The aviation industry is said to be one of the most inclusive industries in the world. It is not only the most international but also an industry with many opportunities. The head of the programme, aviation expert Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kalligiannis and KSU Business School Director Deimantė Žilinskienė answer the questions regarding Kazimieras Simonavičius University Aviation Management Bachelor’s study programme.

What is so special about KSU Aviation Management programme? What are the main strengths?

Deimantė Žilinskienė

D. Žilinskienė: First of all, I would like to mention that KSU Aviation Management Bachelor’s study programme is chosen by very talented students who want to connect their future with the promising aviation industry.

We are the only university in Lithuania offering this study programme, and we can also confidently say that we are also the strongest in the Baltic Region and offering the highest quality of studies. We have carefully selected an extraordinary team of Aviation experts-Professors from all over the world so that students can learn in an international environment and understand the aviation industry not only on a theoretical but also on a practical level. The study programme is conducted in English, which allows students to improve their language skills and also to operate continuously in an international and multicultural environment. As one of our students has said: “It’s great that I can stay in my beloved Lithuania, but feel like studying abroad.”

Additional strengths of the programme include student mentoring system, additional foreign language learning (Russian or Spanish), experiential classes, and outbound visits to airlines, airports, etc.

Tell us more about the mentoring programme, which is integrated into study process of Aviation Management.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kalligiannis

K. Kalligiannis: The mentoring programme integrated in our BA in Aviation Management programme is a very innovative concept and which we consider as a unique leading advantage of our study programme that our students benefit from. The word “Mentor” comes from the Greek mythology, and refers to the role that Mentor was selected and appointed to have by Odysseus (Ulysses) as a father-figure for his son Telemachus, before leaving for the Trojan War.

Our KSU Aviation Management Mentoring Scheme is designed and implemented in order our students to develop both their aviation industry knowledge and expertise as well as their interpersonal skills according to their respective career aspirations and capabilities.  In other words it is a one-to-one continuous process in which the student-mentee gets more and more aware of its individual interpersonal and managerial skills development progress according to its specific career aspirations.  The role of the Mentor is to motivate and provide guidance to its Mentee in order to remain focused to their agreed “Individualized Flight-Path to Success”.

In certain cases, when a student may not be truly self-aware of the inherent capabilities it has, the Mentor will also guide the Mentee in selecting a role and career path that would be more appropriate to the student’s inherent and developed talents.  For example, in the past I had a student that although he was an exceptional student in terms of his academic obligations, he was not so well-performing in his professional obligations in an airport’s Terminal Operations Department, since he was not by his nature appearing as customer-centric as it is expected in a modern airport environment.  We discussed this issue together, and I provided my suggestion that he should discuss with the HR Department the possibility of getting re-allocated on the Airside Operations Department, since he had a very high level of airside operations’ understanding, and was also fully aware of all the applicable ICAO legislations.  As a result, and after the HR Department reallocating him in the suggested new department, he became one of the best performing airport employees and has managed to have a very successful and impressive career until today in his aviation career life.

What teaching methods are applied in the Aviation Management study programme?

K. Kalligiannis: Our main philosophy for the Aviation Management programme is to apply innovative teaching methods and provide industry-applied academic education. The programme is developed and structured in a way that our students will benefit from a selection of different teaching methods as well as different teaching philosophies of our faculty members. These innovative teaching techniques, in addition to our leading Mentoring Scheme, also include the employment of: Consulting Projects, Case Studies, Academic Papers, Videos, etc.

For example, the employment of actual Consulting Projects provide students with the opportunity in applying the respective aviation theories and concepts they have learned into practice and develop critical thinking of the potential results and consequences from their selected decisions in a demanding aviation environment.  I always present students with consulting projects that I have participated in the past and provide them with the respective project instructions as if I was the actual client and my students the actual consultants.  This way, the students develop very significant skills (such as operating at high levels of efficiency in tight deadlines and with limited information available) and become much better prepared for a demanding and challenging starting role in their aviation career.

Aviation management can also be studied online. How does distance learning work?

D. Žilinskienė: This form of studies is focused on a person who is already working in the aviation industry or a person who finds it difficult to physically come to the University every day due to work or family circumstances or living outside Lithuania, etc. We notice  that our online students in Aviation Management are already successfully working in the aviation sector, but only occasionally returning to Lithuania (for example, working in Thailand, Dubai, Latvia, etc.), as well as working as pilots, flight attendants.

