Airline advertisments soar in news media

Two out of three Australians are air passengers. LANCE CLATWORTHY takes a look at where news media delivers scale for advertisers in the category while also exploring where they can achieve notable efficiencies through effective targeting.


Air passengers

News media reaches 10.4m people who were airline passengers in the last 12 months; that’s 91 per cent of all those that flew (Aged 14+).  Compared with those who do not read news media, readers are 9 per cent more likely to be air passengers. For the advertiser, this targeting efficiency is most evident among readers of national newspapers – again compared to those who don’t read news media, they’re 24 per cent more likely to be passengers. Readers of the travel section of the newspaper (+14%) and community newspapers (+12%) are also more likely to be in this target market.*1-2


Domestic travellers

Some 90 per cent of air passengers took at least one domestic flight during the last 12 months; that’s 9.1m readers. This domestic target also has a higher likelihood of being found among national newspaper readers (+30%), travel section readers (+16%) and community newspaper readers (+12%).

International travellers

Half of all air passengers took at least one international flight during the last 12 months. News media reaches 5m such travellers with over indexing evident on national newspapers (+22%) and the travel section (+14%), in particular.

Frequent flyer members

There are 9m news media readers who are currently members of a frequent flyers rewards program. An advertiser is 15 per cent more likely to “hit” a frequent flyer member through news media than through advertising to those who don’t read news media. Again, this targeting efficiency is most evident in national newspaper readers (+30%), community newspaper readers (+26%) and travel section readers (+24%).

Premium class flyers

Of the segments that we have looked at, targeting Premium class flyers provides the biggest opportunity for advertising efficiencies and with an expectation of strong outcomes too. There are 3m news media readers who are not likely to choose Economy travel – they’re more likely to choose Premium economy, Business class or First class. Compared to non-readers, these premium class travellers are 15% more likely to be found among news media readers. National newspaper readers (+62%), Community newspaper readers (+42%) and Travel section readers (+48%) are especially skewed towards these passengers who are likely to spend more on their tickets.

So that represents an economy through reach but we can also expect better outcomes due to higher engagement among this group – they’re more engaged in both newspapers and in digital news media. Compared to newspaper readers overall, they’re +16 per cent more likely to be heavy newspaper readers while compared to readers of digital news media, they’re 32 per cent more likely to have paid for their digital access.*3-5

Air passengers over index on readers by State

Now looking at Total air passengers again, we can see that compared to non-readers in the given state, QLD readers of news media are +12 per cent more likely to be air passengers whereas NSW readers are +10 per cent more likely.


Strong skews indicate efficient targeting of Premium class passengers in VIC (+54%) and SA (+45%);


There are also clear efficiencies in Frequent flyer members in SA (+24%) and VIC (+19%); International travellers in QLD (+19%) and Domestic travellers in WA (+17%). And consistent with the aforementioned strengths in VIC and WA, we see heavy skews on Lounge club members in these two states.


News media offers advertisers access to 91 per cent of airline passengers for whichever sub category we have looked at (eg Premium class)*1. Readers are 11 per cent more likely to be airline passengers than non-readers*2 – News media can therefore be seen to offer both scale and targeting for advertisers. While strengths exist across all news media channels, we have looked at the especially strong incidence of passengers among readers of national newspapers, community newspapers and the travel section of a newspaper. And of these strengths, Premium class passengers is the sub category that most over indexes for the advertiser.

Source notes 

emma™ 12 months to July 2017. Readership based on last four weeks. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+ ; Nielsen DRM July 2017, People 14+ only.

*1 Excepting “All news media readers”, every category displayed relates to News media readers who have travelled as air passengers at least once in the last 12 months.

*2 Indexes (ix) and “more likely” are News media readers indexed vs Non- readers of news media =100 ix.

*3 Heavy readers read any newspapers at least 30 minutes a day OR read at least 7 issues of any newspapers a week.

*4 Class most likely to travel ; Index (ix) is v All passengers who are readers of newspapers = 100.

*5 Class most likely to travel ; Index (ix) is v All passengers who are readers of digital news media = 100