In episode 11 of the ARC TravelConnect Virtual Series, ARC President and CEO Lauri Reishus sat down with Neil Geurin, Managing Director, Sales and Distribution Strategy, and Kyle Mabry, Vice President of Global Sales, at American Airlines to talk about how the airline navigated the challenges brought by COVID-19 and how their work has progressed despite the challenges.

Use the links to skip ahead to specific parts of their discussion or watch the full video below.

  • 0:50 – Mabry and Geurin detail their careers, including their evolving roles and responsibilities at American Airlines.

  • 5:05Mabry talks about thinking of airline customers in a new way, being flexible to their needs, and the changes at American now having the global sales and distribution teams under the same leadership.

  • 6:40Mabry shares where American is seeing recovery led by short-haul domestic leisure travel, along with early signs of corporate travel demand from small- to medium-sized businesses.

  • 9:24Details on American’s schedule responding to summer demand, and how some markets are expecting 100% of the demand seen before COVID-19.

  • 11:38Geurin dives into American’s distribution strategy and areas that kept progressing through the pandemic, including going live with Amadeus.

  • 13:32 Geurin talks about what content is currently available through American’s NDC and what content may soon be available at American and in the industry. Mabry mentions what he’s hearing from customers on what they want to see.

  • 18:03 Geurin details how their distribution strategy within NDC shifted to be more leisure-focused and the opportunity for more content outside of corporate bookings with new travel trends.

  • 20:58Both Geurin and Mabry talk about the collaboration they have seen throughout the entire industry and how airlines, agencies, hotels and more have responded to the need to communicate better new customer concerns.

  • 27:12 Mabry discusses recent domestic alliances with Alaska Airlines and JetBlue. He talks about American’s goal to create better networks in areas where they have underperformed in the past and creating a seamless experience for travelers across all airlines.

  • 32:00Geurin shares how distribution is impacted by new airline partnerships and what his team has learned.

  • 33:45In closing, Geurin and Mabry think about the future of distribution across the industry, progress made with agencies and GDSs, and looking beyond recovery.