Distance learning is carried out on weekdays and in the evenings, thus taking into account the needs of employees. The students join the lectures at a specified time by means of distance learning, participate in live lectures, communicate with group friends and with the lecturers, and report on assignments. All lectures are recorded and uploaded along with the teaching material for the students for additional review after the lectures.

However, students also have two-week lectures and exam session at the University in Vilnius every semester, where they meet live with friends and lecturers of the group. The exact time is agreed in advance, so students have no difficulty in reconciling work and multi-weeks sessions at the University.

Tell us more about the teaching team. How do students evaluate teachers-practitioners?

D. Žilinskienė: We have carefully selected the team of teachers for the Aviation Management study programme and about 80 percent faculty consists of foreign lecturers-practitioners from various countries of the world: the United Arab Emirates, Norway, Greece, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Latvia, Germany, etc. Our lecturers have many years of managerial experience in various airports, international airlines, developing strategies, planning and managing airports, ensuring aviation security, and so on. They are really well-known names in the aviation world.

It is very important for us that the teachers have not only practical experience, but also a very high level of teaching experience and who can ensure high-quality teaching and learning methods. We are proud that this is the kind of team we managed to put together and every year we expand and grow it more and more.

Every semester, we conduct surveys of our students, during which students provide feedback on study subjects and lecturers. We are glad that student’s feedback on foreign teachers and the quality of teaching is exceptionally high: 92 percent of students express satisfaction with foreign lecturers and study subjects.

What career prospects does the study programme offer?

K. Kalligiannis: What better career prospects can an academic programme offer than actually preparing its students for an industry’s actual needs in terms of both required knowledge as well as valued interpersonal skills?

The programme is developed in order to provide its students with a great understanding of all aviation industry’s key stakeholders (e.g. airlines, airports, ground handlers, etc.) as well as the different key functions (Management, Marketing, Operations, Revenue Management, etc.) present in aviation organizations, in order for the students to acquire a holistic and in-depth understanding of all of their requirements and become initially competitive job candidates and later highly-appreciated and successful aviation professionals.

Whom would you recommend to study Aviation Management?

K. Kalligiannis: I would strongly recommend to all potential new students to chase their dreams and select to study a course that they will really enjoy and that it would provide them with the necessary knowledge and skills in pursuing a career that will be making them truly happy.

The aviation industry is a unique industry in many ways and has this high level of excitement that cannot be easily found in other industries.  Moreover, it is the most international, fastest evolving, and most challenging industry.  Personally, I am grateful to the aviation industry and have been enjoying every single day of my professional life.  I know that it would sound strange admitting it, but I even enjoy the major crises that have affected our industry (such as 9/11, Global Economic Recessions, SARS, and now COVID19), since in addition to the aviation industry itself always bouncing back stronger, all of us serving this fascinating industry, are in a way forced to find new ways in reinventing ourselves and becoming more effective and competitive after such crises.

How are the graduates of the programme doing?

D. Žilinskienė: An annual survey of Aviation Management graduates of Kazimieras Simonavičius University revealed that all this year graduates work in the aviation industry. Majority of the graduates started working in their specialty during their studies, the rest of them got job within a month after graduation. Aviation Management graduates work for companies such as GetJet Airlines, Wizz Air, Avia Solutions Group, Avion Express and BGS.

These employability indicators show that Aviation Management students are well prepared for work in the aviation industry, which requires specific knowledge and skills. Graduates are successful in a variety of sectors such as aviation security, communications, sales, and human resources in wide range of companies including airports, airlines, aircraft service centres and international airlines.

Read more about Aviation Management study programme: https://bit.ly/2AZwbfw

Kazimieras Simonavičius University (KSU) in cooperation with the Civil Aviation Association (CAVIA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), is organizing an open webinar and panel discussion “Restart of Aviation Industry: How We Do it in Lithuania?”.

Moderator – Artūras Stankevičius, President of the Civil Aviation Association (CAVIA).

The webinar will be held online on June 4th at 10 a.m., on the Zoom platform.

During the webinar-panel discussion, the speakers will share good practices and their insights on:

  • How have the airports adapted to the changed conditions during and after quarantine;
  • The importance of communication and cooperation between stakeholders in the time of a crisis;
  • Forecasts for Lithuania in comparison with other European countries;
  • When returned to passenger flows as in 2009-2010, what could we do better?

 

Webinar Speakers


Programme:

10:00-10:05
Opening Word
Artūras Stankevičius, President of CAVIA Lithuania.

