This is always one of my favorite events. We have more than 375 people here from all over the U.S. and Canada (and a few from elsewhere). These are tough times, and the need to clearly communicate what airports are doing to serve their customers has never been more important. And, of course, it has never been more important to market communities and airports to airlines looking for air service opportunities (that’s what Jump Start is all about.)
Sessions include the use of social media, the state of the aviation industry, media relations, environment and crisis management. As I pointed out in my opening comments, last years conference focused on the negative impact of $140-a-barrel oil, oil is down more than half but our economic woes were only beginning. When I came to my first MarComm/Jump Start event three years ago there was a lot of energy and optimism. Energy is still present, that’s the kind of group this is. But the optimism is mostly gone.
The day began on a somber note as both Mr. Rovinescu and I each asked the audience to remember the passengers and crew on the Air France flight lost over the Atlantic. We have the safest mode of transport ever devised, but accidents like this really take your breath away.