Tell us about your career to date

The aviation bug bit me as a youngster and I set my sights on becoming a pilot in the Royal Air Force. When I was old enough, I joined the Air Cadets and earned my gliding wings. I decided that I should have a “plan B” should the RAF not work out, so I applied to join the Diplomatic Service in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). To my great surprise I was accepted and before I knew it, 20 years had passed. I enjoyed a fantastic career with the FCO serving as a British diplomat in the UK and at our embassies in Germany, Iran and the Czech Republic. After 20 years I was ready for a change and moved into a senior account manager role at US trip support company Universal Weather and Aviation. I’ve stayed in that sector and now I’m the managing director of UK flight support company Flightworx Aviation.

What sparked your interest in aviation?

I can pinpoint the exact moment vividly. I was 10 years old, on board a Laker Airways Boeing 707 going on a package holiday to Majorca with my family in 1980. I was totally captivated. From seeing what goes on at an airport, to getting up close to large aircraft for the first time and then experiencing the flight itself, I knew from that moment that I wanted to do something in aviation.

Andy Shaw

What is Flightworx?

Flightworx Aviation is a UK flight support company based at London Stansted airport. We’ve been going for eight years and have achieved significant growth. We provide the full range of flight support solutions to every type of aircraft operator. This involves scheduling and dispatch, flight planning, procuring permits, arranging fuel, handling, hotels, transport and co-ordinating all other services on the ground, rostering crews, calculating flight time limitations and giving regulatory advice.

The flight support services market is very competitive. How do you stand out?

Firstly we can support every type of flight mission. We work with private, commercial and medevac operators, airlines, OEMs, ferry companies and GA pilots supporting flights to locations all over the world, every day. We also provide full support to private operators to ensure compliance with the new European Aviation Safety Agency Part-NCC regulations. Having that breadth of knowledge and experience within an operations team sets us apart; operators can come to us for literally anything, even getting helicopters in and out of locations from the back of someone’s private yacht.

We’re an independent company, which allows us to work with any trusted and reliable industry supplier. This means our clients have considerable options for third-party services and pricing, for things like fuel and ground handling. We’re a fuel reseller too and our fuel team analyses the market daily to ensure our clients can benefit from some of the best fuel prices around. We also have our own in-house travel agency, Travelworx, that provides a convenient one-stop shop for our clients to book flight tickets, hotels and ground transportation at best-in-class rates. Clients can even book their holidays with us!

Tell us about your role

As managing director I’m involved in all parts of the business which makes it a very diverse job. In any one week I could be reporting results from our company development strategy, reviewing business plan progress with department heads, giving presentations to staff on new procedures or initiatives we’re introducing, meeting current and prospective customers, working on our PR output or receiving a client audit.

What are your main challenges?

Flightworx is all about innovation and doing things differently, those are the pillars on which we were formed, so my challenge for the business is making sure we continue to innovate and develop in the right way that pre-empts, or is in response to, new regulations, emerging requirements and feedback from our customers.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

There are a couple of things that stand out for me. Firstly, it’s the immense feeling of satisfaction when things go well – when everything comes together in what is a complex industry. Thankfully this happens a lot of the time! Secondly, it’s the great people at Flightworx. My fellow directors and I know that when we leave the office each day, Flightworx and our customers are in great hands. I also relish the opportunities I have to make a positive mark on the company and within the industry through seeing Flightworx develop and go from strength to strength under the vision, values and business strategy that I have put in place.

Source: Airline Business