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JetBlue Airways vice
president of revenue management Dennis Corrigan last month took on the
additional title of vice president of sales following the departure of longtime
sales executive Noreen Courtney-Wilds. Corrigan now is responsible for sales,
distribution and revenue management, and will continue reporting to chief
commercial officer Robin Hayes. Courtney-Wilds left JetBlue "to spend more
time with her family," according to a carrier statement.
Corrigan this month told
BTN senior editor Jay Boehmer that
JetBlue's initial, web-based corporate program, CompanyBlue, might get some new
enhancements "but the vast majority [of corporate accounts] want JetBlue
in the global distribution systems."
He also explained how
the carrier's new reservations system, SabreSonic, essentially is "running
on all cylinders." It enables JetBlue to more nimbly adjust airfares,
price its Even More Legroom seat perk by market based on customer demand and
consider additional optional services. "Beginning late last year and into
this year, there have been a lot more revenue-driving projects underway,"
he said. "[Security] screening is another one of them. We'll announce
later this quarter, or early in the third, private security lines—essentially a
Additional excerpts from
Corrigan's discussion with Boehmer follow.
What are JetBlue's next steps in the corporate
First and foremost, it's
to continue to build out the network—we just launched Boston-Newark. It's all
about your network portfolio. When you look at Boston, we hit the 100-flight
milestone and we serve more destinations than any other carrier. There's still
plenty of headroom in Boston and places to grow.
Tell me about negotiated corporate contract
structures: Are they percentage-off discount arrangements or flat-fare programs?
We are willing to work
with the corporation in the way they want to work us. You name it, we probably
have it: everything from your standard percentage-off discount to flat fares.
We are focused on growth, so we're trying desperately not to be hard to work
with. Even if a corporation wants to talk about back-end deals, we're happy to
have those discussions as well.
How many corporate clients does JetBlue have and
is that number growing?
We do look at number of
corporations under contract and revenue, and we are seeing the numbers grow. We
haven't released those numbers, but what we have said is our corporate customer
base is in the neighborhood of 15 to 20 percent [of JetBlue's total traffic and
revenue], and it's higher than that in the Boston market. Both leisure and
business are growing.
Regarding refundable fares, do you offer more
fare types now?
We went into a number of
markets, primarily business-oriented markets, with a fare class and made it
more refundable. In many cases, it simply was to make us competitive. We
haven't made it fully [available] across our system, because there are so many
times, given our fare structure, when leisure customers are purchasing. What we
offer in Boston-Baltimore needs to be different from what we're offering from
Boston-Orlando. We're just now getting enough data around this so we can decide
if we're happy with what we see and decide if we need to put more into the
markets where we have it or start spreading it out.
Where's the ideal place to sell Even More
Our philosophy is
wherever customers want to buy it, we'll sell it. Curious to me, we saw more
purchases further out, right at the point of ticket purchase—more than I would
have thought. We even see small, but not insignificant, onboard purchases. Our
flight attendants can sell that with their handheld devices. Wherever customers
want to purchase, we want to be there for them. We've talked to our GDS
partners about [selling Even More Legroom in those channels]. I don't think we
have any philosophical opposition, but we want to understand how it plays into
the overall distribution economics.