How has working with Avinode impacted your business?
“Working with Avinode during all these years has made it so much easier to market our aircraft to buyers. It enables us to build a greater network in the industry and make new connections with both brokers and operators.”
Can you mention a favourite memory from your time with Avinode?
“We have so many fun memories from spending time with Avinode’s team at both trade shows and networking events such as the Avinode Academy. From the start, the Avinode team has always been well-known as a bunch of happy, competent, and welcoming people. We especially appreciate these opportunities to meet with other professionals in the industry.”
What are your hopes for the future of business aviation?
“Now that the COVID pandemic is over, we’re hoping to attend more events in person and be able to build new relationships in person again. We look forward to Avinode facilitating this. In our experience Avinode has always been a great platform where operators and brokers connect, both online and in person.”
How has working with Avinode impacted your business?
“Through the years, our cooperation with Avinode has made a huge positive impact on our business and daily work. First of all, we have gained customers from all over the world. These customers would, most likely, never have found North Flying in Aalborg, Denmark, without the Avinode platform. And we’re still finding new contacts via the Avinode network today.
Our sales and operation staff has saved a lot of man hours by optimizing our fleet, prices and transient aircraft around Europe through the system.”
Can you mention a favourite moment from your time with Avinode?
“We have many favorite moments with the Avinode team, such as the outstanding parties at Avinode Academy and many late nights with the team in Geneva.
On a more professional note, we really value the recent introduction of Paynode. Being part of the Paynode network makes it so much easier to get paid from overseas in due time before a flight. We’re happy to see that more and more of our clients are starting to use Paynode.”
Looking 20 years ahead, what do you predict will have the largest impact on your business?
“We expect to face some challenges with the green transition that is happening in aviation. It will surely have an impact on our common business. Not to mention the introduction and possibilities of BIO fuel.
We’re looking forward to another 20 great years with the Avinode team!”
As a UX designer here at Avinode Group, I help our product teams build the best solutions by working closely with users and putting them at the center of things.
My typical working daystarts with stand-up team meetings where we update each other on what happened yesterday and what we’ll do today. These meetings happen for both the development teams that I’m working with and the UX team that I’m part of as well.
From late morning onwards, once I’m aligned around what needs to be done, I’ll focus on my tasks.
It sounds like there’s always lots going on?
There is, yes, and no two days are the same. That’s one of the things I love about UX design, it never gets boring. We can always make the user experience better, and I love doing that while collaborating with like-minded people who understand the value of design.
And do you talk to customers much?
Yes, I do. I talk to them when we have a question in mind or want to test out a solution. This first-hand information from the people using the product is so useful. It tells us whether we’re on the right track, if some tweaks are needed, or when an idea is lacking impact. Our customers are amazing at supporting us because they understand that we care about their experience.
You were born and raised in the Philippines. How did you end up in Sweden?
While studying Business at University in the Philippines, I became involved in social projects. We were doing a lot of different things, such as projects to educate kids in nutrition and basic urban farming.
We had volunteers from all over the world come to help, and that’s where I met my Swedish girlfriend. We decided that it made sense for us to live in Sweden together.
And did you have a UX background?
Yes, I was already working in UX in the Philippines. I was at a start-up before moving to an agency where we worked with a range of different clients. That’s where I first thought that this is something I want to do seriously as a career.
The question was really whether it was possible to continue my UX journey in Sweden. It’s a big change in culture, there’s the language barrier, plus the fact that I had no experience of working here.
But it all worked out
Luckily, yes. Before Avinode Group I began working as a consultant for one of the big UX consultancy firms here in Gothenburg. While I was there I met some people from Avinode, and it sounded like a great company with great people.
I was also really interested in taking on a new challenge. I knew that Avinode was a complex system, and it was nice that they thought I would be a good addition to the team.
How different is the work culture in Sweden compared to the Philippines?
The corporate culture in the Philippines is more traditional. In Sweden, and here at Avinode, things are more relaxed and people trust you to get the job done. I feel free to share my thoughts and ideas because the people I work with make me feel like I can fail and make mistakes and that’s ok because we can just work on it together.
