James Portnoy, a strategy executive for full-service ATR operator Aeromar, sits down with Celia Fleischaker, PROS Chief Marketing Officer, to discuss why Aeromar chose to work with PROS and its revenue management solution. Though Aeromar is a smaller, regional carrier, Portnoy attests that PROS provides unparalleled customer experience and return on investment.
Celia F.: Hi, I'm Celia Fleischaker, chief marketing officer of PROS.
James Portnoy: I'm James Portnoy, senior manager of operational strategy at Aeromar.
Celia F.: Great, James, thank you so much for taking some time with us today.
James Portnoy: No problem.
Celia F.: First and foremost, can you tell me about the company?
James Portnoy: Sure, so Aeromar is a full service ATR operator based in Mexico. I think that we have a unique advantage being that we have ATRs that we can service ultra thin markets, and very small airports that otherwise wouldn't be able to be serviced.
James Portnoy: And, that creates a natural exclusive route for us, that we can take advantage of.
Celia F.: So, what led you to PROS, and why are we working together today? What made you think about us?
James Portnoy: Right. When I started at Aeromar, one of the important things that I was asked to do was to evaluate, which systems we needed first. And I was shocked to hear that we didn't have a revenue management system, which I think is the core of what airlines do, right?
Celia F.: Right. Absolutely.
James Portnoy: It's sort of the most important tool that an airline can have. And, then when we were evaluating which ones to get, PROS is the best. In order to grow and in order to grow to the next level, you have to have the best system so that you can make data-driven decision making.
Celia F.: In terms of the benefits of this system, when you're implementing revenue management, what are the ones that you think are going to show up that you're excited about realizing once you have the solution fully in place?
James Portnoy: We were very confident before we signed that PROS was going to pay itself, right? So, that wasn't the issue. The issue for us was being that we're such a small client, the attention we were going to get from PROS.
James Portnoy: Before we made the decision to go to PROS, we had just switched our distribution platforms from one of the biggest ones to another one of the biggest ones. And we were promised amazing customer service and all the works. And, as soon as we ... almost the next day, we stopped getting our phone calls answered and whatnot.
James Portnoy: So, when we switched to PROS, when we were looking to switch to PROS, that was our biggest concern, whether or not we were going to-
Celia F.: Would that happen?
James Portnoy: Exactly, exactly, and not falling into the same trap again, where as soon as we sign on, that was it. And it just hasn't been the case. Dealing with PROS has been so easy, every need has been met, every question has been answered right away, it doesn't matter time of the day. So it's been amazing so far.
Celia F.: That's nice to hear, because we talk about customer experience and how important it is to PROS. And it's great to hear it directly from a customer that it's living up to what was promised.
James Portnoy: 100%. 100%.
Celia F.: That's terrific. Then, so how would you describe the partnership with PROS?
James Portnoy: So, before we signed, Steve kept saying, "This is going to be a marriage, it's going to be a partnership," and he's 100% lived up to that. Even after signing, we had a little situation that we had to deal with-
Celia F.: Sure.
James Portnoy: ... and he was so open to it. It wasn't even a big deal to him, even though I know we asked for something that it was a big deal, and he just made it happen for us. And that sort of relationship, we had an experience with the big ones, right, or the big providers?
Celia F.: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
James Portnoy: So, we're just very happy with [inaudible 00:03:24].
Celia F.: That's great. I mean if you think about the relationship, and the partnership that we have so far with PROS and Aeromar, is there one word or one thing that you would use to describe it? Or maybe one thing you love about working with PROS?
James Portnoy: Yeah, I mean a partnership I think is the best way, marriage I think it's a good word.
Celia F.: Great.
James Portnoy: But yet it's a lot of give and take. Steve worked magic to make it happen, because we're a much smaller airline than the what you guys are usually accustomed to. So the pricing needed to be adjusted. And Steve just worked his magic, and we were able to make it happen.
Celia F.: I think it's nice too. And a lot of times in the sales cycle everything is great, right? And exactly what you said, what happens after, and to know that what happened after was just as good as what was happening in that sales cycle and you received that support.
James Portnoy: Yeah. Yeah, we were very happy.
Celia F.: Why did you choose to attend Outperform?
James Portnoy: So being the PROS is the leading revenue management system and it represents all the greatest airlines and integrated systems, we wanted to come out here and meet other airlines and try to see what we can do. And learn what's the future, right? So we wanted to understand, well, what's coming and how we can position ourselves to better our airline.
Celia F.: That's interesting. Do you see it as a conference to learn more about PROS and the product, or more of a networking event? It sounds like maybe a combination.
James Portnoy: Yeah, it's definitely a combination. I think there's definitely a networking aspect to coming to Outperform. But also what the industry is doing, right? So we don't want to be stuck with what Mexico and our airline is doing. We want to know what the world is, and the bigger airlines are doing, so we can adjust and incorporate that into our own strategies. And it was definitely very, very beneficial [inaudible 00:05:17].
Celia F.: Terrific. Thank you so much.
James Portnoy: No problem.
Speaker 3: Wait, wait, one more. A bigger part about Outperform.
James Portnoy: Sorry?
Celia F.: Oh, okay.
Speaker 3: [crosstalk 00:05:24] Outperform. [crosstalk 00:05:26].
James Portnoy: Yeah. What was his name? Yesterday's keynote speaker?
Celia F.: Dan Pink?
James Portnoy: No, Wu?
Celia F.: Michael Wu.
Speaker 3: Michael Wu.
James Portnoy: Michael Wu. Michael Wu.
Celia F.: He'll be pleased to hear that. That's great. And what was your favorite part of Outperform?
James Portnoy: Definitely the keynote speaker, Michael Wu. He was very entertaining. He was very entertaining. There was a lot of information given on artificial intelligence. And it's just, like I said before, it's very interesting to see how the industry's moving and what are the advantages and disadvantages to using artificial intelligence.
Celia F.: That's great. So thank you so much for spending a little bit of time with us. We really appreciate it.
James Portnoy: No problem.