10:05-10:20
A Roadmap to Safely Restarting Aviation
Ioannis Mavroeidis, Aviation Industry Analyst, Nordic and Baltic at International Air Transport Association (IATA)

10:20-10:35
A Roadmap to Safely Restarting Aviation
Catrin Mattsson, Area Manager, Nordic and Baltic at International Air Transport Association (IATA)

10:35-10:50
A Green Recovery for the Aviation Industry.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anil Padhra, Visiting professor of the International Aviation and Aviation Finance modules of the KSU Aviation Management Bachelor’s study programme.

10:50-11:05

We Took Off for the Recovery But It Will Not Be Steep: COVID-19 Impact for Fleets and Capacities
Simonas Bartkus, CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), “ch-aviation”.

11:05-11:20
Importance of Dialog with the Key Stakeholders for Successful Re-start
Arijandas Šliupas, Chairman of the Board of Lithuanian Airports.

11: 20-11: 50
Panel Discussion
Moderator – Artūras Stankevičius, President of CAVIA Lithuania

Registration is open up here until June 3rd at 9 p.m.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is required.

This week, Kazimieras Simonavičius University (KSU) and the Civil Aviation Association (CAVIA) signed a cooperation agreement to promote cooperation between higher education and aviation professionals to improve the quality of training for aviation management specialists.

Both organizations agreed to cooperate in the areas of joint expert research, sharing good practices, improving the training of students of the aviation management study program, transferring practical experience to the study process, developing advanced forms of mutual scientific and practical cooperation, organizing conferences, seminars, courses and other events in aviation management, development of aviation services, aircraft maintenance.

 “Today, as the aviation industry undergoes significant changes, it is critical for Aviation Management students to see from the inside how aviation professionals are tackling emerging issues and challenges. Cooperation with a strong association of aviation professionals provides excellent opportunities for students to improve by gaining practical experience and knowledge, and for aviation professionals to contribute to better preparation of future colleagues, to share experiences. Such cooperation between industry and education sector can also stimulate the implementation of new ideas and solutions in the recovery of aviation after the restrictions caused by the pandemic, thus contributing to the country’s prosperity, as aviation is an important part of the state’s social and economic life”, says Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kalligiannis, Head of KSU Aviation Management study programme .

Artūras Stankevičius, President of the Civil Aviation Association, says “We are very pleased with the new partnership with Kazimieras Simonavičius University. The cooperation agreement, so to speak, is symbolic at this difficult time for the entire aviation industry, and showing that the desired positive results can be achieved only by uniting and working together. I believe that joint activities and dissemination of information about aviation will stimulate young people’s interest in this industry and create added value for the entire Lithuanian aviation sector. “

Kazimieras Simonavičius University is the only university in Lithuania conducting bachelor’s studies in Aviation Management. KSU has been training highly qualified aviation management specialists for past 7 years. The core teaching team of the program, consists of highly experienced and recognized aviation professionals from around the world. Aviation management studies are carried out in both the usual full-time and full-time (distance) online study forms.

The Civil Aviation Association (CAVIA) currently brings together 11 companies involved in private aviation activities and business: airlines “Get Jet”, “DAT”, “Global Airways” and “Charter Jets”, aircraft and passenger service companies “Litcargus” and “Aircraft Service Agency”, the aircraft maintenance organization “KAMS”, the food supply company “Global Travel Supply”, the helicopter pilot training organization “Aircraft Support and Training Europe”, the largest Duty Free / Travel Value concept store operator at Lithuanian airports “Travel Retail Vilnius” and training and consulting company “Dialogus”. CAVIA seeks to organize and promote cooperation and mutual support in the air transport sector in national and international organizations.

Vladislav Kezun

Vladislav Kežun

Vladislav Kežun is a distance-learning bachelor’s student in Aviation Management study program and living in sunny Bangkok, where he is working in the sales department for FL Technics: MRO Aircraft Maintenance and Repair Services company for the past few years. Vladislav talks about his career in aviation and the peculiarities of this sector.

How did you decide to start your career in the aviation sector? What makes this job interesting and how did you find yourself in Bangkok?

Before working in the aviation sector, I worked in sales for a while with industrialists. However, very quickly I realized that the industrial sector in Lithuania is not very large and there are few prospects. I looked at different sectors and by chance saw an advertisement that an airline was looking for employees. My job interview took place at the Lithuanian airport, and I still remember some conversation word for word “If you have already got into aviation, it is unlikely that you will get out of it.” The words seemed fateful for me.

