Mr.Gill’s letter to the Board of Directors Aer Lingus

I would like to apply for the role as being assistant as a work placement to the Chairman of Aer Lingus. I understand his role as Executive Chairman is an executive role and he is elected by the company’s board of directors.  I would be responsible for assisting the Chairman while he presides over the board and serves on a number of committee. As assistant to Chairman, I will ensure that meetings run smoothly and remain orderly, and observe how he works at achieving a consensus in board decisions, while listening to all opinions. I, with the Company Secretary will assist in organisation of the Board meetings and decide where and when the meetings will take place.  As Assistant I will be fully cognisant with Corporate Governance and I will assist in ensuring all Governance requirements are met in full. 

1. Research as per my vocational area

I looked at a number of Chairman positions. With my experience in the Airline industry the obvious choice for me was to apply to be the assistant to the Chair of an Airline,  I chose Aer Lingus. I note the current Chairman has chaired a number of public and private organisations and has a Diploma in Corporate Governance and a MBA from Harvard University. I hope to learn a lot from the Chairman. I worked as assistant to CEO of Emirates Airline when it was a start up airline and he was instrumental in joining the airline with other international airlines through alliances and code sharing. He was in that position for 20 years.  I am now working in Ireland and would like to bring my experience, skills and knowledge to the role of  assistant to the Chairman of Aer Lingus. 

I have examined a number of other similar organisations in my chosen vocational area and believe my experience best fits the role as assistant in a work placement to the Chairman of Aer Lingus.

2. Personal career/education opportunities in my chosen vocational area

I studied Commerce and Law in UCD and then went on to undertake a MBA in Harvard University.  I have worked as assistant to the CEO , in a number of airlines in the USA, the Middle East and Australia and am well placed to take up the now vacant assistant work placement to Chair of Aer Lingus.  My career in the Airlines included observing the oversight and successful implementation of mergers and buy outs.  I have worked with all nationalities and speak Arabic, French and Italian. I have served as assistant on the Risk committee of Emirates, Delta and Quantas airlines.

3. Identification of the skills and competencies necessary to work in selected vocational area

Skills  – Financial, Accounting, Law, Corporate Governance, MBA, 

Competencies :  Proven track record successful growth of Airlines, Global experience, Ability work with all nationalities

4. Identify the work related issues and needs in chosen vocational area

Working hours – able to work all days of the week in all countries   Experienced in project management requiring full on and flexible approach to achieving goals

Pay – in receipt of differing pay structures at various stages of my career.  Now I am happy to receive amount of pay for assistant work placement to the Chairman as stated by the Company

Safety  – of course, Safety is the paramount issue for the airline Reputation completely reliant on Safety record while worked with airlines managed Safety crews both on the ground and in the air. Constant emphasis on Safety Training and Education 

Dress Code   – as assistant to the Chair of an Airline on a work placement I acknowledge the Dress Code for all Board and committee meetings is formal – for me dark suit – white shirt and tie

Career progression   I have successful managerial history and now wish to apply for Assistant to the  Chair of Aer Lingus.  At this stage of my career, I have the time and commitment to give my full attention to the Airline.

Plan – Business Management Implementation plan.  I have implemented successful project plans and have written and implemented 1 year, 3 year and 5 year plans 

Skills Audit 

Strengths and talents. Languages. Experience in Airlines. Good with people. Worked all over world

Personal qualities and attributes. Good social. Willingness to learn 

Aer Lingus  – Company history

Aer Lingus is a carrier airline of Ireland and the second-largest airline in the country after Ryanair. Founded by the Irish government, it was privatised between 2006 and 2015 and it is now a wholly owned subsidiary of International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of British Airways and Iberia. The airline’s head office is on the grounds of Dublin Airport in Cloghran, County Dublin, Ireland.

The airline was originally formed in 1936.  Aer Lingus is a former member of the Oneworld airline alliance, which it left on 31 March 2007. After the takeover by IAG, it was expected that Aer Lingus would re-enter Oneworld, however, at a press briefing on 15 November 2017 the airline’s CEO Stephen Kavanagh stated that the airline has “no plans to join Oneworld”. The airline however, has agreements with Star Alliance and SkyTeam members, as well as interline agreements with Etihad Airways, JetBlue Airways and United Airlines. Aer Lingus has a hybrid business model,  operating a mixed fare service on its European routes and full service, two-class flights on transatlantic routes.

On 19 December 2008, Aer Lingus announced that it would open a base at Gatwick Airport in the U.K. Four aircraft were based there beginning April 2009, serving eight destinations that included Dublin, Faro, Knock, Málaga, Munich, Nice, Vienna and Zürich. The then CEO Dermot Mannion, also said the company expected to increase the number of aircraft based at Gatwick to eight within 12 months.

As of 6 June 2009, the airline based an additional A320 aircraft at Gatwick, bringing the total number to five and making Gatwick its biggest base outside Ireland. This resulted in six new routes to Bucharest, Eindhoven, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Vilnius and Warsaw which commenced in late October 2009. The Gatwick to Nice route was suspended for the winter months.

On 8 January 2010, due to the weak demand in air travel, Aer Lingus announced that it was to reduce the number of aircraft based at Gatwick from five to three. The three remaining aircraft were to operate the carrier’s services to Dublin, Knock and Málaga as well as a new route to Cork.

Aer Lingus, which was the subject of a takeover bid by IAG, announced the appointment of Stephen Kavanagh as its new chief executive officer (CEO) and an executive director. Mr Kavanagh joined the airline in 1988 and his most recent role was as chief strategy and plans officer. His name had been in the frame for the top job for some time.

At the outset, Aer Lingus welcomed any measure at European or national level which augments customer rights and protections and seeks to harmonise and improve practices 

Across the passenger transport sector in the EU.  

The sale of the State’s 25 per cent stake in Aer Lingus to International Airlines Group was recommended by the Cabinet. Announcing the move, the the Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe said the seven-year guarantee on the company’s slots at Heathrow and commitments on jobs were among the key elements which swung Coalition support. He said the deal would create 150 new jobs by the end of 2016, with the possibility this could rise to 635 by 2020. The existing rights of all Aer Lingus employees were safeguarded.

The Minister for Finance retained a share in the company, designated as a new class of share, which only allows any changes to connectivity to be made with the consent of the Government of the day.  A legally binding commitment has also been provided to protect the Aer Lingus brand, as well as ensuring it is headquartered in Ireland.

Dublin-based aircraft lessor Fly Leasing, which is headed by former Aer Lingus chairman, has confirmed that it has $2bn available to expand its fleet as it eyes further jet purchases in 2018.

Willie Walsh was appointed as Chairman in September 2015 and Stephen Kavanagh was appointed as CEO in February 2015.