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|Monroe unveils campaign to improve airport image|
Monroe officials on Wednesday unveiled a new marketing strategy to encourage more local people to fly from the Monroe Regional Airport.
The Fletcher Group, a Monroe-based advertising and marketing firm, is spearheading the campaign, which includes a media blitz that began Wednesday afternoon. A new logo for the airport was rolled out, too.
Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo said the city is working on various projects to improve the Monroe Regional Airport. Those include acquiring funding for improvements at the existing airport terminal and efforts to obtain funding for the construction of a new terminal.
"We're trying to do everything we can to improve our airport which includes getting a brand new terminal and also the enhancements at our current terminal," Mayo said.
"The lobbying efforts we've done for a number of years have been outstanding," Mayo said. "Each and every year we go to Washington to lobby our delegation to get some much needed funding for our terminal."
In the meantime, the city wants more people to choose the Monroe airport for their transportation needs instead of going elsewhere, such as Shreveport or Jackson, Miss.
"This airport is the gateway to our community and it will be a major plus for us to get as many people we can to come out," Mayo continued. "We all know we've had some challenges with people going elsewhere because they believe they have an opportunity to save some dollars. We certainly don't want to insult the integrity of those who do this, but we want to focus on why it's important to travel out of the Monroe Regional Airport. We want to emphasis convenience and other factors that people should consider when choosing where to fly out."
Ron Phillips, the new marketing director for the airport, said the city worked with The Fletcher Group to conduct a customer satisfaction survey to learn what people thought of the local airport. The survey also detailed the reasons why people would choose to use other airports instead of the Monroe airport.
As part of this marketing campaign, a new website has been created where customers can find out flight arrival and departure status, airfare rates and up-to-date information about the airport and its airlines. That website is www.FlyMonroe.org.
Lee Fletcher said the website also offers a fare tracker for people who want to find the lowest fare for certain destinations. Travelers can then order their tickets through the website after finding the lowest fare for their destination.
He said the website also will offer information about parking at Monroe Regional Airport as well as security details.
"I think people are going to enjoy the website and we'll continue to grow it," Fletcher said. "We think people will pick up on the fact that we have cornered the market on convenience."
Mayo said it is more convenient to fly out of Monroe, and there are other factors travelers should consider before picking which airport to use. Those include the time it will take to travel to other airports, the wear and tear on one's vehicle, and the added cost of gasoline to travel to other airports.
"When you think you're saving $300 or $400 (by going elsewhere), it may really be only $20, and in some cases, you may actually be losing money," Mayo said.