Following a successful campaign at WTM 2013, CCO, Blue Air, Tudor Constantinescu revealed exclusively to TTG Balkans the company's plans for growth, how well it has performed and who Blue Air intends to target, amongst other things.
TTG: How successful was the recently held WTM for Blue Air?
Blue Air attendance at WTM was very successful as we had the chance to meet partners from all markets and due to the specificity of WTM, we were able to contact suppliers providing travel business intelligence. We discussed new opportunities of partnerships with tour operators and online travel agents (OTAs). As our main goal is to continuously improve our services and to provide a tremendous experience to our customers in all stages they interact with Blue Air such as ticket reservations, airport and on board, all new travel technology present at WTM will help us achieve that.
TTG: Which markets showed most interest in your services at the event?
Romania has become a popular travel destination and our flight offer meets the requirements of tour operators from all over Europe that target to promote packages to Romania. Partners from the UK, Spain and Italy have shown interest to develop their offer to Romania and it will lead to an increase of the leisure traffic on Blue Air's flights.
TTG: Which other trade shows are you planning to attend over the next 12 months?
We will try to cover all the markets where we are present and we operate flights to, so we will attend: BIT Milano, Fitur Madrid, ITB Berlin and Salon des Vacances Brussels.
TTG: How has 2013 been for Blue Air in terms of overall passenger numbers? Which are your most popular routes?
For 2013 we estimate 1.3 million passengers. We consider all our routes important, but if we are speaking about the number of destinations the main markets are Italy and Spain. In terms of popularity we have to mention Rome, Paris, Nice, London and Brussels.
TTG: Who is your main target market, and how are you promoting your services to it?
Blue Air's main market is Romania, as this is our home base and where we have the biggest awareness. We mainly use online media (newsletters, social media, etc.), but also traditional media (offline, prints, radio, TV) and trade shows.
TTG: Are there any new destinations that you are looking to add to your network within the next 12-24 months?
We will have a lot of new destinations, especially on the charter segment in partnership with tour operators. New destinations on the charter segment with departures from Bucharest and Bacau: Turkey (Antalya, Bodrum), Greece (Rhodos, Zakynthos and Corfu).
TTG: What will be Blue Air's main focus in 2014?
The fleet will increase by one or two aircrafts every year. We intend to carry out this plan up until 2016. Currently, we operate Boeing 737 aircrafts, 300, 400 and 500 series. As for inflight service, we have developed an improvement strategy, starting with our ground services, prior to the flight itself, and then the onboard services. We know that the improvement in service quality will increase the number of passengers and we estimate 1.5 million for 2014 and since 2004, over 9.6 million passengers chose to fly with Blue Air.
Our main focus is to consolidate existing routes. Now we operate 25 European routes from Bucharest, Bacau and Sibiu to Spain, Italy, France, Ireland, Belgium, England, Germany and Cyprus.