I have been working for the FL Technics for 4 years. Our market is very large: the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia, so I have been living and working in one of the company’s divisions based in Bangkok.

What does your workday look like?

If the day starts in the office in the morning, I first spend a few hours reading and replying to emails, finishing up my meetings, and getting ready for new ones.

There is no monotony in my work, I have to spend a lot of time flying for meetings with clients. My responsibility is to develop the Asian market, and of course, to make as many successful sales transactions as possible.

Do you sell aircraft parts? what amounts we are talking about and who are your buyers? In what circumstances may a buyer need, for example, an aircraft engine?

The sums are really impressive – we are talking about millions of transactions. The main customers are airlines from different countries. Aircraft engines are one of the most expensive parts of an aircraft. In terms of demand, it occurs when an old engine wears out. Airplanes are designed to last for a long time (e.g., American airplanes have a lifespan of about 30 years), but engine life is fairly perpetual, much like a car’s engine condition is determined by mileage. Therefore, the engines need to be replaced or repaired after some time.

The work is fun, doing well, so what inspired you and why did you decide to start studying Aviation Management?

I studied business management at another high school, but the studies did not live up to my expectations. I studied many different disciplines, but nothing specific. When working with classic sales, such knowledge may be sufficient, but in my case, the chosen field of aviation is very specific and such general knowledge is not enough.

The FL Technics pays a lot of attention to their staff development: I had more than 10 different types of trainings during my first year at work. Those trainings made me realize, how big the industry is and how much space is available for the growth and expansion. This probably had the biggest impact on my decision to study Aviation Management and earn a bachelor’s degree in this niche field.

How do you rate such a choice today? How do you manage to combine work with studies?

Reconciling work with studies is great, Thailand is 4 hours ahead of Lithuania, after work I can listen to all the lectures. In my studies, I highly appreciate the skills and dedication of the teachers. They are not only strong in theoretical knowledge but also practitioners, who are experts in aviation and understand the size, importance, and scale of the market. This form of study is very convenient for a working person, for example, if I have an important meeting with a client in China and I can’t miss it, so I can deliver my homework a few days later, or if I can’t attend lectures remotely “live”, I have the possibility to view the uploaded lecture later. Such understanding, convenience, and individual attention are immensely valuable.

Who would you recommend distance Aviation Management studies?

This is a very specific area, so I recommend distance learning Aviation Management studies for those who already working in the sector and have the basic knowledge to understand the subjects or the terminology. It is also better for students if they are from the same industry. Hence, they can speak the same aviation language, grow their network and share their diverse work experiences of domestic or international airlines.

Read more about Aviation Management Online Study Programme.

Since last September, Kazimieras Simonavičius University offers not only the full-time form of Aviation Management studies, but also full-time online studies. Online Studies allows lectures and consultations to be held remotely. Kazimieras Simonavičius University is the only university in Lithuania that provides Aviation Management studies onsite and online. Online learning is tailored to working people – students can study wherever they are and when they are able to.

Working in aviation requires industry-specific knowledge, both if the employee works in an administrative field or in an aircraft crew. Some employees start their work without knowing the peculiarities of the sector, so they have to deepen their knowledge not only by working, but also by studying.

Those who want to know better what online learning is, we invite to participate in the open online lecture “Aviation and COVID-19: The Path to Recovery” which is going to be held by KSU Aviation Management lecturer Assoc. Prof. Dr. Anil Padhra on the 5th of May at 6 PM.
More information and registration:  https://bit.ly/2yVTw0e

More information about Aviation Management online studies: https://bit.ly/2WdqyRn

Jonny Andersen

This week a new visiting lecturer – Jonny Andersen, who will teach Ground Services Management, joined the team of lecturers of the Aviation Management study programme at Kazimieras Simonavičius University Business School.

Jonny Andersen is seasoned and tested aviation executive with 25 years of extensive global experience and expertise in leading change, directing airport and ground operations, providing business transformations and managing infrastructure projects.

He has worked as CEO of Kenya Airports Authority where he oversaw an organization with 2000 employees running operations and development of 18 state owned aerodromes in Kenya. Before joining Kenya Airports Authority in Nairobi, Kenya, he worked as Director National Airports at Avinor in Norway with the responsibility of running six airports in Norway. During his course of employment, he also held the position as Senior Vice President Ground Operations at AirBaltic in Latvia.

He is a guest lecturer at the University of Geneva, teaches airport strategy for IATA clients around the world and advices among others AIRBUS on different airport related matters.

