Guest Speaker at Table Talk: Crafting your Brand
Jo-Anne Arends is the Head Airline Marketing at Aruba Airport Authority. Jo-Anne Arends believes she has her dream job at the Aruba Airport Authority.
Jo-Anne’s favorite quote:
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”
The Aruba Airport, Queen Beatrix International (AUA), is the gateway to the tropical Caribbean. Aruba is one of the leading Caribbean vacation destinations and attributes this to a stable economic and political climate, multilingual hospitable population and a safe environment.
Currently the Aruba International Queen Beatrix Airport is one of the busiest airports in the Caribbean region with 31 different airlines transporting nearly 2.3 million passengers per year, mainly from North America, South America, Caribbean and Europe. Aruba is also served by seasonal charter flights from Caracas, Canada, Scandinavia and the UK, making it operationally solid. Our modern airport can accommodate commercial jet aircrafts as large as the Boeing 747.
Connections can be made to any part of the world and U.S.-bound passengers benefit from their own terminal building that houses a U.S. Customs & Border Protection facility, allowing flights from Aruba to enter the U.S. as domestic flights and passengers don’t need to go through immigration. This is an asset in terms of passenger comfort and symbolizes the strength of the island’s relationship with the US. Many airlines also view this as a benefit, favoring Aruba because aircraft re-enter rotation in the US without having to be re-screened by customs; planes can be operational again within 45 minutes, which greatly improves efficiency.
The airport is the first and last impression that a tourist or businessperson has of Aruba. Aruba Airport Authority strives to provide its passengers with a good experience and, on arrival, introduces them to elements of Aruban culture, heritage and traditions.
Airlines are Aruba Airport’s closest allies because they also promote Aruba as a destination. Communication with these parties is essential; the airport tries to meet with them three to four times a year – and that is where its gears a lot of its investments to. The airport does invest in advertising and is convinced that not one single tourist will come to the island as a result of seeing an advert of the airport. Instead, it is cultivating an eye-to-eye relationship with airlines, and cooperation with its partners and stakeholders. Read more about Jo-Anne. Airlines are Aruba Airport’s closest allies because they also promote Aruba as a destination. Communication with these parties is essential; the airport tries to meet with them three to four times a year – and that is where its gears a lot of its investments to. The airport does invest in advertising and is convinced that not one single tourist will come to the island as a result of seeing an advert of the airport. Instead, it is cultivating an eye-to-eye relationship with airlines, and cooperation with its partners and stakeholders. Read more about Jo-Anne.
Jo-Anne is responsible for the following:
- Development of new potential routes for Aruba, as well as maintaining existing relationships with airline partners, create new networks and retain partnerships.
- Briefing stakeholders on airline developments, potential markets and capacity changes.
- The stakeholders consist of Aruba Airport Authority N.V. (AAA NV), Aruba Tourism Authority (ATA), Aruba Hotel and Tourism Association (AHATA) and Ministry of Transportation, Tourism & Labor (MTTL).
- Responsible for the yearly marketing plan; implements, evaluates and advices on the developments and implementations of these plans and develops marketing activities based on the airlines for AAA NV. Executes market research and analyzes the results and translates the results into strategy proposals and marketing activities.
- Preparing and presenting of a business case to potential airlines, or develop further exciting business.
- Networking with current and potential airline partners, arranging headquarters visits, attending general trade shows and airline dedicated tradeshows and present business cases for those partners. Identifying and analyzing potential partnerships with (regional) airports.
Education & Experience
- 1999 – Graduated Colegio Arubano
- 1999-2003 – Jo-Anne earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration specializing in International Marketing Management from Hoge Economische Studies (HES) in Rotterdam.
- 2004-2007 – Marketing Teacher at the Hogeschool Rotterdam
- 2007 – Aruba, Sales and Marketing Manager Position at a distribution company in Aruba and the Caribbean.
Aruba Airport’s excellent marketing efforts for many consecutive years have been nominated, commended and awarded. In February 2013, the Airline Marketing department of the Aruba Airport was announced as the winner of the Routes Americas Marketing Awards in the category of 0-4 million passengers. The award adds on to the “Highly Commended” and runner-up status for the World Routes Awards received in Abu Dhabi in 2012. AAA was shortlisted earlier together with Lynden Pindling International Airport (Nassau) who received the Highly Commended Award, Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (Cuzco), Hewanorra International Airport (St Lucia) and Owen Roberts International Airport (Grand Cayman).
Aruba Airport Awards and nominations
The annual Routes awards are highly regarded as the most valuable awards in the industry as they are voted for and judged by the airline network planning community.
They provide the airline community with the chance to have their say as to which airport they think provides the best overall marketing services to them whether it be about their particular relationship, effective results, provision of data and information or innovative techniques to establish new or maintain and develop existing routes.
The nominations and awards are an important benchmark for us to monitor how our airport is doing compared to the competition, since all airports go full swing nowadays to charm the airline industry. This award is a great way for us to have a credible recognition which we can proudly talk about to our customers and other stakeholders
It is essential that the airport manages relations with its customers- in this case, airlines rather than passengers- in the way that they appreciate.
It’s through this strong relationship with the airlines that Aruba Airport feels that it can maintain and further develop the business opportunities for each airline with Aruba Airport. The pro-active approach by the Airline Marketing department at Aruba Airport is also of utmost importance to attract new airlines to do business with the airport. The airport is cultivating genuine face-to-face relationships with its partners and stakeholders.
An airport that provides incentive packages, is business case driven, is always improving the airport facilities, has US pre-clearance facilities, that strives towards sustainability and has a new terminal building are just some of the aspects that make Aruba Airport stand out amongst other airports in the region and be attractive for the development of new routes and new potential airlines.
- Vice chairman of the Latin America Committee consisting of the ATA and different hotel partners.
- Member of the Airlift Committee together with other partners such as the AHATA, ATA and DCA and the Ministry of Tourism.
“Communicating the Mission; supporting your Team with the necessary resources; and getting out of their way so they can achieve great things.”