CityJet has launched a new drive to set up partnerships with small and medium-sized travel agencies after many of its larger accounts have been taken over by parent company Air France-KLM.
CityJet chief executive Geoffrey O’Byrne White said losing the larger accounts would allow the airline to focus on generating new and growing current business with smaller firms, a process the airline’s six-strong sales team has already begun.
However, he admitted the team would have its work cut out, with many business travellers and agents being creatures of habit when it comes to both the airlines and airports they use.
He said: “We are hoping to meet a lot of travel agents that we haven’t met before. We have found it quite difficult to get travel agents to change their habits, so we have to visit them.
“Clients are used to routine and doing the same thing. There always seems to be a level of apprehension for business travellers to go and do something different, such as fly from an airport they’re not so familiar with.”
O’Byrne-White said that as the world’s economy begins to emerge from the recession, many business travellers would return to the corporate market from the low-cost airlines many were forced to fly with.
He believes that even though CityJet is more expensive than the no-frills sector, many consumers would be tempted back to the airline as due to the fact that it flies to 14 destinations from London City airport.
He hoped the move would be further driven by the introduction of the new CityPlus fare structure, which launched today. The new fares offer a two-tiered pricing structure – the fully flexible CityPlus fare and the economy-class CityValue refundable and non-refundable fare.
CityPlus also offers full refunds on cancellations or no shows, as well as free name changes. Dedicated check-in desks and fast-track security options are also available.