Frontier Airlines is well known for its animal livery on its fuselages and tails. The Denver based low-cost carrier has 98 aircraft in its fleet and animals of varying degrees of cuteness adorn many of them.
Why does the airline paint animals onto its planes? In a nutshell, brand recognition. Like most clever marketing ideas, this one is both reasonably simple and inexpensive to execute. When a plane passes by with a dolphin painted on it, people take note. Kids ask questions. Folks quickly learn to associate the imagery with the brand. It’s marketing 101.
But does it work? Frontier Airlines lost USD$83 million on revenues of USD$2.16 billion in the 2018 year. On that metric, the animal livery isn’t translating into profits. But there’s more to turning a dollar in the airline business than just marketing.