In the Philippines, people are obsessed with the 9-5. The commute can also be crazy – it could take 2-3 hours to get home with the traffic, which makes it hard to maintain a hobby outside of work.
So, you have more free time now?
I certainly have a lot more time. I can now make time in my day to sit with my thoughts, meditate and do some breathing exercises. That’s a big part of my morning for sure.
After work I try to exercise. I jog or go to the gym, and I’ve even got back into playing tennis. Sometimes I also play the guitar to relax.
And what are you loving most about life at Avinode?
I love that Avinode is a really friendly company for international employees. There are people from all over the world in the business.
Although we’re an English-speaking company, everyone is very open to me practicing my Swedish. They make it comfortable for me to do that – and there are lots of people in the same boat.
This has helped make it easy for me to integrate into the company and to life in Sweden.
The US domestic market has boomed this autumn. The Avinode demand index climbed steadily since the turn of the year and reached new heights over Thanksgiving, matching the record number of flights that took place. Our forecast – based on a mix of prior year data and forward-looking request data – is indicating that Christmas and New Year traffic could be even greater. The watch out is how reliable Christmas 2020 can be as an indicator for Christmas 2021, given the very different factors at play – including the vaccination roll out, commercial aviation schedules and the community spread of omicron.
Looking at the festive period in detail, Boxing Day – which falls on a Sunday this year – is the big travel day, with return journeys focused on Sunday 2nd January. There is a large flow of demand taking folks back up to the colder northern states after some time in the Florida sunshine. Trips to ski breaks in the mountains are showing a similar pattern but with some earlier demand too – arrivals into Aspen are very strong on 17th and 18th December. The big international markets are Mexico, the Bahamas, Sint Maarten, Turks & Caicos, and the Dominican Republic.
With high demand and low supply mixing with high fuel prices, it is no surprise that rates are increasing. The Avinode hourly rates pricing index for the US has been rising since the start of the year and is at record levels for all aircraft bar super midsize jets, which peaked in October. With such record activity and increasing rates, it has become more challenging to get quotes that reflect the final price of a trip.
To counter this effect, we added a price estimate column in search results last year, creating transparency between our brokers and operators. When sorting on estimate price, it gives buyers a better idea of the final price. In this challenging market situation with low supply and high demand, I recommend using the estimate when searching for aircraft.
Intra-European charter demand through Avinode has followed its typical seasonal pattern but with a shallower slope down from the summer peak than previous years. The Christmas holiday peak is expected to follow the same daily pattern as in the US, with an added busy travel date on Sunday 9th January. Looking further forward, the UK to Alps ski peak on Saturday 12th February – with return a week later – is already taking shape. Chambery and Innsbruck are most popular.
From Russia, demand is focused on Sunday 2nd January with the return taking place on Sunday 9th January. France and Switzerland are in the top 3 most popular destinations, with the Maldives in second place. Dates between 25th-29th December are also busy, but for this period it is the Maldives and Dubai that are the most popular destinations. Despite their popularity, the Maldives and Dubai are down 30-50% compared to last year – ski holidays are back in demand.
Hourly rates within the intra-European market are slightly higher than November 2019, having rebounded throughout the summer. Rates are most robust in the Entry Level Jet category – up around 10% on 2019. Hourly rates are also high for Light Jet and Super Light Jet categories, up around 4%.
Of course, the big question mark is how much tighter travel restrictions may get. Undoubtably the tougher restrictions are, the longer it will take commercial aviation to recover. This could mean a continuing opportunity for private charter to woo new clientele into 2022.
I’m Engineering Manager which means I manage the people, resources, and processes in our tech department. It’s my job to keep everything running smoothly.
The tech guys are so talented. When it comes to developing our products and what code goes where, that’s where they excel. But I take care of the many other things around that, such as having good processes in place, ensuring that people are happy in general and hiring new team members.
Although I don’t have any technical experience myself, the team is happy because it means I can’t micromanage them even if I wanted to.
So, you bring those ‘softer’ management skills to the team
That’s right. It’s really common for example that the best Sales Manager becomes the Sales Director. But wouldn’t you want your best salesperson doing what they do so well? If you have someone who is good at managing people but not so good at selling, it makes more sense for that person to be Sales Director.
