Virgin Atlantic has finalised a deal to sell a 49% stake to Delta Air Lines.
From 3 July, the airlines will begin codesharing. Not only will this give each airline’s customers access to the other’s lounges and loyalty schemes, but it also means that each company can sell tickets for connecting flights that involve both carriers.
The deal is mutually beneficial; while Virgin is able to channel its customers onto Delta’s impressive US network, Delta is able to achieve greater influence at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Using YouGov’s social media analysis tool, SoMA, we can see that the deal had a significant impact for Virgin Atlantic on Twitter. 9.2% of the Twitter population heard about the airline on the day the deal was announced, compared to 0.3% the previous day.
By looking at the most popular words mentioned alongside Virgin Atlantic on 24 June (‘delta’, ‘stake’, ‘49’), we can see that the deal with Delta was entirely responsible for this significant uplift in activity.
Furthermore SoMA also offers insight into exactly what demographic groups were exposed to a mention of Virgin Atlantic on their Twitter feeds. For example 62% were male, 26% were from London and 20% earn £30k-£40k.
Looking at YouGov’s brand perception tool, BrandIndex, we can see that this deal has come at a time when Virgin Atlantic’s consumer perception scores are flying high.
Between 24 May and 25 June, Virgin Atlantic’s overall Index score (an average of six key images attributes) has increased from 27.9 to 36.9 (+9).
With yesterday’s deal with Delta making significant waves on social media, it will be interesting to monitor how this deal is received by consumers. We will be keeping a close eye on this one.