Lounge- Mrs. Divya Tekchandani

Published: Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mrs. Divya Tekchandani – Director for Airglow Aviation Services FZC

Established in 2011, Airglow Aviation Services FZC is an ACMI based operator offering aviation services in the form of Air Cargo Charters, GSSA, Passenger Charters and aircraft Leasing to Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia, Asia Pacific and the South-west Pacific regions. Headquartered in the UAE, Airglow brings a fresh approach to the aviation industry within the Middle East and African region. We spoke to its Director Divya Tekchandani on a slew of issues. Excerpts from the interview:

Educational details and work experience

I completed my Secondary Higher Education in Chennai and graduated from University of Mumbai, India. I also completed various aviation-related courses. I began my career with Emirates Airlines as a Passenger Service Assistant in 1992. In 1998, when I joined Yemenia as a passenger station supervisor, they didn’t carry any cargo or courier on their flights. This prompted me to initiate the Yemenia cargo office in Dubai. Later, Yemenia grew by leaps and bounds and Dubai station attained the number one position either in revenue or sales for three continuous years. However due to unrest and unstable situation in Yemen I had to resign and with my customer’s support I ventured out on my own to start my Company Airglow Aviation Services FZC in May 2011.

Tell us more about your current role in Airglow Aviation Services

Airglow Aviation is a two profiled company with one vertical operating as adhoc/schedule charters and another vertical acquiring GSA/CSA of different airlines. I am the Director of the company which is jointly partnered with Mr. Rohit Thakwani along with my wonderful team. My prime responsibility is to offer a complete GSSA services to our principles by maximizing cargo space capacity on each flight thus generating higher sales yield. Since we work with our principle airlines as partners, we ensure that the costs are at their minimum and generate more revenue for our principles.

On the other vertical I am also responsible for generating ancillary revenue through the effective sales and support of Cargo Charter services.

Reasons for joining the aviation industry

I was always passionate about flying as well as customer service. I still admire an aircraft parked at any airport and feel that the pulse rate going high, on excitement, when I see an aircraft taking off. I also love the challenges this male –orientated industry offers to women!

Aviation sector, as you see is a male-dominated one. What according to you are the changes you would like to see in the sector and to make it more women-friendly?

With current social and demographic changes, attracting more women into the industry, becoming more skilled at retaining them and encouraging them to return after career breaks are important strategies to offset skill shortages and retain valuable expertise and experience.

Unequal pay, lack of confidence in women’s decision and shortage of women role models discourage many young women from considering aviation as a worthwhile career which can easily be resolved by the senior managements who can standby them to raise their confidence in making the correct decisions and offer equal pay packages.

Where do you see the aviation industry say may be in 10 years from now on?

Aviation Industry is currently fueling growth to the global economy and is expected to grow steadily by approximately 4-5% in the next ten years. However for further advancement there is a need for expanding the aviation infrastructure: both airports and air traffic control, is of particular importance to emerging economies of the world such as India, China, Africa and the Middle East, where much greater rates of demand growth are forecasted for both passenger and cargo air transportation.

There also important challenges such as sustaining airline profitability, ensuring safety and security, and developing adequate air transportation infrastructure. The challenges are so inspiring in the aviation industry that it will thrive for many more decades to come.

Trends you see in the aviation industry

There have been a lots of up and downs in the aviation industry in the past years with airlines opting to operate schedule passenger flights with narrow bodied aircrafts to reduce their cost of operation. This has paved way to more freighter operations, thus cargo performance continued to suffer from overcapacity.

On the other hand it is being negatively affected by a continuing model shift to alternative forms of transport, such as marine, road and future by rail. Additionally given that cargo is a non-core business for many airlines, it suffers from a general lack of capacity and pricing discipline.

Over the last 10 years for both passenger and cargo yields have grown at an average with a 2.6 percent average passenger yield growth and 1.2 percent average cargo yield compared to 4 percent average global consumer prices. Currently airlines will benefit from joint ventures (JV’s) and antitrust immunity agreements (ATI’s) for international growth