October 14, 2009
Meet Luce Bureau, an individual with a passion for what she does!
Luce Bureau is Assistant Manager, Passenger and Cargo Development with Aéroports de Montréal. Air traffic development plays a deciding role and has a definite impact upon growth in Québec tourism by providing access to various destinations. To allow us to better understand her role, Ms Bureau agreed to an interview with us.
Luce Bureau, what exactly does your job entail?
It is my job to ensure traffic development at both of Montréal’s airports, namely passenger traffic at Montréal-Trudeau and cargo traffic at Montréal-Mirabel. It is important to remain on the outlook for new clients for each of our airports. As a result, I am in regular contact with various international carriers and work to convince them to open up new routes or increase the number of flights to and from Montréal. I work closely with a number of partners, including Saint Lawrence Cruise Association, Tourisme Montréal and tour operators with a view to showcasing Montréal’s numerous attributes and the quality of our airport facilities.
Could you enlighten readers on your background?
I held a number of positions with Air Canada over a period of 26 years. This lengthy experience enabled me to involve myself in many aspects of the travel industry, namely sales, fare setting, law and air transport treaties. This knowledge has proven especially useful in my current position with Aéroports de Montréal, a position I have occupied for the past five years. Well aware of the challenges facing modern-day carriers, the success factors involved and the ins and outs of serving new destinations, I am therefore poised to counsel and assist air carriers with action in these different areas.
Your work sounds fascinating. Which aspects of your job do you find especially motivational?
Indeed, I really do enjoy my work and love each of the various aspects of what I do. Adding a flight or a new destination involves months, sometimes years of preparation. To bring these initiatives to fruition, I work with an extraordinary group of individuals from across the globe. I derive tremendous satisfaction from seeing developments take shape and spurring growth in volume at both airports.
What do Montréal and Aéroports de Montréal have to offer cruise passengers?
My work entails considerable travel and, as a result, I have had the opportunity to visit a great many cities. I can proudly say that Montréal offers visitors a first rate product. The city is cosmopolitan, festive and known for its love affair with gastronomy. Montréal also offers tourists exceptional value for their money. Our airport is well designed, user-friendly and located only a short distance from the city centre. Passengers appreciate service accessibility and the ease with which they can transfer from one flight to another in Montréal.
Are there any development projects planned that would be of particular interest to cruise passengers?
Since 2000, the facilities at Montréal-Trudeau have been greatly expanded and improved thanks a $1.5 billion retrofit program. Only recently on August 19th, we inaugurated a new departures sector for transborder flights to the USA. This new space has been designed to expedite customs formalities and enhance overall passenger experience, while expanding airport capacity. Some have qualified the new facilities as the most developed and most modern in North America. In addition, a new 275-room hotel to be operated under the Marriott banner was also inaugurated on the same day, thereby enhancing the local hotel supply. Work is also under way to expand the international jetty, and improve shuttle operations between Montréal-Trudeau and the city centre.
With these improvements, we are poised for renewed growth in traffic and are seeking to transform Montréal into a hub for air transport. Cruise products are certainly good traffic builders and could help boost the number of travellers using our airport. Already a number of carriers have increased the number of flights to Montréal thanks to the growing popularity of the city as a port of departure.
What about Montréal is most likely to appeal to cruise passengers?
In my opinion, Montréal has much to offer visitors. Off-hand, there is the charm of Old Montréal, the rich diversity of city neighbourhoods and, of course, Jean Talon Market. In fall, it is wonderful to wonder around the market and discover the amazing abundance of colourful and appetizing products on offer.
What is your favourite Montréal restaurant?
My absolute favourite is Tonnerre de Brest in Outremont. The food is great, the décor warm and friendly, and the service impeccable.
What is your favourite holiday destination?
I have a weakness for Phoenix, Arizona. The sun is always shining, the weather is generally pleasant and the landscape is ripe with diversity. I also love the Eastern Townships for the magnificent rolling countryscape and ease of access from Montréal.
Have you ever been on a cruise?
Yes, I have been on a number of familiarization trips organized in conjunction with the inauguration of new cruise ships. It’s a wonderful way to discover a destination.
How are you involved with Saint Lawrence Cruise Association (ASCL)?
Personally, I only recently joined ACSL when I took over from a colleague. However, the airports have been involved in the file since the outset. Cruise market development is important for Aéroports de Montréal and I have noted, with interest, action taken by the association to date. I am very anxious to get involved and contribute, together with my colleagues of the various ports of call, to the success of destination Saint Lawrence.
In closing, allow us to welcome you to ACSL!