Marty St. George, senior vice president of commercial strategy at JetBlue Airways, spoke today at the Skift Global Forum.

St. George is one of JetBlue’s most recognizable leaders thanks to his savvy on social media and firm understanding of the shifting world of marketing. He has been in his current role since earlier this year, and his previous role, starting in 2009, was senior vice president of marketing.

St. George’s talk, “Beyond Network and Low-Cost: Is There Room for a New Airline Business Model?,” dealt with the challenges of carving out a new space in aviation.

Here are seven things we learned:

  • “New York is embarrassing,” St. George said, referring to area airports. “I really wish we could have much beter infrastructure here.”
  • On JetBlue’s profitability and efforts to create a middle ground between low cost and legacy airlines, “could it be more profitable? Maybe.”
  • Asked by moderator Henry Harteveldt why JetBlue “is nothing in some key cities,” St. George said: “My mom loves me,” adding “I’m also in a place where Wall Street is saying your are growing too fast.”
  • Is servicing leisure travelers the future of being a successful airline? “Leisure has been successful for us. I think one of the reasons is because the legacy (airlines ) walked away from it. We carry a lot of business customers when they fly on leisure.”
  • “We will keep the TVs on the back of the seats indefinitely.”
  • Rather than emphasizing subscriptions for Wi-Fi as Gogo does, JetBlue plans on generating Wi-Fi revenue through partners.
  • JetBlue is working on offering on board more in-destination activities.

Keep track of all the activity at today’s Global Forum by bookmarking our #skiftforum tag.


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Tags: jetblue airways, sgf2014, skift global forum

Photo credit: Moderator Henry Harteveldt (left) asks Mary St. George of JetBlue questions about the airline's evolution at the Skift Global Forum in New York City on Oct. 9, 2014. Skift

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