Known for her experience in many interrelated areas, Aeroclass instructor Dinaz Zaq could easily stimulate the imagination of any industry newcomer as somebody who knows the perfect formula or a big secret to making an airline profitable. That’s because success in such areas requires a solid background together with a well-developed thinking, as well as, some might say, even an element of luck.
But since it is known to be quite obvious to every aviation professional that success comes with a lot of experience and hard work, Ms. Zaq’s background in the airline and hospitality industry is definitely among the first things everybody is most curious about.
’When I was working at the airport for a large company with 2 000 covers for lunch, one of our customers came into the restaurant and said ‘Well, why don’t you join British Airways’ – tells Dinaz Zaq about the beginnings of her professional career – ‘and even though I studied Hotel Management and majored in Financial Management and Marketing, there was always that draw, so that’s how it started – and I haven’t looked back ever since.”
After gaining heaps of experience in the airline industry since then, today Ms. Zaq can draw similarities between airport, airline, and hospitality businesses – at least, from her point of view. “The basics are the same if we’re talking about revenue management’ – tells us the instructor. – ‘So, for example, demand-supply revenue, competitor analysis – all of that remains the same.” However, according to Dinaz, the industries themselves come with their own complexities, especially when talking about the timing of demand and how that is different whether the business is selling directly or indirectly. That from Ms. Zaq’s point of view differs within the industries of hotels, airlines, and crews – and even more when it comes to the intricacies of revenue management systems automation and how advanced such systems are.
Recalling the most enjoyable roles she already had throughout her career, Ms. Zaq honestly states that she did really enjoy doing consulting while being employed by GB Airways. She had a great experience while consulting because of the fact that it’s varied and gives flexibility, so the difference can be made. “But what probably changed my career path is [the time] when I was assigned to GB Airways. What I had there was a year and a half of turning a business round from being non-profitable into profitability.” Having a lot of autonomy then turned out to be also very interesting as Dinaz in fact faced a struggling business and since then it gave her confidence to do other jobs and take on other roles.
That is how, looking from her professional perspective, Dinaz Zaq sees the process of gaining confidence as a crucial step in the career for anyone in the aviation business, especially if it involves working for an airline: ‘If we think about aviation, it’s never been an easy sector to make money. It’s highly competitive, there’s a lot of regulations, and there are impacts beyond your control like the financial crisis, fuel prices going up or down, governments influencing it… But in my experience it’s always been diverse and fun.”
During our Expert Talk, Dinaz shared even more valuable insights on both the airline business as well as on the opportunities e-learning has to offer for those ready to sharpen their skills in such a demanding market. Therefore, we invite you to explore our ET session with Dina Zaq on the Aeroclass Youtube channel.
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