Highlights of expertise:

  • Strategic planning & analysis
  • Business transformation
  • Infrastructure development
  • Airport privatization
  • Airport and ground operations management
  • Change management
  • Leadership & mentoring

Jonny Andersen is the founder of AirportWorks, an independent advisory practice for airport operators, private and public airport owners as well as institutional investors and regional development banks. AirportWorks provides, through its network of global industry experts, advice in the areas of airport privatization, sustainable optimization of airport systems, infrastructure development and airport strategy planning.

Jonny holds a Master of Science degree from Cranfield University in the UK. He is an associate of Modalis Infrastructure Partners Inc. in Canada and has since 2016 been a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (FRAeS).

“We are glad that the team of lecturers in Aviation Management study program at KSU is growing rapidly and academic positions are filled by excellent and well-known aviation experts, practitioners, and professors from all over the world. This allows to ensure the exceptional quality  of the modules taught in the study program, and at the same time shows that this study program and its team of professional teachers are not subjacent to other famous aviation study programs in Europe”, says Deimantė Žilinskienė, KSU Business School Director.

An open lecture, named “Aviation and COVID-19: The path to recovery”, by Dr. Anil Padhra, associate professor at Business School of Kazimieras Simonavičius University, will be held on May 5 at 18 PM.

The lecture is intended for aviation professionals, partners lecturers, students, graduates of Kazimieras Simonavičius University and for all who is interested.

Duration of the lecture – 45 min.

Anil Padhra – KSU Aviation Management bachelor’s study programme visiting associate professor for International Aviation and Aviation Finance modules, Head of Aviation at the University of West London. Anil is a Member of Royal Aeronautical Society, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

He previously held positions as a Senior Lecturer and Principal Lecturer in Aviation at universities in the UK. Anil has experience in developing and designing aviation courses for managers, commercial airline pilots and air traffic controllers. Prior to joining Higher Education, Dr. Padhra held operational roles with NATS (Air Traffic Management), easyJet airline (Operations Research) and British Airways (Aerodrome and Aircraft Performance).

Lecturer holds an Aerospace Engineering degree from the University of Liverpool, a Master’s degree in Aeronautics from Imperial College London and a PhD in Meteorology from University of Reading.

Registration will be held here up to May 4.

Kazimieras Simonavičius University is accepting applications for its Aviation Management Online Studies Programme.

Read more on it at: https://bit.ly/2Sbh9ZJ

Augustė Bajorūnaitė (KSU photo)


Augustė Bajorūnaitė has been carving the sky of the United Arab Emirates for more than four years. The work of a flight attendant takes her to the most interesting and unexpected places in the world. Since September, a new venture has appeared on Augustė’s agenda – Vilnius, Kazimieras Simonavičius University, where she started studying aviation management remotely.

How did it happen that you chose a job of a flight attendant also known as a dream profession?

I never thought of working as a flight attendant as a dream profession. I was working in the real estate sector, while browsing on Facebook, I noticed an announcement that a new crew team was being hired for United Arab Emirates airlines. I thought I would try. I didn’t set high expectations for myself; I was relaxed. Maybe that’s why I passed all the selection stages quite easily and went to Dubai as early as next week. Everything happened very quickly. Thus, began my career as a flight attendant.

What does your typical workday look like?

All days are different. The day and night have no meaning in this work, such as one morning I travel to Australia, the next morning to Dubai. If we have domestic short flight, we fly and return home, but if we have an international flight, we have 2 days off in an another city, and this is enough time to explore the new city, but lack of sleep and the so-called Jet lag sometimes is a challenge.

Also, we should always be well prepared and ready in neat uniforms, hairstyles and makeup before each flight. We can’t turn blonde to brunette overnight, such experiments with looks have to be forgotten.

Maybe you’d like to share an interesting incident that happened during flight that passengers never knew about?

There have been no serious or critical events in my practice yet. There were a few minor cases when we flew to Tanzania and found ourselves right next to a spinning whirlwind. We had to turn a few wheels before the weather changed and we could land.

There are some funny situations when dealing with passengers from different cultures. If we fly from Moscow, we have to monitor the amount of alcohol people consume. One passenger, who had multiple alcoholic drinks, slept so deeply that his awakening was only possible with the shouting of Russian army teams.

The most interesting thing is to watch the passengers flying to Mecca to perform Hajj (a pilgrimage of Muslims that takes place every year). After a certain distance to Mecca, the captain informs the passengers and people start washing and wearing religious clothes called Ihram. From that moment on, flight attendants cannot touch passengers. We also change into formal wear ourselves and thus pay our respects.

