JetBlue’s CEO, Robin Hayes, says the carrier has evolved to offer international partners access to the US market
What is the secret behind JetBlue doubling its operational income in 2015?
I would say there are three things behind the success. First is very strong revenue execution, which is the result of a combination of network maturity, good fare options for our customers and consistently outstanding service by our crew members. That creates a lot of demand for the product. Second is keeping our own costs low and we have worked hard to get them even lower. And third is the low cost of fuel, which is helping all airlines.
What is more important to you – improving revenue or lowering costs?
At the end of the day, you have to do both because we are in a margin-driven business. You have to keep a close eye on revenue and costs at all times.
Of course, the whole JetBlue mission is about this – offering a better product at a lower fare – and we can only fulfil our mission if we have good revenue and keep costs as low as possible.
How has JetBlue evolved since to its founding and are there any changes you are looking to implement?
JetBlue has certainly evolved since we started flying 16 years ago. We have strengthened our product and we are flying internationally, for example.
But, I think we are still being true to the vision of the airline when it was created. At that time, JetBlue targeted markets that were overpriced, underserved, or both. Unfortunately for the traveling public, there’s still plenty of that for JetBlue to chase.
JetBlue was designed to bring humanity back to air travel. It is a brand that wants to continue to innovate and continue to serve the customer.
What does the US-Mexico Treaty mean for JetBlue’s network development?
We welcome open skies between the US and Mexico. It is a good move for US aviation and good for JetBlue.
Open skies with Mexico will certainly give us a huge opportunity to expand our services into the country, but the problem is that Mexico City is a very congested airport.
We are trying to gain further slots at the airport and that is why we are opposed to the proposed Delta-Aeromexico joint venture, which would allow their further growth while others are unable to grow. If it goes ahead, these airlines will control more than half of the slots at the airport. JetBlue, on the other hand, has some challenging slots times, leaving early in morning.
It is an opaque process, but we think that if the joint venture is approved, it should either be for a limited time to ensure the best interests of the customer continue to be served, or the airlines involved have to divest slots.
So, while we welcome open skies with Mexico, we need more access to Mexico City.
How has the US market changed following consolidation?
It’s interesting that the US has gone from being the least healthy airline region in the world to being probably the healthiest. Consolidation has played a huge part in that. But, the question is whether or not this has now gone a step too far. The three major legacy carriers dominate the landscape and they all have significant market share. The misleading thing about that market share is that in certain key airports they have a far larger share than they do generally. These carriers are also involved in immunized joint ventures and so they control far more of certain market than they should.
In that sort of environment, carriers like JetBlue have a very important role to play. We have to ensure that consumers continue to get a good deal, that fares are kept down and product quality is kept up…
Imagen: http://airlines.iata.org/Fuente: http://airlines.iata.org/ceo-interviews/jetblue-is-offering-international-partners-america