Monday, October 28, 2013

Airline Glossary - Traffic rights

Traffic rights

What do “traffic rights” regulate, we asked you last Friday on our Facebook page. Here’s the answer:

Traffic rights regulate the type and the number of flights – passenger, cargo, mail and technical – that can be operated between and within countries.

Every airline requires an air operator’s certificate, issued by its national supervisory authority, to perform its commercial flight operations. The corresponding traffic rights are based on eight “Freedoms of the Air”, which range from the right to overfly a country to the right to stop there for technical reasons, transport passengers to or from that country, transport passengers from that country to another country or even transport passengers within that country.

These traffic rights are negotiated by the states concerned. And they may often be liberalized or dealt with more restrictively, depending on a country’s political and/or economic situation.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Living the dream...

How do you become a SWISS pilot? What are the necessary skills? How much practice and how much theory is scheduled? Follow Jasmin Iqbal, who just started her training at SWISS Aviation Training as she describes in fascinating detail her personal journey to become a SWISS pilot. This is the first blog entry of a series.

By Jasmin Iqbal, pilot in training

How time flies! On 22 July, a group of 19 young people, me included, began a new chapter in our lives when we started training to become a pilot.
We are now in the process of learning the necessary skills at SWISS Aviation Training PK 3/13, the designation for our pilot training class. Nineteen young people, each one of us with the dream of learning to fly. All of us are highly motivated and delighted to have the opportunity to make our dream come true. Before beginning my pilot training, I spent several years as an aircraft mechanic, working on B737 and the Airbus A320 family of aircraft. My primary hobby is hang-gliding, but I have often found myself looking up at the sky at the airplanes overhead and thinking: “I want to be a pilot”. Now the chance is here; the dream of making flying my career is coming true.

The training period lasts approximately 18 months, divided up into alternating phases of theory and practice. There are three practical phases: The first flight training takes place in Grenchen, Switzerland; the second is at Vero Beach, Florida, and the third phase sees us return to Grenchen, before we advance to process of type rating. Prior to starting our actual training, we held our first get-together on the Observation Terrace at Zurich Airport and then had dinner together at Runway 34, a restaurant not far from the airport. This occasion gave us an opportunity to become acquainted with one another. Here, too, the time went by very quickly. There was so much to talk about, with plenty of laughter included.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

SWISS on Instagram (FlySWISS)

Christian Lüdi, Social Media Manager

Hi folks!

I am delighted to be the SWISS “Instagrammer” for October, which will be a special month for me as it is my last at SWISS. After 5 super years with the airline, during which I had many special experiences, I am looking forward with great anticipation to a round-the-world trip that will last at least nine months.

Before I leave, however, I would like to take you on a tour behind the scenes at SWISS during my final month as an airline employee. For the past four and a half years I have been responsible for our Social Media Marketing activities. This means that everything that is in any way related to social media or with which social media could be associated eventually lands on my desk. This includes content and community management, training sessions, internal and external presentations, trend research, integrating social media in major projects (e.g. introduction of the Bombardier CSeries aircraft, integration of social media within crisis management).

I vividly recall the spring of 2009 when we first become active in the field of social media, with little idea at the time just how important this new communication platform would become. The speed with which the role of social media has evolved in recent years mirrors the diversity of my day-to-day work. In the early days, there were hardly any rules and we adopted a strategy of trial-and-error as we made our way forward on unfamiliar terrain. Many ideas were tried out, some efforts were abandoned after a while, and new approaches were repeatedly undertaken. Those that bore fruit were optimised. In the meantime, social media has become a fixed element in our communication with the public (as our 24/7 Customer Service demonstrates, in terms of the commitment on our part and the frequency with which these services are used). Consequently, my daily work is now far less operational than it was at first. Instead I am now more involved with the development of strategy and concepts, in-house training, formulation of guidelines and development of our activities and integration of departments and countries (e.g. integration of social media within Customer Service, integration of local content).