Vote for the SimpliFlying Hero of February 2011 – Finnair vs Delta Air Lines vs Malaysia Airlines

Update: Voting is now closed. Mohd Hisham Saleh of Malaysia Airlines is the resounding winner with 44% of the total votes received! Look out for a profile of his work with MAS very soon! Meanwhile, heartiest congratulations to him: Well done!


It’s been a truly exciting start to the year! Our revamped SimpliFlying Heroes initiative received over 3000 votes last month; we launched the new SimpliFlying Podcasts; we expanded the SimpliFlying team and now we begin the second month of the year with the promise of more good things to come! On that note, let’s continue building on what we started last month.

Each month we nominate three rockstars from the aviation industry who’ve led their airlines to dazzling heights on the social web through their innovations and cutting-edge initiatives. As usual, voting will automatically close in exactly 7 days from now (Monday 11.59 pm Pacific Time). The winner gets multiple goodies: an extended profile on SimpliFlying, a Certificate of Appreciation as well as the chance to gain a wildcard entry to this year’s SimpliFlying Awards for Social Media Excellence.

Without further ado, we present this month’s nominees:

Aku Varamäki, Finnair

You can’t deny that Finnair has a penchant for the unusual and innovative. Whatever they do makes you sit up and take notice of them. The recent Republic Day dance coupled with the Angry Birds route-launch competition and the Quality Hunters initiative have secured them this month’s nomination. Aku has been personally leading a number of these initiatives and forms a critical part of the Finnair marketing machine.


Jerry Fletcher, Delta Air Lines

By now, Delta is firmly established as one of the Big Daddies of airlines on social media. Their Delta Assist initiative which offers real-time customer service over social media has set the benchmark for other airlines to follow. Not only is it known for its legendarily short response-time, but Delta makes sure to reply to every mention they get, all within 9 minutes!

Jerry has been the one leading the charge to revolutionize customer service at Delta through social media and this nomination proof that his hard work is paying off.


Mohd Hisham Saleh, Malaysia Airlines

After Delta got the buzz going with their Facebook booking engine, Malaysia went one step further and kick of the social seating game. Their MHBuddy Facebook app, launched last year, allows passengers to select seats alongside their Facebook friends if they’re flying the same flight. Hisham has also been leading a number of eCommerce-led social media initiatives at Malaysia Airlines that have almost always driven revenues for the airline. (It’s worth noting that KLM launched the first “pure” social-seating initiative, Meet and Seat, last week in Amsterdam.)

So, what’re you waiting for? Vote for your favourite now!

Shubhodeep Pal

Shubhodeep Pal

Former VP, Products and Operations at SimpliFlying
Shubhodeep Pal was leading SimpliFlying's Research, Product Development, Marketing and Business Development from December 2010 to December 2017 from the headquarters in Singapore. He has spoken at airline conferences and delivered training workshops for senior aviation executives. He has also appeared on television interviews and been quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal. His writings have appeared extensively on SimpliFlying and respected industry outlets such as Airlinetrends, Tnooz, Airport World, Low Cost and Regional Airline Business Magazine and Loyalty360. In a previous role, he also conducted a workshop on social media at the Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore.
Shubhodeep Pal
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