The same goes for tech. You don’t want your best engineer also taking care of the other aspects of a role that will mean they have less time to code.
This is not your first role at Avinode, is it?
No, I’ve been with the business for 10 years. I arrived as an intern and after six months I was hired. And I’m still here!
I started off in sales, taking care of the Nordic countries before expanding into other European territories. I did that for five years but began to feel that sales wasn’t my calling in life. The novelty of traveling so much on my own was also wearing off.
And then you took a sabbatical
I did. In Sweden we’re lucky to be able to take a sabbatical and keep our job. It’s great to have that security of knowing you have a role to go back to.
So I went to China for a year. I lived in a city called Ningbo, just south of Shanghai. I studied Business Management at a British university – University of Nottingham, which has a branch out there – and it was a fantastic time. I learned a lot about Chinese people and their culture.
When I returned to Avinode, I wanted to do something different, so I joined the Commercial Development department. Along with my manager in Miami, we ran that department for a couple of years. I oversaw our CRM system project, amongst other things.
It sounds like Avinode Group has given you a lot of freedom to move around
Yeah, I’ve certainly benefitted from that freedom, and the business really does empower and trust its staff in lots of ways.
If you’ve been hired by Avinode, you’re free to make the best decisions you can make. People won’t micromanage you. As an employee, you really feel that trust and I’ve always felt that in my time at the company.
Just going back to your Engineering Manager role, what’s the biggest challenge you currently face?
Oh, recruiting, definitely. Finding great developers is tough because they’re in high demand. If you’re a developer looking for a cool company to work for, there are many options out there, and Avinode is just one of them. It’s a competitive market.
Also, I’m always hiring. It’s a continuous journey as we grow the team and people move on naturally.
But when you’re not hiring, what do you like to do outside of work?
My life outside of work really evolves around my young family. I have two children aged six months and two and a half years. I love to cook and recently I’ve been following NFL closely – I’ve found that I can still watch a game while carrying a baby around.
Hi, Per. Tell us about your vision for Avinode in 2022
Quite simply, our vision is to offer greater transparency and increased trust between operators and brokers in the marketplace.
Key to achieving this is setting the right expectations in terms of the price for a trip. By doing this, a buyer can feel confident they’re seeing a reliable price estimate when searching for an aircraft and the seller can reply with a quote at the click of a button.
In our experience, this transparency is what builds strong and long-lasting relationships between our members. In 2022, I look forward to us making a step change and getting even closer to realising our vision. I’m really excited about the future.
And what, in your opinion, is the biggest challenge in the business aviation sector right now?
In the wake of the global pandemic, we’ve seen a 125% surge in charter trips requested in Avinode. With that comes increased charter prices, ranging from a 2% increase in Europe to a 12% increase in the Americas.
This makes it an incredibly challenging market situation for operators and brokers.
High demand and low supply – just like in many other industries worldwide – puts extra strain on relationships between buyers and sellers. That’s why setting the right expectations from the outset is more important than ever.
How is Avinode working to make a positive change for the sector?
One of Avinode’s real strengths – and a reason the platform was ground-breaking from the beginning – is its pricing engine. By using an advanced set of calculations and data models, operators can build up their pricing using a multitude of pricing parameters.
In terms of change, we’ve focused on how to improve the price estimate of the listed aircraft in Avinode. The estimated price gives buyers a better idea of the final price. We’re shortly making the transition to present the estimate as the only price shown when searching for an aircraft. We believe this will impact the relationships in the marketplace in a really positive way.
Given that pricing is such a core feature of Avinode, what has the process been to making these changes?
We’ve been working in close collaboration with our members for the past 18 months to understand how we can create better transparency. This has made it possible to present much more reliable price estimates in our search results.
Our operator members have all the tools needed to build a very reliable price, and many of them have already embraced this change as an opportunity.
And finally, what are you hoping to see as a result of these improvements?
I’m very confident that we’ll see operators save time in the quoting process, and brokers will be able to search and find a reliable price for a trip faster. The process to source an aircraft becomes more efficient, as fewer requests can be sent for each trip.
Ultimately, this is another example of how we’re constantly evolving Avinode to make life easier for our members and help them to run their businesses more effectively.