Interjet Airlines, one of the fastest growing airlines on the continent, has announced a new, accelerated three-year plan providing for significant investment in several areas of their business to ensure future growth and profitability both domestically and internationally. The plan is called INTERJET 2021, FOCUS ON THE FUTURE.
“Through August 2018, Interjet has experienced positive results fueled by a 38.7 percent growth in our international business, a robust 12.6 percent increase in passenger count while our domestic business increased 5.6 percent for the same period,” said José Luis Garza, Interjet’s Chief Executive Officer. “But to continue to grow our business and profitability, we need to always be looking at new and better ways to do business. To that end, we are embarking on a strategic initiative that includes five key pillars: FOCUS ON THE COMPANY, an internal review of what we do, how we do it, how we’re doing and what we can do better. A FOCUS ON THE PRODUCT, a review of our product offering with significant upgrades, and a FOCUS ON THE FLEET, a re-equipment of the fleet and reconditioning of existing aircraft to ensure future market needs are met. We will also make investments in several strategic areas of the business as we FOCUS ON THE BRAND and FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER,” he added.
According to Garza, the last few months have been spent focusing on the company – meeting with employees and the airline’s travel partners in Mexico, the U.S., Canada, Central, and South America. The airline also commissioned marketing research to better understand customers and prospects.
“Two things have stood out from these conversations,” said Garza. “The airline industry has never been as competitive as it is today, while at the same time, there has never been a better opportunity for Interjet to succeed and prosper. We can achieve this because Interjet understands what travelers are looking for in an airline partner - not just lower fares but added features and benefits that Interjet provides,” he added. “This includes business class legroom with every seat, bags fly free, a guaranteed seat on the flight booked, free drinks, snacks and beverages, senior discounts on every flight and even female only lavatories, all delivered with an exceptional flying experience,” Garza said.
“These are true differentiators between Interjet and any other airline and are the nucleus for what Interjet calls its ‘Value Proposition’,” said Julio Gamero, Interjet’s Chief Commercial Officer. “This has resulted in Interjet becoming one of the fastest growing airlines on the continent with more than 87 million passengers having experienced our unique brand of unmatched service everywhere we fly. However, many opportunities still exist in the market, and we are excited about how our business is shaping up for the rest of 2018 and moving forward, we are forecasting significant growth in our international business and good growth domestically. Lately, the airline industry seems to be going in a different direction than in the past, by unbundling services that traditionally came with the price of a ticket such as checking bags, seat selection, free drinks, and snacks onboard, even the ability to pay by credit card," Gamero added. "At the same time, more rows of seats are being added to planes reducing seat width and legroom between seats. Airlines are saying these new basic fares give travelers the ability to pay for what they use, but the reality is passengers more and more are resenting these charges still preferring simple, all-inclusive pricing. That’s why Interjet continues to offer the business and leisure traveler the all-inclusive pricing they are demanding and deserve, taking Interjet in a different direction than most of the airline industry,” commented Gamero. As such, he said Interjet would be providing enhanced levels of service that –
- Truly differentiate Interjet from the competition
- Simplify Interjet’s fare structure making it easier for people to understand what they get for what they pay
Change the narrative for how people should consider choosing an airline when flying from Mexico to the U.S., Canada, Central or South America.
According to Garza, focusing on Interjet’s aircraft fleet was also a critical element to successfully executing the plan. Today Interjet operates a fleet of 85 aircraft including, 47 Airbus A320s, three Airbus A320neos, six Airbus A321s, seven A321neos, and 22 Superjet 100s. “While this fleet has served us well, as our international business continues to grow, we need to be sure we have enough of the right type of aircraft to sustain this growth and meet the increasing demands of international airports such as Mexico City with reduced operating windows and available slot times,” he said. To fuel this growth, on top of an existing order of 35 new A320neos, Interjet will be adding 20 more A320neos to be delivered over the next five years. These new aircraft will increase overall available seat capacity by more than 3.6 million.
Garza also added Interjet will be phasing out some of its Sukhoi Superjet 100 fleet with an opportunity for delivery of next-generation Superjet 100 aircraft for future use in markets where these aircraft make operational and economic sense. The airline is also installing a Superjet 100 flight simulator in their Toluca Training Center and will have quick access to an enhanced spare parts inventory in Mexico City.
"This fleet restructuring plan will bring great opportunities that will allow Interjet to be more competitive, optimizing its operational costs and enabling highly profitable growth," said Raúl López, Interjet's Chief Financial Officer.
“Focusing on the brand, is another major pillar in Interjet’s new strategic plan for future growth and profitability,” said Gamero. "Interjet does not have negative perceptions to overcome. As such, the opportunity exists for Interjet to continue to create positive attitudes with the market which requires building our brand identity through raising overall awareness. To start building this awareness in Mexico, the U.S., and Canada, we will be undertaking a major marketing communications program that will include advertising, public relations, social media, and travel partner programs,” he added.
According to Garza, "by committing ourselves to focus on what our customers and prospects need and want, Interjet will be in a better position to develop the products and services to fulfill these needs ensuring the airline’s short and long-term success. To that end, Interjet will continue to source and implement new initiatives that are customer-centric and designed to ensure the airline stay ahead of the competition."
Just this past month, Interjet announced four interline agreements with Lufthansa, Japan Airlines, EVA Air and Emirates in addition to existing agreements with Iberia, British Airways, American Airlines, LATAM, Alitalia, ANA, and Hainan Airlines. Through these agreements, Interjet can offer customers the convenience of purchasing a single ticket for flights on either airline, checking bags at origin to their final destination, and easy connections at the airports served by all of these carriers with greater connectivity to more of the world.
As a result, Interjet has also been winning its share of industry awards. Last year, Interjet was named by TripAdvisor®, the world's largest travel site, as its 2017 Travelers' Choice winner for best airline in Mexico. The travel leader's highest honor focuses on the number of quality reviews and ratings submitted by the website's 390 million unique monthly visitors. Just recently, Interjet was honored with Skytrax’s World Airline Award as the ‘Best Airline in its Segment in Mexico and Best Cabin Crew in Mexico.