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Airberlin’s Titus Johnson Elaborates On Launching New Routes

Jan 1, 2013
2013 / January 2013

Name: Titus Johnson
Title: Vice president, sales and marketing
Company, city: airberlin Americas, New York
Number of employees: 9,300 globally
Recent project: Launching the first-ever direct service between Chicago and Berlin, to commence in March
First Job: At 13, I worked Saturdays in a hardware store in the East End of London. I’m a dab hand when it comes to wood, nails, bricks and building fixtures.
Little-known fact about you: I won first prize at a catering competition for making the best cappuccino in Sydney in 1992. I was a barista before I even knew the meaning of the word.

Your Business

Essential business philosophy: Be transparent and progressive. Take a longer-term view of the objective and focus on the elements of projects. Meet the service expectations of customers and develop a loyal customer base.

Best way to keep a competitive edge: Remain as flexible as possible. The airline business is in constant change and is more exposed and competitive than any business sector. As the famous quote says, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change.”

Yardstick of success: Play a fair game, develop others along the way and share the fruits of one’s labor. We pride ourselves on the continued success of our product and recognition as a world-class airline.

Titus Johnson as a Traveler

What is the most important item you take when traveling? A universal power adapter and a light laptop. For leisure travel, I take a small radio with headphones to tune into local stations.

How do you spend your time on board? On a long flight, I prepare for business meetings. I like to think creatively and strategically, as there are few places left where one can work undisturbed. The content of airberlin’s in-flight entertainment system, “Rave,” is second to none, so I experience the choices our customers enjoy.

What is your favorite restaurant in the world? With so many good places to eat in New York, my favorite doesn’t stay favorite for long.

What is your favorite destination in the world? Europe continues to fascinate and inspire me. It is easy and efficient to travel within Europe with airberlin and experience so much in a short time.

About airberlin Americas

What can business travelers expect from airberlin? Business passengers may be surprised our service is so good in relation to the price. We strive to offer the most competitive fares from the United States to Europe while offering excellent in-flight service. In the U.S. market, we are big enough to matter but still small enough to care. We emphasize personal service and delivery. The U.S. market is quickly learning we don’t just fly from our seven U.S. gateways to Germany but also have seamless connections via our Düsseldorf and Berlin hubs to a wide range of destinations all over Europe.

What makes airberlin’s business class unique? There are only 20 business-class seats on airberlin’s Airbus A330-200, offering a more intimate experience than other carriers with larger business-class cabins. All the seats face forward, and the cabin provides an excellent dining and in-flight entertainment experience. We offer the best value in the market in terms of price, comfort and quality of experience.

What is the most challenging aspect of launching new routes in North America? Although we have been operating for more than 30 years in Europe, we have only operated under the airberlin name for five years in the United States. We made incredible progress and are confident about our product, but the current biggest challenge is getting new customers to think outside their default carriers and try us for the first time. Once they do, they are quick to recommend us and become part of our “volunteer U.S. sales force.” We are known as the “Airline with a Heart” — not just because of our signature offering of chocolate hearts to passengers on arrival, but for putting heart into everything we do. We have a unique culture that is noticeable on board and is perpetually embraced by the U.S. consumer.


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