Lounge - Hasan Ozdemir, Cargo Operations Manager, Pegasus Airlines

Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Pegasus Cargo, the cargo division of the low cost airliner Pegasus has grown exponentially over the years. It now carries cargo across 97 destinations in 38 countries: 33 on its domestic (Turkey) routes and 64 on its international routes. With a zeal to extend its operations worldwide, Pegasus Cargo is looking to add new countries to its network in the near future. It already is present in many countries within Europe, Balkans, Middle East, Asia, North Africa and the CIS. Previous year also saw the cargo operations expand its new routes into Europe, Asia and the Middle East; launching Baghdad, Erbil, London (Gatwick), Nice and Oslo. We spoke to Hasan Ozdemir, Cargo Operations Manager, Pegasus Airlines on an array of topics for this month’s Lounge.

Excerpts from the interview:

Tell us about your current role in Pegasus Cargo

I am responsible for all cargo operations on the Pegasus Airlines network. Mainly focussed on maximising utilisation, my job is also to ensure all cargo operations are carried out in line with local and international government requirements as well as IOSA and IATA, Local Civil Aviation rules and regulations in terms of acceptance, security, storage, warehousing, loading, unloading, documentation, delivery, general cargo/mail operations, etc. I ensure that the Pegasus Airlines Cargo manual rules and regulations are adhered to by cargo operations personnel, cargo handling agents and other departments within Pegasus Airlines relating to cargo operations. Also, I’m responsible for carrying out corrective and preventive actions raised as a result of quality and/or flight safety audits as well as quality and/or flight safety feedbacks for all cargo operation issues.

Your educational qualifications and previous work experiences

I graduated from Gazi University Tourism Management Faculty in 1993 in Ankara, Turkey. During my student years between 1985 and 1995, I worked in the hospitality industry.

I joined theaviation sector in 1996 and started working at Turkish Airlines Cargo. During my 15 years stint with Turkish Airlines, I worked in various positions. I started as an expert staff, supervisor and Assistant Cargo Manager in Turkish Airlines’ hub in Istanbul and spent two years as Regional Country Cargo Manager in New York, USA. In 2011, I joined Pegasus Airlines 2011 as Cargo Operations Manager.

Were you always interested in aviation industry?

I was always very interested in the aviation industry as a young man and to be quite honest you need to love this industry if you want to be successful. The air cargo business is rapidly growing and also changing constantly. You need to use the knowledge, technology and experience in this business to move ahead. Team work is very important in the air cargo side of the industry. You have to act at the right time and create a difference in this sector. I’m glad that I’m part of this industry.

Any funny anecdote from your professional life you would like to share with our readers?

I have plenty of anecdotes. But one particular incident that took place about 12 years ago is worth mentioning. We were loading AVI- Live Frogs (as loose cargo) and when the goods arrived to be carried on to the aircraft, a few boxes of these live frogs fell on the floor. Due to mishandling, hundreds of frogs were soon released into the apron area. Our loading staff made all attempts to catch the frogs and clear up the entire place and the whole area had to be closed until each and every frog was caught. This experience taught us how we should take extra preventive actions while handling sensitive goods.

Your favourite holiday hotspot?

I spend a lot of my holiday time in Turkey’s coastal regions; my favourite holiday spot being Fethiye where I can enjoy the sea, the sun and go on a safari along with visiting historical places.

Favourite cuisine

I love every kind of Turkish regional cuisine. However, if I had to choose one favourite cuisine, it would be traditional Turkish Manti (ravioli) and shish kebab.