Mike Smart, Head of Practice for Aviation and Infrastructure at Alium Partners, discusses the surge in demand for interims in aviation and the challenges that they face in an increasingly unpredictable environment.
Why are Interims in Aviation in Demand?
In the fiercely competitive world of aviation, there are several factors that are driving the need for expert interim managers.
Primarily, the tumultuous economy has meant that airlines and operators have had to think of fresh ways in which to generate revenue and retain market share, whilst remaining competitive. Further, issues such as spiralling fuel costs, necessary fleet upgrades and capital expenditure has meant that the aviation sector has needed to deeply consider how they can bring successful innovation and change to their operations through the engagement of proven change and transformation specialists, in order to achieve their goals.
Airports: Maximum Capacity
Although not a new argument, the expansion and capability of the UK’s airports has come much more into focus, especially when you look at a case such as Heathrow and the associated cost base pressures of running an operation that size. The rise in demand for more routes at lower prices has left all British airports in a challenging situation, stuck between the opinions of shareholders, customers, environmentalists and flight path neighbourhoods. Whatever the solution, be it an extra runway, airport expansion or a brand new hub altogether, it is clear the UK’s aviation strategy is in need of strong and decisive leadership so that we do not lose our status as world hub to European rivals or busier airports in Atlanta or Beijing.
Change Here Please
Taking the above into consideration, is it any wonder that we have seen a marked increase in demand for interim professionals from the industry who can operate in a fast paced change environment? On a global scale, the competitive environment has seen further financial pressures for airports, with the takeover of budget airlines in the northern hemisphere and expansion of luxury carriers south of the equator, all adding an additional element which many aviation organisations were not prepared for.
So opportunities to bring about sustainable change in the aviation industry are there – but it is up to operators and the industry to embrace them – and the interim managers that can deliver them.
Have you operated in the aviation industry? What changes are you seeing in the sector for interims in aviation? Share your thoughts with our interim community below.