Three questions for... Alastair Kiernan, commercial director, Titan Airways

In our regular Routes News series we take a look at the people that attend Routes events and find out more about them, their jobs and the current industry issues impacting them.

In our regular Routes News series we take a look at the people that attend Routes events and find out more about them, their jobs and the current industry issues impacting them. In this issue we speak to Alastair Kiernan, commercial director, Titan Airways.

Q) What are your immediate priorities at Titan Airways?

A) As with any airline, my focus is on ensuring we operate a safe and profitable concern that keeps our customers happy. We don’t promise something we can’t deliver, as we want to maintain our good reputation within the market. A lot of this is achieved through the dedication of our staff over 28 successful years of operation. We have around 325 employees currently. Our staff can report any problems they experience very easily so we can then act on them as quickly as possible. We believe if the product is good and the staff are happy, then we will have a safer operation as a result. We’re a small business and try to keep the size sensible in order to maintain quality and effective communication of the company. This means we can keep control of our overheads and product to ensure we remain consistently profitable. Our business as a charter airline is predominantly operating aircraft on behalf of other carriers and while we currently have 11 aircraft on our books, we’re in a state of change at the moment. We’re looking at expanding the fleet with the introduction of both Airbus A319s and Airbus A330s planned for early spring next year.

Q) Who are you hoping to meet at World Routes in Chengdu in September?

The main areas we are looking to expand into are Asia, Australasia, the US and Canada. Europe is very strong for us in the summer but come the winter period we would like to move the aircraft to where they can be best utilised. Demand is usually higher in all of these regions during European winter time so capacity can become tight and the opportunity is there. Many carriers do not want the expense of owning additional aircraft and associated costs to their fleet for just that short-term peak period when they can wet-lease additional capacity at a cost-effective rate. World Routes is a great place to meet existing clients and market ourselves to new ones. It’s the best place to meet a lot of people in a short amount of time who are also key decision makers.

Q) What are the best and worst things about your job?

The best thing about our business is the people, both in our company and those we have the pleasure of working with. Although our business is serious to us, we have a lot of fun in the process and enjoy what we do. Also, we never know who we are going to be working with next. One day we are working with low-cost carrier easyJet or British Airways and then the next we’re flying a royal family or a head of state. Every day is different. We also work with companies including Royal Mail and TNT as we operate cargo aircraft and we’re looking to increase this side of the business too. We’ve got our fingers into a lot of different pies and we don’t just limit ourselves to any one thing. It’s the nature and strength of our business. On the other side, keeping up with the demand is really tough and trying to be all things to everyone can be challenging. Our experience and knowledge means that although we have created high expectations, meeting these can sometimes be difficult. Our success is down to the hard work and flexibility of our committed staff. We rely on our suppliers but increasingly find we are working with a smaller pool of them. For instance, on the catering front most suppliers are used to supplying the same basic service again and again and can’t meet our needs. Finding those that can is hard work but rewarding when we get them.

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This article is modified from an original feature that appeared in...

ROUTES NEWS - ISSUE 5, 2016 

PLEASE CLICK HERE to view the magazine.

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