Your job is interesting but at the same time risky, maybe it influenced you to think about prospects in aviation, or changing your career direction? What prompted you to choose distance aviation management studies?

Work is really fun and engaging but not for a lifetime, it would be too hard to work in such a stressful mode. Therefore, I started thinking about what I would like to do in the future, and I realized that I really want to stay in aviation industry. I started to think about higher studies but working in such a job makes it very difficult to work and study on campus on permanent bases. I was wondering how I could manage this, but luckily, I discovered distance Aviation Management studies.

Augustė Bajorūnaitė (KSU photo)

How do you assess your choice today, is work and study compatible?

I am very happy with these studies. Firstly, because it is very easy to combine work and studies: lectures are recorded, so you can join and listen at any day and hour. Teachers are not only academics but also practitioners, which is very important because aviation is a very specific field. Co-students are also from all over the world. I recently flew to Bangkok, where I met a classmate living there and working for FL Technics, and later we met in lectures in Vilnius. The third important factor was price. Compared to the Asian and European universities I have considered, the tuition fee offered by this university was the best.

I would recommend this study program first to those who already work in the aviation sector, as it is much easier to understand all the processes that take place in aviation when you have at least a minimum basic knowledge of course, I recommend distance learning to those who have a strong determination and willpower, because there will be no professors or classmates nearby during the lectures, you have to be independent and take the responsibly for yourself.

 

Read more about Aviation Management Online Study Programme.

Diogenis Papiomytis

A remote lecture, named “The State of the Aviation Industry post COVID-19”, by Diogenis Papiomytis, a lecturer at Business School of Kazimieras Simonavičius University, will be held on April 20 at 5 PM. The lecture is intended for aviation professionals, partners lecturers, students and graduates of Kazimieras Simonavičius University. Duration of the lecture – 45 min.

Diogenis Papiomytis – KSU Aviation Management bachelor’s study programme visiting lecturer for International Aviation module, Senior Manager at IATA Consulting. He is an expert of industry research reports and strategy consulting projects, with clients coming from Airlines, Airports, Aircraft Manufacturing and Aviation Aftermarket segments. Lecturer has an experience in the Commercial Aviation research and consulting practice of Frost & Sullivan, a global aviation consultancy.  He previously worked in Corporate Strategy department as Corporate strategy Manager of CEO Office at Etihad Airways and as a Senior Lecturer in Aviation Studies at Buckinghamshire New University in the UK. Diogenis holds a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages and International Business, a MSc in Air Transport Management from Cranfield University and a MBA from Cass Business School at London City University.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kalligiannis

Today, the aviation sector is going through perhaps the most difficult period since its inception. With an aviation expert and Head of the Aviation Management Study Program at Kazimieras Simonavičius University Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kalligiannis we talk about the coronavirus crisis, possible consequences and solutions.

What is the situation in aviation these days?

Most aviation experts consider this crisis as the biggest ever challenge that the aviation industry has ever faced since its beginning.  It is difficult to find words to fully describe it.  I believe that the only single word that is close in describing this situation is “Chaos” (as a Greek, I understand better its etymology and its origin from the Greek Mythology), meaning “complete disorder and confusion”.

There are many problems that the aviation industry is currently facing but ultimately airlines, airports and ground handlers are actually fighting for their survival in this particular moment of history, since all of them are facing huge (to a different extent each of them) cash-flow and liquidity issues.

Do you see any bright side of this situation?

I is difficult for me to find a bright side of this crisis. Off course, I am very proud of the reaction of the aviation industry’s organizations and employees that have really given their heart and souls (and by putting their own health at risk) for continuing serving the people that are in high need of flying and predominantly returning back home with their families.  Many airlines are carrying out rescue flight (e.g. such as Air Baltic, Aegean Airlines and many others), whereas many airlines also operate flights for transferring medical equipment and supplies (e.g. Smartwings, which has created the largest air bridge in the history of Czech Republic between its country and China, in order to transfer millions of respirators and medical supplies offered by the Chinese Government, as well as Air Serbia, which also transferred medical staff and aid from China to its own home based country).

Will this crisis have long-term effects on aviation?

I believe that this crisis will have severe effects for aviation in the short term. In the medium and long terms, the aviation industry as it has demonstrated in all major global crises in the past, it has a remarkable capability in bouncing back stronger (following all crises it has faced since its birth, such as Oil Shock Recessions; Gulf Wars; Global Financial Crises; 9/11; SARS; etc.).

