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Success stories

Hainan Airlines


Hainan Airlines incorporated route targeting to increase sales on their flights to Chinese cities, resulting in a 47:1 return on ad spend.

The Opportunity

Hainan Airlines is the fourth largest carrier and the largest private airline in China. While Hainan Airlines has operated mostly within China, they were looking to extend their international presence. With China’s tourism growing, they wanted to expand their reach of international travelers to cities beyond the better-known tourist destinations like Beijing and Shanghai, to places like Xian and Chengdu. 

The Solution

Their specific objective was to increase awareness of their brand to travelers from the United States and Canada—especially on routes to secondary cities in China. To achieve this objective, Expedia Media Solutions and Hainan Airlines collaborated to develop a route targeting campaign.

This campaign identified customers using air search targeting capabilities and developed a display advertising strategy when reaching those highly-targeted customers. Route targeting provided the ability to serve display ads to travel consumers searching from specific origin cities to desired destination cities. Strategically, Hainan did not want to relinquish market shares on routes between larger cities like New York to Shanghai, so they continued to promote those routes knowing that they are highly competitive.


To bolster their market share and brand awareness, however, Hainan also targeted routes between secondary cities, like: Las Vegas to Xian, and Las Vegas to Chengdu—the “Panda City.” To drive sales on routes to these cities, Hainan advertised on and as well as across the portfolio of Expedia Media Solutions’ North American brands. With email campaigns, passport ads, and social media campaigns, display ads with the addition of route targeting complimented Hainan’s savvy mix of advertising strategies.

The Results

Hainan Airlines produced outstanding display results with a 47:1 return on ad spend and booked over 3,000 tickets to fly to various cities in China.

Adding Expedia Media Solutions route targeting as well as other integrated digital marketing solutions, Hainan increased their return on ad spend by 42% and gross bookings by 23% from their previous campaign, continuing their growth momentum as a marketing partner. 

Increase in Ticket Demand

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