China's Hainan Airlines seeks European PR agency

Hainan Airlines, China's fourth largest airline, is seeking a European PR agency as it expands its business in the continent, including its first route from Manchester to China.

In a statement issued by Manchester Airport's press team, the airline said it was looking for a PR agency to "provide strategic and creative consultancy, plus brand development" across the eight countries it serves in Europe.

The agency will be charged with devising a PR campaign for an initial 12-month period, working alongside PR departments at the airports that Hainan Airlines serves in Europe.

Reporting to Hainan Airline’s brand team based in China, the initial pitch/tender process will be managed by the press office at Manchester Airport. Hainan Airlines will begin direct flights from Manchester to Beijing in June this year. Manchester Airport’s press office has been assisting Hainan’s PR since October.

Hainan said: "Interested PR agencies must be able to demonstrate having a presence, offices or network across the European cities that Hainan Airlines currently serves." It said they will also need "significant experience" in brand strategy, creativity, PR campaigns (corporate and consumer), media relations, press releases, social media, crisis management, and consultancy service.

Seb Thompson, press office manager at Manchester Airport, said: "In less than six months we have generated a wealth of PR results for the announcement of [Hainan Airlines’] Beijing-Manchester service and I am looking forward to seeing the strong calibre of agencies that apply to take Hainan Airlines to the next level on its European journey."

Thompson told PRWeek that the account would ideally be led from a UK office but needn't necessarily have a Manchester base.

Interested agencies should contact the airport's press office by the end of the day on Monday (14 March).

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