Definitely, in the short-term, there will be severe effects, with a huge reduction in global air travel demand, many aviation employees will lose their jobs, overall air fares will increase significantly and the world will be less connected internationally as it is now.  Nevertheless, I strongly believe (based on the history of aviation) that in the long-term aviation will continue its expected high growth and development and will remain the most exciting, international and fast evolving industry that any employee could dream for building a career.

How do you think, what is the future of aviation after the crisis?

I should note that there are different views from aviation experts.  On the one hand, you have the group of experts that believe that this crisis will change the aviation industry permanently and will result in the number of airlines and flights being operating globally to get reduced significantly, resulting in a much less competitive airline global market and much higher air fares.  Therefore, people will fly much less than they are currently used.

This view also supports that the pandemic will also result in a more strict air passenger processing (more time-consuming and inconvenient), the travel restrictions will remain for much longer time than expected, and even when the virus outbreak will get under control during the next months, there may be regularly reoccurring outbreaks (either from the same virus or new ones, such as the Hantavirus), with some cities and countries being affected much more than others.  Freedom of movement (mainly international but also domestic) may remain subject to sudden regulatory changes and restrictions.

Airports and airlines will need to develop more sophisticated mechanisms and employ technological equipment for determining whether passengers are eligible to fly, based on their citizenship, country of residence, health status, recent travel history, and many other factors that could also be considered in the future. Certain passengers will feel that their personal data privacy is being compensated and may defer from flying overall for this reason as well.

Moreover, there may be an increasing germophobia tendency among the public (as it happened in the past with Ebola and SARS) and people will avoid flying and travelling in general.

Business travel could also be affected since companies will get more used to virtual meetings and virtual offices (which in my view this last potential trend is not bad).

These are all of the main arguments from the pessimistic view regarding the future of aviation, which I strongly believe will only be short-term as in any such major crisis during the past.  I still remember that I was submitting my thesis on Friday the 14h of September 2001 and on Tuesday (3 days before), 9/11 took place and all of my friends and relatives were advising me to change industry since aviation will never recover.  How did I react to their advices? I continued my aviation studies at a higher level in order to be better qualified and equipped in a career in aviation and following nearly 20 years in aviation I feel blessed in serving this amazing industry and happy that I ignored my friends’ advice on this matter.

In your view, what actions should be taken to help aviation industry to go through this crisis?

Although that I am a great supporter of aviation deregulation and liberalization, I believe that considering the magnitude of this crisis (Force majeure in legal terms), I strongly believe that Governments should implement generous and immediate measures for supporting the aviation industry in response to the colossal financial pressure from the spread of Coronavirus.  My view is that Governments need to take into consideration the significant role of aviation both in terms of social and economic impact.  It is crucial to secure the aviation sector both nationally and internationally, since it provides countries with critical infrastructure and a large number of jobs, as well as business and social connectivity and international exposure.  The CEO of Corsair supported that a “Marshall Plan” is required for saving the aviation sector at this moment, which I believe sounds correct.

How much time it will take for aviation to recover after this crisis?

Looking at the historical global air traffic data from previous pandemics, global air traffic has always been fully recovering the following year after the main crises occurred and continued its growth rate trend from the point it was before such an event took place.  However, the current coronavirus pandemic already has and is expected to have even higher impact than all of the previous pandemic crises, so it is very difficult to predict with certainty.  Moreover, this is a medical and pharmaceutical issue and therefore I have not the required expertise to predict a time-schedule that the health industry will find a solution to this problem for being able then to gradually initiate the aviation sector’s recovery.

Is this the first major challenge for aviation in its history?

Aviation and the word crisis are closely related, but aviation professionals have been educated, trained and equipped for dealing successfully with such crises and select, develop and implement the most appropriate contingency plans.  All crises mentioned at the beginning of our interview (e.g. Oil Shock Recessions; Gulf Wars; Global Financial Crises; 9/11; SARS; etc.), consist major challenges that the aviation industry overcame successfully.  Briefly, the common strategic approach that aviation companies have implemented for overcoming these crises is expanding their level of sophistication and becoming more productive and efficient.

Employees have also realized that the aviation job market becomes more competitive and demanding after such events. For this reason, they enhance both their industry knowledge/sophistication as well as their interpersonal and managerial skills for securing a challenging job within the aviation industry after the end of the crisis and contributing significantly by enhancing their organization’s effectiveness and efficiency.

