Andreas Hadjixenis hails from a business/management based background and has over 25 years’ experience in the Aviation Industry. He’s held several key roles including Airport Operations, Planning and Control, Crisis Response, Operations Centre Manager and Airport Duty Manager.
Saskia Constantinou spoke to him about the industry and the development of courses and training for managers in Cyprus.
How did your interest in the aviation industry begin?
Since I was a youngster, I always remember myself inspired by the thrill of flying – going places and meeting new people and cultures. The essence of life!
With over 25 years of experience in the Aviation Industry, including key roles in the Operations, Planning and Control of Larnaca and Paphos Airports, you’ve held many positions. What is the greatest challenge facing the airline industry at present?
My engagement with Hermes Airports as well as my long term with Cyprus Airways gave me the opportunity to develop my skills, learn new ones and advance my competencies in many areas pertinent to Aviation; as well as on a number of items relevant to Management. There is still a lot to learn though, as I see it as a life-time process. The Aviation Industry, Airline and beyond, is faced by many challenges nowadays the most important of which are:
- Economic Conditions / on-going financial crisis – at least, in some places of the world
- Adherence to legislation/regulation and Safety concerns
- Congested Air Space
- Aging Facilities and Infrastructure
- Environmental issues (CO2 emissions and waste management)
- Overcapacity and Saturation
- Technology, innovation and Management of Change
- Globalization and work place diversity
As a certified trainer by the Human Resources Development Authority of Cyprus, you’ve now developed a series of courses for managers and leaders in Cyprus. Can you elaborate on why you feel the courses necessary?
The courses are necessary because they are market driven and contemporary in nature which is what the market needs and demands these days. Unless we improveour knowledge and develop the proper skills, we cannot maximise performance, improve quality and enhance efficiency which are skills and competencies necessaryto compete at a global scale.
Additionally, the courses offered by Kratis combine a collegial and experiential approach, are highly interactive and are delivered by high profile professionals with long term and hands-on experience in key positions of the industry. What really matters for us is the overall experience we provide to our customers and associates and the cultivation of long term relationships. We practise ethics, standards and values, as our slogan states.
All too often, businesses do not plan for crises. How does this lack of planning affect their operations, both financially and emotionally?
If you don’t plan for crises, then by default you plan to fail. A plan B or better said various Plan Bs under a general corporate Emergency Plan, should guide the actions and responses when things start to go wrong. Statistics reveal that all organisations sooner or later encounter a crisis – some even several times with different emergency scenarios. Contingency planning starts with Enterprise Risk Management –an identification of risks and hazards and the implementation of prevention as well as mitigation measures to minimise the impact of a crisis if and when it happens. All types of issues including operational, emotional, financial, etc. should be taken into consideration with proper planning.
A post emergency planning is also part of the exercise to enable the organisation to restart and continue. Downtime should be kept to the absolute minimum and recovery should be expedited in a planned, safe and coordinated manner.
How have you made your courses more interesting to managers?
Certainly we didn’t reinvent the wheel – we simply make it turn! We’ve made the courses interesting and appealing to participants and particularly managers by using a complete set of tools and techniques including :
- Group exercises
- Open discussions
- Case studies
- Shared experiences and input (participating managers have a lot to say – give, receive and gain)
- International best practice (contrary to other local organizations we work with the best in the International arena, some of our clients are pioneers and leaders in their industries, i.e. Rolls Royce and Gulf Stream) therefore we bring locally international experience and industry best practices
Health and Safety seems to be a buzz word in Cyprus, which often is not implemented by managers across many fields. Is this due to a lack of understanding or an effort to curb costs? How can we improve on this?
Health and Safety should be looked with open eyes without financial concerns being the priority. It is a regulatory and compliance item which touches on every organisational discipline and business activity and concerns all stakeholders and all industries.
The cost is negligible and not prohibitive if associated with the many benefits gained realised following the implementation of a proper Health and Safety System. Benefits include reputation, financial, drop in insurance premiums, welfare, operational, and many more.
Once a Health and Safety Management systems is in place, how can it be implemented and what are some of the challenges involved in these steps?
Implementation is the cornerstone of a potential system. It begins by educating people, and then building and sustaining a Safety culture, by encouraging the reporting of incidents and hazards and with the constant revision of the output and potential enhancement of the system. All those small things which gradually become habits, help the organisation to become safer and healthier.
How have you managed to keep the costs down to such a minimum for these courses?
Recognizing the financial constraints and concerns of most organisations locally, we appeal to them by offering a series of open courses which are approved and highly subsidised by the HRDA of Cyprus. Our pricing structure is such, that accounts for lunch, snacks and beverages for the entire duration of each course are included in the course price.
We are also able to keep prices low and highly competitive by hosting these courses in our own Training centre – a fully equipped training facility in our corporate office in the centre of Nicosia. At this stage it is perhaps useful to remind that individual organisations may apply to HRDA for the subsidisation of an in-house course entirely for their own staff – on any topic and of any nature. We are able to assist with the documentation and pertinent variables. We are an HRDA approved organisation, an approved Training facility with all our trainers and instructors fully accredited by the authority. Please feel free to contact us direct for any information. We will be glad to help and assist.
The length of each course is at least 3 days – is this not too long for managers to be out of the office?
We wanted to offer an in depth course with advanced knowledge, so 3 days was not really too long. The courses are published well in advance, helping managers to easily plan their time and schedules. Prioritising is one of those tools which helps us to manage time and obligations. Those who have attended previous courses always ask for more!
What future projects do you have planned for Kratis Development and Training?
A series of projects and initiatives are currently in the pipeline but until we have some confirmed, we do not publish it for obvious reasons. Our company policy is reliability and trust.
However, we are in a position to announce an innovative accredited Summer School. This is a two week intensive programme on Aviation, titled ‘Mastering Aviation Management’ which will take place in Nicosia at the University of Cyprus from 12 – 24 June. This is a cooperation between the University of Cyprus and Kratis Training & Consulting and is international in nature. It’s open to business professionals, industry experts, business, management and aviation graduates as well as postgraduate students and Aviation enthusiasts. University Professors, industry experts from Cyprus and abroad will be delivering a series of Aviation Management topics pertinent to most areas of the industry.