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Tony Carder talks about his early career

Category: Blogs Released: 13 November 2018

In his first blog, Tony Carder, Director of Civil Business, talks about his early career in the Aviation Industry and his time at AirTanker.

My career in the Aviation Industry began in the late 80's as Traffic Officer for Servisair at Stansted Airport. Initially I joined on a six month summer contract but at the end of the summer, I was fortunate to be given a full time contract! In those days I worked in the mass and balance field (it was all manual load-sheets then), ramp dispatch and aircraft turnaround co-ordination. This was a great way to learn aspects about the operational side of the industry and it was a varied job, managing turnarounds on the aircraft ranging from Fokker F27's to Boeing 747's, both passenger and cargo.

Moving on from Stansted, I went on to Gatwick and joined Cathay Pacific as a Cargo Services Officer. My job here involved planning cargo loads for passengers and freighter services, freighter mass and balance, aircraft turnaround co-ordination and cargo administration. My career then saw me move to Dorset to join Channel Express as an Operational Control Duty Manager in 1991, the predecessor of Jet2.com. Channel was a small airline operating cargo aircraft for the Post Office and express mail companies. The airline grew significantly in the 10 years I was there and ended up operating B737QC's and A300F's. I chose to move into the commercial side of the business as Sales and Marketing Manager, looking after existing customers such as DHL, FedEx and UPS, I also found new customers and charters.

In 2001 an opportunity arose to join Atlas Air. Atlas are the World's largest ACMI operator with a fleet at the time of over 50 B747 and B767 aircraft. Then based in London, I ran all the commercial sales and customer management for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Indian region. I also spent 6 months working in Dublin, Ireland, starting up and running a dry leasing subsidiary. The job at Atlas took me all over the World from China to Paraguay and from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe to name but a few! I am grateful for the opportunities I had to travel the world and see some amazing places. 

My time at AirTanker began in October 2014 as Aircraft Leasing Director; I saw this role as a fantastic challenge to start something new and unique with building the leasing operation from a blank page. These last 4 years have flown by, of course with a few lows but with a lot of highs! In these 4 years we built a small team to manage this side of the business, got the first lease with Thomas Cook up and running and have grown the business successfully from there with two further seasonal leases with Thomas Cook and Jet2.com as well as entering the winter ad-hoc ACMI market.

AirTanker has great potential; I truly believe that, it's one of the things that attracted me to the business in the first place! We have built a great reputation in this industry for delivering a high quality service and we can certainly expand on this by adding more customers whilst developing our business, delivering improved operating efficiency and service. I would like to see us eventually add more capacity and consider single aisle aircraft in the future if the right strategic opportunities arise.

Outside of work I like to play golf and I really enjoy running. You may see me sporting my gym gear at lunch! I have done a couple of marathons and a few half marathons including the Great North Run recently. My name is in the ballot for the 2019 London Marathon, fingers crossed I get a place. It's not just running or golf I love, for my sins I support Newcastle United but the less said about that at the moment the better!

What are your long term goals?

I would like to see us maintain our great reputation, expand and strengthen our relationships with our customers. We've been delivering a high quality, safe and reliable operation for 4 years, so we must not forget we are still 'young', and there's room for improvement. I would like us to develop our portfolio.

What are your aspirations for the Civil Business?

I would like to see more growth, but it's not that straightforward. I want us to continue being strong partners with our customers and maintain being supplier of choice. 

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