The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reports that its San Diego Convention opened with GBTA’s signature Airline CEO Panel, which was sponsored by the Boeing Company.
The panel included Glenn Johnson, president, Horizon Air; Craig Kreeger, chief executive officer, Virgin Atlantic Airways; Derek L. DeCross, vice president, Global Sales, American Airlines; Dave Hilfman, senior vice president, Worldwide Sales, United Airlines and Steve Sear, senior vice president, Global Sales, Delta Air Lines, and was moderated by Hudson Crossing Analyst Henry H. Harteveldt.
The executives shared their views on airline consolidation, customer service and the importance of the customer experience, GBTA says.
Glenn Johnson, president, Horizon Air, in a discussion on how airlines are trying to innovate said, “The possibility of innovation is everywhere. Creating an experience that is predictable, manageable and hassle free is the goal.” Johnson continued by saying that everything they do comes back to the customer experience.
The later part of the panel featured a historic first with the sales executives of the three major airlines taking the stage together, GBTA reports. The panel discussed IATA’s New Distribution Capability proposal, the benefits of consolidation and what to expect from each of their airlines this year. All three executives were in agreement that consolidation benefits the consumer and also allows supply to match demand.
The afternoon general session was sponsored by Sabre Travel Network, GetThere & Travelocity Business.
Scott Solombrino, GBTA president of the Allied Leadership Council and president and CEO of Dav El Chauffeured Transportation Network, presented the Allied member of the Year award to every member of the 2013 Allied Leadership Council. The GBTA Direct Member of the Year Award was given to Fernando Montes, travel manager for Telefonica Argentina.