and develop immunity.

It seems deceptive – but motivated by more passenger-friendly policies such as free tickets for 2 flights per flight, no need to pay until two days before departure, free cancellations and cheap waiting seats, potential customers come to its website.

Mom Air also appears to be ticking the social right-hand box, highlighting gender equality and vowing to hire as many women as men; And promises to “protect nature to the best of our ability” by carbon offsets, recycling and paperless.

The result? Just under 10,000 Instagram followers and 6,000 booking inquiries, according to the CEO, in just two weeks – before the airline announced the date and price.

Great revelation

“Airlines” issued free tickets to music fans and influencers

Oddur Eysteinn Friðriksson / Mom Air

Only one half was caught. Mom Air CEO Oddur Eysteinn Friðriksson, nickname Odee, is an artist. And the program, he told CNN, is to “clearly show what our truth is – that we talked through marketing … and that just by setting up a website and sending out news, it made our world fall apart.”

In fact, he had planned to run the project for more than two weeks, but the attention Mom Mom received was becoming too stressful. Deliberately acknowledging that this was a real airline, both journalists and music fans at the “launch press conference”, and to a lawyer representing WOW Air (which was scheduled to launch), after just 15 days, he confirmed that it was an art project. .

“It was quite a demand,” he said. “I received 6,000 subscriptions, 200 complaints, two comments per minute on social media” (CNN could not verify these requests, although 10,000 people watched the 41-week “launch” video on Facebook).

“I’m trying to keep everything and make it look like there are a lot of people working for the company.”

Some plans are “weiry”

mom air life vest-1

“CEO” Oddur Eysteinn Friðriksson advises passengers to pay for life-saving equipment

Oddur Eysteinn Friðriksson / Mom Air

The announcement of Mom Air definitely excites people. At the “launch press conference,” Friðriksson – the son of a marketing expert and former designer of WOW Air beer cans – said two free seats on every flight were a device to raise brand awareness. He claims in terms of the CEO, because the recipient will have to buy a return flight – plus they may add more.

When it comes to putting everything on sale, right down to the toilet paper, he says that by charging extra space, Mom Air will “lower the actual seat price.”

So, is his plan really a long trip – or is this where slow flights are headed?

Paul Simmons, Executive Director at Blue Island, A low-cost carrier operating in the Channel Islands, which has taken control of some of the UK’s Flybe routes, which some of Mom Air’s “policies” think are appropriate.

Simmons – A former CCO for Flybe, Malaysia Airlines, and Air Arabia, and head of brand marketing at EasyJet, says two free seats per flight have legs.

“That can make a difference – I can see the benefits of brand recognition through outreach,” he said. “Most low-cost airlines operate with a 95% load factor, so there are no parking seats. That’s not stupid.”

Friðriksson also said that for publicity, he was also interested in Mom Air’s claim that the hotel would pay half of the passengers’ flights – instead of paying a commission to an online travel agency such as Booking.com. “It’s there, because of the scope of the OTAs,” Simmons said.

Where they are part of the billing for life support (“illegal”) and toilets (“There are some things you can not afford). [including a glass of water, soap and toiletries] Are set out in rules and regulations. ”

Bad advice from Ryanair CEO’s Michael O’Leary charging passengers with toilets is ridiculous.

Simmons also said that adopting the popular concept of a conventional seat could hurt the business. Cheap airlines work on dynamic fares, where fares start low and rise full time the plane is received, and is about to depart.

“Gambling works by getting people to book early,” he said. Promise to have a slow offer to deliver the goods to the airline.

In short, “Some of his ideas are reasonable, but most probably not.”

Tallqvist Day, Of Finnair The senior vice president, the company’s communications, also took note of Friðriksson’s advice, calling Mom Air an “interesting achievement.”

She told CNN: “I think the program and the interest it has gathered has shown that people are very motivated to travel – especially now that people can not travel normally.

“There is always room for innovation in product design, sales and marketing, as well as in aviation. Having said that, I think security and reliability are still a priority for the future, as they should be.”

Slots, plans and staff on the pipeline

mom air-1

“Airlines” pledged to focus on gender inequality, giving women a powerful role

Oddur Eysteinn Friðriksson / Mom Air

The program definitely touches the nerves. Friðriksson said he was contacted by an aircraft rental company, offering him “aircraft, personnel and ground services.”

“The airline is giving me an airline. The company that manages the marketing for major European airlines says they want to add Mom Air to their stock.

“Someone said they could help me set up a base in Egypt.” He also said he had been offered a job by a competing airline. (CNN could not verify these claims.)

Burning Icelandic newspapers even reported that WOW Air’s lawyers Call him a “talented man” And advised him to turn his attention to help them return to flight.

But he also thought that people needed the good news.

“People see the airline as the sun,” he said. “These people are tired of being stuck at home, wanting to travel abroad – it makes them feel comfortable for a few days to make them dream of doing something else.”

Of course, he also promised he had no intention of keeping up. Mom Air has made air ticket reservations through social media, to send out exercise tickets for the 2021-2022 flight.

But he did not feel guilty.

“My main focus is to show clarity about how you can just lay the groundwork and tell people you have a company, and people will start believing it and getting involved with it,” he said.

“Would you ask another CEO who claims they are starting the same airline? [if they feel guilty]? I wanted to be because I said it was art, I got a harder question – a question that others should have.

“We have seen the launch of several new airlines in Iceland this year, but none at all. [planning airlines] Gained attention from all over the world but we saw nothing.

“They did not say where they would get the money, where the aircraft came from.”

He says the collapse of WOW Air is making life difficult for Icelanders. At that point, the mysterious launch of Mom Air was a political statement.

He said that, and his awareness of gender equality and the environment, is fun with modern marketing techniques.

“It’s characteristic for companies like this to ‘greenwash’ or ‘pinkwash’ their company, so I’m trying to have a character,” he said.

The future of aviation?

New mom air 2-1

Artist Oddur Eysteinn Friðriksson at the show “Mom of”

CNN

Mom Air may have made a big reveal, but Friðriksson says some fans are reluctant to accept the truth.

“People are still trying to book flights,” he said. “They’re sending me an email, saying, ‘I see this as a work of art, but will there still be an open airline?’ ‘

“The project is still alive and I will keep the data until I am satisfied and able to close it.”

In the meantime, he claims he has not received any complaints about his scams – without any word from the influencers who plugged his fake airline, or even the ones who “won” the prize for free.

And although he has no desire to open a real airline, he thinks Mom Air may not be far from the reality of cheap flights in the future.

“I certainly tried to push it within the confines of credibility, but it’s like when ‘The Simpsons’ predicted something.

“Resilience in booking has come to life [in the pandemic]. And I predict that airlines will advertise free seats in the future, and local businesses will contribute tickets, lowering travel costs.

“You can pay $ 15-20, to get customers. You do not have to discount your hotel room anymore – just buy your customers.”

And for the toilet paper, he said, “I think it would be the best.

“I think people can be trusted to carry toilet paper on their own. Airlines can hold them accountable for what they want to use.”

Mr. O’Leary, to you.