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Free Content Marketing through frequent flyer programmes: the example of China Airlines

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Many recent studies document that, although frequent flyer programmes (FFPs) appear to be an excellent example of relationship marketing designed to build customer loyalty, frequent flyer miles rarely act as a primary reason for choosing one carrier over another. A case study of China Airlines (CAL) was undertaken to understand how FFPs have become an integral part of airline marketing and to examine the reasons why airlines have been using FFPs despite research results that indicate their ineffectiveness. The findings of this study indicate that FFPs are shown to be a significant and effective marketing technique in the airline industry with positive implications for the financial performance of both the carriers involved and their partners. The study also reveals the different dimensions and the complex nature of FFPs, including issues related to market mix, market share and regulations.

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1, Canada. 2: International Centre for Tourism and Hospitality Research, Bournemouth University, Poole, Dorset BH12 5BB, UK.

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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  • Tourism Economics, published bimonthly, is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the economics and finance of tourism worldwide. Articles address the components of the tourism product (accommodation; restaurants; merchandizing; attractions; transport; entertainment; tourist activities); and the economic organization of tourism at micro and macro levels (market structure; role of public/private sectors; community interests; strategic planning; marketing; finance; economic development).

    Fast Track. Tourism Economics Fast Track papers have been peer-reviewed, revised and fully accepted for publication. However, although these are the final versions from the authors, they are unedited manuscripts and will undergo a rigorous editing process before their appearance in an issue of the journal. This means that the Fast Track manuscripts may not conform to journal style in terms of presentation, spelling and other usages. They may also contain errors of typography, grammar, spelling, referencing, etc, all of which will be corrected in the processes of copy-editing and proofreading.
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