Julian was appointed Managing Director of bmibaby on 1st April 2010. He previously held the position of commercial director for two years, responsible for marketing, revenue management, public relations, network planning, e-commerce and customer services. Prior to this Julian spent two years working for IATA in Montreal where he was responsible for marketing and business development opportunities within the airline sector. His initial entry into the airline industry however was with Jet2.com, where he was involved in the business planning and launch of the airline. After a term as business development manager for Jet2.com, he moved to MyTravelLite as Head of Marketing and Development, though soon took over as Managing Director of the airline. Prior to entering the airline industry, Julian had ten years of management experience within the entertainment industry, working with both Virgin and Blockbuster.
What is it that you do exactly?
Working at bmibaby there is no such thing as a typical day! We work in such a fast paced environment my day can vary hugely. I am responsible for the oversight of the airline’s ongoing business, from day to day management, through to longer term strategic planning. My team look after the commercial side, which encompasses sales and marketing, network (where we fly and when), pricing, customer service, and e-commerce. Others areas include operations (the day to day delivery of the flights), engineering (making sure the aircraft are safe and fit to fly), cabin services (offering the in-flight service we pride ourselves on), and ground services (the airport activities we undertake).
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
My background is more commercial, but I really enjoy the actual flying and travelling aspects of the job. I try to fly as often as possible to interact with the crew and customers and this keeps it real for me in seeing the business come to life. I also enjoy the challenge of keeping the business prominent in the eyes of the consumer, and so enjoy interacting with media and doing promotional activity.
What would you say are the 3 best places you’ve ever stayed?
Fiji: I did some consulting work for an airline there for a few months, and grew to love the place and the atmosphere. Relaxing in a hammock on the beach, watching the sunset while reading a book after a hard day in the office can’t be beaten!
Montreal: I lived there for two years, and came to know the place as home. The city is one of the friendliest and most exciting cities I’ve ever known, and was such a great mix of North America meets Continental Europe.
Las Vegas: The fountains of Bellagio are one of my favourite places on this planet! You can lose yourself in the grandeur of the place, and provided you take it all with a healthy pinch of salt (and are sensible with the chips!), you can have the most amazing time!
What’s been your most memorable dining experience to date?
A Beef Teriyaki dinner in the Bahamas, when a group of us sat around the chef’s hot plate and ate from the edges as he prepared the food. I’ve always tried to find Teriyaki that tasted that good since, but am still looking!
Have you rubbed shoulders with the rich and famous, either through your work or your travels?
In my time as a cinema manager I met a few celebrities. On one occasion I had to ask Stephen Gately what his name was (I knew he was in a boy band, but that was all I knew!). I also had to escort U2′s ‘The Edge’ out the back door once as word had got around he was there, and so he needed to escape! My most memorable encounter though was escorting Pierce Brosnan around the cinema during a premiere – I had given the staff explicit instructions not to trouble him, but then went and did it myself by asking him if he’d have his photograph taken with my girlfriend (I got good brownie points for that though!)
What currently ranks highest on your travel wish list?
I want to do a long overland expedition one day – taking a few months to travel from a to b. I’d like to overland it to the Far East from Europe or from North to South America perhaps. I will one day!
Many thanks, Julian, and good luck with your new role at bmibaby.