Allegra Airways, which began beta testing on Monday, is not a new airline, but rather a mapping tool designed to help bicyclists and pedestrians take routes that best minimize air pollution and pollen.
“Climate phenomena like wildfires have made air quality issues literally visible, especially in New York City. But what’s less widely known is the connection between air pollution and pollen, and how air quality affects allergy symptoms,” Jordana Barish, senior director, allergy portfolio at Allegra parent Sanofi, explains to Marketing Daily. “Research shows that air pollution can exacerbate allergy symptoms by up to three times.”
Allegra Airways has launched online, covering the five boroughs of New York City. An experiential marketing activation, using a small fleet of pedicab bicycles to transport people to events at Climate Week NYC via the cleanest routes, is now scheduled to begin Tuesday after a Monday rainout.
Here’s how Allegra Airways works: users enter their starting and ending destinations, and the tool then provides multiple routes: the poorest, mid-level and best air quality. Users choose which route is best for them, and the route is automatically pushed to their mobile map app.
Future possibilities include development of a standalone Allegra Airways app, and expansion to other major cities in spring 2024.
Barish credits Allegra’s creative and PR agency Salutem as helping to conceptualize the Allegra Airways idea, which then came to fruition with the addition of Ambee, a climate and environmental intelligence platform. Ambee is supplying Allegra Airways with real-time air quality and pollen data, down to a block-by-block level.
In addition to the pedicabs and PR, Barish says that Allegra is running a fully integrated awareness campaign, including search and “some paid dollars” for social posts in the New York City area.
She adds that Allegra Airways fits right in with the brand’s purpose. “We believe everyone deserves the right to breathe clean air,” she explains.
Plus, she says, Allegra Airways goes “hand-in-hand” with parent company Sanofi’s recent B Corp. certification, becoming the first major consumer healthcare company to earn that sustainability designation.