Alex: Flying high with Flight Ops

After two amazing placements, I was then told it was my turn to experience the Airline, in Flight Operations. I was so excited to start this placement as the Airline business operates so differently to the Tour Operator, that I knew the next three months would be a steep learning curve as well as an eye opening experience into the behind the scenes of an Airline operation.

Familiarisation flight
Familiarisation flight

On my first day I was briefed on my project which was to come up with a future concept for UK crew rooms. Bearing in mind I didn’t even know what a crew room was at this point, I got stuck in and spent a few days travelling around the UK visiting some of our different crew rooms.

TUI Belgium
TUI Belgium

Throughout the research phase of the project I got to do some very exciting things:

  • Firstly I did what we call a familiarisation flight, where I flew to Tenerife and back in a day, shadowing the Cabin Crew one way and being sat behind the Captain and First Officer on the return flight. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and after seeing the pilots in action and how good they are at their job, it has definitely made me less of a nervous flyer!
  • I also flew to Belgium and Holland, to visit our crew rooms at Jetairfly and Arkefly, our other source markets. It was great to gain an understanding into the differences in the operations and to learn from their successes.
  • We don’t have crew rooms in our long haul destinations, so I wanted to understand how the pre-flight process worked overseas, so I also got to fly on our new Dreamliner to Florida!

    Beautiful sunset in Florida
    Beautiful sunset in Florida
  • Whilst working in Flight Ops I had an amazing team around me (who were always on hand to answer my hundreds of questions!) and we also got to do a charity day together, where we volunteered at a children’s fair, and had to alternate being Dora the Explorer – see photo!

I’ve learnt so much in the last three months and next time I’m on a flight I will definitely appreciate just how much work goes into flying us customers from A to B!

I’m off to Lanzarote next week for my overseas assignment so there will of course be lots of photos to come!

Alex Vaughan – Commercial Leadership Programme

Discovery Day for Keech with my team
Discovery Day for Keech with my team
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