A Work Week With Andrew Bunn, Emirates Area Manager For Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.
With Emirates recently being voted in the top five airlines of all time, we talk to Singapore's area manager, Andrew Bunn, about what it takes to stay on top.
Leaving the house in the morning is always a scene of excitement, chaos and rush, especially with kids involved! So the first thing I do every day after reaching the office is settle down with a strong coffee.
As Emirates is a Middle Eastern firm, Sunday is a work day, making Mondays extra hectic due to the barrage of emails that come in over the weekend and the routine checks with our Head Office colleagues.
I’m lucky, my role is varied but Monday is the day that I usually spend more time looking at all the figures - from weekly booking numbers, forward bookings, and market share, to flown revenue and of course, our targets. Some of our most popular flight routes from Singapore are to destinations such as Melbourne, London, Dubai and New York City but we’re also keen to promote newer destinations such as Porto, launched earlier this year. The Emirates route network is continually evolving and it is important for me to have a clear understanding of our sales performance and business needs going forward. We have a sales meeting at the start of the week because everyone comes in nice and fresh, making it easier to go through all the figures, plan for the week, listen to feedback and ensure that everyone is aligned.
The sales meeting usually kicks us into lunchtime and an opportunity to choose from the huge variety of places to eat in Tanjong Pagar. This is certainly one of my favourite parts of Singapore.
Well, today is quite a fun day for me as Emirates is hosting an agency seminar with our travel agents. Held quarterly, the seminar gathers around 100 travel agents for product presentations and networking lunch, where we share updates, new information and meet our key partners in a more informal and laid-back setting.
Then it’s off to planning our guest list for the upcoming Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix. Emirates is a Global Partner of Formula 1, and the Singapore Grand Prix is always an exciting time of the year for us since it provides a great opportunity to meet with top clients and business partners.
the Middle East. Getting everyone on the phone at the same time can be somewhat of a challenge given how busy we all are and the different time zones, but we make it happen on a regular basis to catch up on plans, share ideas and look at our supply & demand, as well as our pricing activities.
Some of today is spent liaising with our marketing and PR departments. Communication to our trade partners is vital, ensuring the right information is going out, and that we are keeping them all up to date with everything that Emirates is doing. Updates can vary from new route announcements to great wins – Emirates was recently awarded the World’s Best Inflight Entertainment at the Skytrax World Airline Awards for the 15th consecutive year. Although it is sometimes challenging to communicate all updates as we are always trying to innovate, it’s important to keep the messaging going out.
Then tonight, I’m off to a client dinner, jointly hosted with one of our travel management partners. This is one of the highlights of my job as it’s so good to meet loyal Emirates customers and see what they think of the service and see where we can improve. Building trust directly with our customers is really important to me and I try and attend such networking dinners as often as I can. Our dinner location is the top floor at MBS. I can never grow tired of this spectacular view!
With Emirates constantly evolving and growing, it is important for us to retain staff and help them learn and master their roles. As such, we are very focused on training and knowledge sharing. So today, I spent time speaking to our HR team to discuss updates in this area and see what more needs to be done.
We also had a discussion on the annual team building exercise! Always a daunting prospect. To get the whole office to agree on an activity is a challenge but one thing I do know after 5 years in Singapore is that it has to involve food! Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure that my vote for cycling around Pulau Ubin would be the least popular one.
Later in the afternoon, I’m back at my desk planning an upcoming trip to Dubai for VIP clients. As December marks the 50th Anniversary of the Dubai Rugby 7s, which Emirates is the title sponsor of, I’m planning to take our guests out to watch the matches and tour the city. With so much to see and do in Dubai, one of the trip highlights will definitely include a tour of the Expo 2020 Dubai site.
I started my day with a visit to Changi Airport to meet with our Airport Management. As the first and last touch points for our customers, airport colleagues play a vital role in our brand strength and our product offering.
I’ve always believed that it’s important to make time to maintain good relationships with everyone, from airport teams to our partners on-ground, as it ultimately helps strengthen our brand presence locally. So I also make it a point to speak to our people at Dnata, our Sister Company and our Ground Handler here in Singapore.
As Friday finally winds down, I generally like to head home to spend time with my wife and kids. Tonight though, I’m emceeing the 1st Anniversary Gala Dinner for the UAE Singapore Business Council. As an Executive Committee member of the council, my role is to help promote and encourage trade opportunities between Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.