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Cebu Pacific innovation keeps customers happy

The airline industry, especially the low-cost-carrier segment, changes constantly and rapidly. Customers are very smart when it comes to getting their money’s worth. The challenge facing Jem L. Calungcaguin, manager, in-flight products and innovation, Cebu Pacific Air, is to be innovative and provide the best customer experience at the lowest possible cost.

Calungcaguin’s main duty is to ensure that existing in-flight products are on a par with Cebu Pacific’s standards, and to develop products and services that will appeal to passengers. “I look closely at the monthly in-flight sales numbers and the in-flight buying trends to ensure our existing products are up to standard. By following industry trends, and being able to forecast opportunities for ancillary revenue, I design new products. We always strive for passenger satisfaction,” she says.

The job calls for a strong retail-marketing background, an eye for detail, and broad knowledge of airline industry trends to work in in-flight products and innovation.

“When I started in this job, I had to learn everything about the key components I was to handle, which include duty-free, onboard meals and service, ambient advertising, in-flight magazines, airline retail and innovations, customs and inventory,” says Calungcaguin.

Trends in the airline industry change very quickly, requiring an ability to adapt and act just as quickly in order to catch, or try to always be one step ahead of, everybody else. “You must be a people person, eager to learn and discover new things. What I love most about my job is that there is always something new to learn. I get to travel often and am exposed to various cultures which I am able to constantly draw inspiration from. Seeing our customers happy and enjoying their flight experience is very fulfilling. I also benefited a lot from travelling for international retail conferences and network-building opportunities with other industry professionals. There are limitless opportunities to learn,” says Calungcaguin.

With the planned launch of long-haul services in 2013, Calungcaguin predicts that her job will become more challenging than ever. “Interesting projects for long-haul flights are maximising ambient-advertising initiatives, as well as in-flight entertainment and connectivity. Among the challenges of the job is being on top of projects where efforts are initiated and co-ordinated with people from diverse cultures, industries and time zones. But if you are motivated, independent, highly organised and hardworking, you will definitely enjoy the ever-changing and dynamic working environment,” says Calungcaguin.