Those wishing to take a better look at how Aviation Management online bachelor’s studies look like like, we invite to participate at KSU Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kalligiannis lecture on Aviation Policy. The lecture is going to be delivered online on April 1st at 8 p.m. The common situation in aviation industry due to COVID-19 is going to be discussed on the lecture as well as how it will affect Aviation Policy in the future.

This lecture is a part of Aviation Policy study module, which is delivered to Aviation Management first year students. Aviation Policy module is aimed for the students to understand how the historical background has created  the current range of national and international airline and airport policy patterns, how airlines are organised to influence and respond to Government Policy and what are the areas of policy development that may occur in the near future.

Please, register here till March 30th, and we will send you a lecture link.

The lecture will be delivered in English.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kalligiannis is an internationally recognized aviation expert and consultant and the head of the Bachelor’s Degree Program in Aviation Management at Kazimieras Simonavičius University. Dr. Kalligiannis played a key role in major and challenging airport projects: the bid development for the Greek Regional Airports’ privatization (AKTOR Concessions), the National Aviation Policy & White Paper development for the Hellenic Ministry of Transport, the Airport Operations Manual (AOM) update for Pafos International Airport, Air traffic forecasts development (EC Harris) and etc. Dr. Kalligiannis delivers airport training courses for Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Gulf Center for Aviation Studies (GCAS), Sudan Airports, Holding Company, Muscat and Salalah Airports (OAMC) and Riyadh International Airport.

Since April 1st, two Aviation Management online study modules open up for external students. You can study the modules together with present KSU bachelor’s students.

Every module consists of seven online lectures, broadcasted live in the evenings, and two individual consultations.

Those who pass the module exam will be awarded with ECTS credits and a certificate of approval. Later, when student enrolling in Kazimieras Simonavičius Bachelor’s degree program in Aviation Management, the module will be credited and the tuition fee will decrease accordingly.

Modules Suggested:

  • Aviation Policy

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kalligiannis

6 ECTS Credits

  • Cross – Cultural Management in Aviation

Lecturer Jack Romero

5 ECTS Credits

Aviation Policy

Aviation Policy module is aimed for the students to understand how the historical background has created  the current range of national and international airline and airport policy patterns, how airlines are organised to influence and respond to Government Policy and what are the areas of policy development that may occur in the near future.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kalligiannis

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Kalligiannis is an internationally recognized aviation expert and consultant and the head of the Bachelor’s Degree Program in Aviation Management at Kazimieras Simonavičius University. Dr. Kalligiannis played a key role in major and challenging airport projects: the bid development for the Greek Regional Airports’ privatization (AKTOR Concessions), the National Aviation Policy & White Paper development for the Hellenic Ministry of Transport, the Airport Operations Manual (AOM) update for Pafos International Airport, Air traffic forecasts development (EC Harris) and others.

Dr. Kalligiannis delivers airport training courses for Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Gulf Center for Aviation Studies (GCAS), Sudan Airports, Holding Company, Muscat and Salalah Airports (OAMC) and Riyadh International Airport.

 

Cross – Cultural Management in Aviation

The objectives for the Cross – Cultural Management module are for the students to get familiar with the  intercultural area and how to manage all the challenges in multicultural fields. The module focuses on the impact of cultural background on individuals, organizations and management; on the dimensions which discriminate national cultures, and on cross-cultural interactions.

Jack Romero

Jack Romero has more than 15 years experience in aviation industry and aviation entrepreneurship. Currently he is a Business Mentor and University lecturer at Leeds University Business School and lecturer in Aviation Management study programme at Kazimieras Simonavicius University.

Starting in 1974 at Heathrow Airport, Jack’s company British Mediterranean Airways (BMED) became one of the most successful franchise partners of British Airways, gaining the prestigious Queen’s Award For Business Enterprise in 2004. BMED was sold to BMI (owned by Lufthansa) in 2007 for £30 million, and in 2011 British Airways bought BMI/BMED for over £175 million.

 

The registration closes on March 30th.

Registration to “Aviation Policy”

Registration to “Intercultural Management in Aviation Industry”

Language: English

Price: 350 Eur per module

Duration: from April 1st till May 15th (online lectures)

Module exams: will be held at the end of May – early June at Kazimieras Simonavičius University, Vilnius (due to quarantine and COVID-19 prevention, the exam may be organized online).

For more information, please contact KSU Director of Business Deimantė Žilinskienė, e-mail: deimante.zilinskiene@ksu.lt