[INTERVIEW] Andy Shibata Managing Director, Brand at Air Canada

Today, we have the pleasure of interviewing Andy Shibata Managing Director, Brand at Air Canada. He will be sharing the new Travel Like a Canadian initiative and will talk a little bit about Sixth Freedom travel. Thank you for taking out of your busy schedule to answer our questions Andy!

Q1: Please tell us about yourself. What is your role with Air Canada?

My name is Andy Shibata and I lead the Brand team at Air Canada. My work over the years with brands such as Molson and RBC, and of course most recently with Air Canada, is deeply steeped in values and purpose based marketing, which I am very passionate about. It’s no secret Air Canada has been undergoing a brand transformation, and I feel lucky to have been tasked with what I feel is a tremendous responsibility, with Air Canada being Canada’s flag carrier.

Q2: So what is the latest campaign, Travel Like a Canadian, about?

Travel Like a Canadian takes a playful look at how Canadians travel and interact with other cultures abroad, while celebrating some of our country’s unique values. While we always want to highlight Canadian pride and love of country, as we did in #FlyTheFlag, this campaign is directed at an international audience.

Q3: What would you like people to pay closer attention to about this campaign?

We want to showcase the benefits of Sixth Freedom travel (the right to transport customers between two other countries via home airports) facilitated by our expansive network, and encourage international customers to use our Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver hubs when flying abroad. Our goal is to raise awareness to international travellers that they can travel through Canada even if they are not visiting here.

Q4: Can you give us a preview of what Air Canada might be working on in the near and medium future?

For Travel Like a Canadian specifically, there is more to come from the campaign soon, including more celebrity collaborations. We’re keen to team up with other notable Canadians who, like Sandra Oh, have international audiences and reputations of conducting themselves with kindness and compassion.

Q5: Thank you for your time, do you have any closing thoughts?

We hope you’ve enjoyed the ad and will be travelling like a Canadian with us soon. We’re also looking forward to being in touch next time to share more information on our new loyalty program launching in 2020.

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