Aviation and travel industry veteran Mike Carrivick has since 2004 been chief executive of the Board of Airline Representatives in the UK, making the industry's case to government, regulators and airports

How did you start in aviation?

In 1965 when I started out, an airline career was glamorous and full of opportunity. An apprenticeship was a sought-after three-year course and I was fortunate to be selected as a general apprentice at BEA. Training was across many departments, including flight operations, ground operations, reservations and customer service. I initially specialised in ground operations and customer service, followed by two years as ticket agent at Heathrow.

Where did you go from there?

Joining Qantas as ticket agent in 1970 launched a varied 20-year sales and marketing career with the company. I found hard work could be enjoyable when combined with a "can-do" attitude.

After a substantial time as regional sales manager in Bristol, I took on UK/Ireland responsibilities for commercial agreements, net airfares, revenue forecasting and tour operator products.

Mike Carrivick
 © Board of Airline Representatives in the UK
Carrivick: credible industry voice

My career then followed a pattern in line with the dramatic changes starting to take place in the industry. A voluntary redundancy in 1990 prompted a move from ultra-long-haul to ultra-short-haul when I joined Brymon Airways as marketing manager south-east England at London City airport.

Brymon Airways then merged with Birmingham European, so I headed to Birmingham to be sales manager Europe as well as being appointed to the board of management. The company was eventually de-merged into its constituent parts by its parent organisations British Airways and Maersk, with BA taking over sales. This resulted in me taking on the managing director role at Maersk Travel.

The sale of Maersk Travel six years later provided an opportunity to move into another side of the industry. I was approached by the International Air Transport Association in London to join the small global team handling all matters related to travel agency accreditation, revenues and remittances, which proved a great way of learning to handle complex and multicultural issues. The department later moved to Geneva, which led me to my current position as chief executive at BAR UK since 2004.

What does BAR UK do?

We represent a majority of scheduled airlines on matters of common cause to provide a credible industry voice to ministers, government departments, regulators, airport operators and other industry stakeholders.

Describe a typical week

Happily, there isn't a set routine, but stakeholder meetings with the Department for Transport and the Home Office feature regularly. Politically, we see some cabinet minsters and their own ministers, depending on their portfolio, more and more often.

What have been BAR's biggest achievements?

We are a frequent point of contact for TV and print media, as well as industry associations such as IATA and airline head offices. BAR UK was prominent in saving the Gatwick Express a few years ago, not least after its demise had been announced twice.

We also saved our members more than £250,000 ($400,00) in equipment costs by scrapping Home Office proposals about specific illegal migration concerns.

BAR UK joined forces with other industry partners to resist the replacement of air passenger duty by a tax per aircraft, as proposed by the previous administration. Again working with industry partners, we successfully fought the imposition of national ID cards for all airport workers by demonstrating that cards would be superfluous and not add value.

Is the political and public tide turning against aviation in the UK? What can be done about it?

The UK public understands the importance of aviation, but the industry attracts media attention disproportionately to the effects aviation has on the environment.

There is work to do, but the industry can point to an impressive track record of constant improvement over several decades.

Source: Flight International