Vueling Airlines, the latest entrant to Europe’s budget airline sector, launches on 1 July with branding by Madrid and London group Saffron Brand Consultants.
As the first Spanish airline based in Barcelona, Vueling will link with five cities throughout Europe and the West Mediterranean region: Paris, Brussels, Palma, Ibiza and Valencia.
According to Juan Pablo RamÃrez, lead consultant on the project, Saffron’s work began a year ago, prior to investors coming on board. The consultancy generated the brand concept by building on Vueling chief executive officer Carlos MaÃ±oz’s idea of a low-cost airline for the Barcelona and Catalan region.
According to RamÃrez, Vueling will be a ‘second generation’ airline business. ‘Just because you are low cost doesn’t mean that you should behave like a low-cost airline,’ he explains. ‘People are sceptical about these businesses now; we are not trying to be [another] EasyJet.’
Vueling will offer the benefits of a low-cost airline, such as ease of booking, with the design ‘coherence’ and ‘style’ that is associated with a traditional airline, says RamÃrez. It will also interchange with major airports, rather than the secondary airports used by rivals such as Ryanair and EasyJet.
Saffron’s work encompasses the livery, literature, uniforms and the website of the airline, and makes use of a colour spectrum drawn from the Catalan region and its famous architect Antoni GaudÃ.
Vueling is backed by £30m (£20m) of initial funding, including finance from venture capital companies Apax Partners and Inversiones Hemisferio.
Its launch follows grim warnings earlier this month from Michael O’Leary, chief executive of Ryanair, that the European budget air travel sector faces a ‘bloodbath’ that only his company and ‘perhaps one other operator’ are likely to survive.