Life inside IAG Cargo’s Operations…. 

What are some of the different roles at IAG Cargo? From an Operations Manager to a Senior Cargo Duty Manager, we interviewed a few of our employees to find out what their jobs entail, their biggest challenges so far, and the life inside IAG Cargo operations. 

Andrew Gipps, Senior Cargo Duty Manager 

Tell us about your role.  

I am responsible for the operational performance across all cargo products at London Heathrow. I work on shift to provide 24/7 coordination across all of our operational teams and spend each day driving, monitoring, and communicating all aspects of our performance. I’m a central point of contact between all operational areas and directly link the operation to our customer & commercial directorates. 

Whilst on shift I act as an escalation point for any issues to find solutions for our customers. The second part of my role is direct line management for our Flight Planning department.

What do you love about your job? 

I love being able to make a difference. I’m in a unique position, because I’ve been lucky enough to work in many operational areas – as an agent, a team leader, and now in planning – so I can see cargo from the perspective of all our staff members. I understand the challenges of each role, how it affects them, and the important impact of what they do has on our customers. This helps me during decision-making to get to the right decision for our customers and the operation.

How long have you been Senior Cargo Duty Manager? What has your career progression looked like? 

I’ve been in this role since November 2020.

I came to IAG Cargo from a leisure company in 2016. When I arrived I was looking for a new challenge, and I really wanted to pursue a career in aviation. I started as a cargo agent, building and breaking down cargo units to prepare for flights or collection. Everyone was very welcoming and supportive, and I learnt a lot about cargo working in this team.

Quickly, I realised this was a company that valued my contributions and this allowed me to grow my skills and knowledge. I started doing team leader stand-up roles to further my experience, eventually moving to a full-time team leader role before getting an operations manager position. 

What’s the most rewarding challenge you’ve overcome? 

Most recently, I graduated from the IAG Cargo World Class Cargo Leadership programme. This programme was provided by the business to help me be the best leader I can be – it was an important investment for the business as it helped them to set the tone for shaping our culture and transforming our business.

Over the course of the programme, I attended a number of modules designed to enhance your skills to ensure you’re the best leader you can be. These modules included team effectiveness, managing essentials, change resilience, and also inspirational leadership. I found that the course really helped me to reflect on the way I had been conducting myself in my daily activities, as it is easy to do them in the same way without even thinking. During the training, I also learned new techniques on how to support my team and how to manage my time better. 

Personally, I also became a father to the most beautiful nine-month-old girl named Hallie. Juggling this with my shift work has definitely been interesting, but it certainly has made the last year extremely rewarding. 

What advice do you have for people looking to join IAG Cargo? 

Be ready to join a dynamic and exciting company. Work hard, support your team members, keep focused on the customers, and remember work is supposed to be fun, so make the most of every day and try and enjoy it as much as possible.

Jen Visick, Lead Operations Manager

Tell us about your role.  

I’m responsible for managing the operational performance of the Customer Data department and ensuring the operational plan is followed through to delivery, as well as developing the longer-term strategy. The department’s function is processing and handling documentation for the General Freight product and other consignments moving through our facility at Heathrow.

My typical day is very varied, I work with different stakeholders around the business, such as compliance, commercial, resource planning and transformation to name a few!

What do you love about your job? 

No two days are the same and the people I work with – they’re brilliant. Some days can be challenging, and it’s that support network that makes all the difference. I also really enjoy having the ability to make a change. What we do in the operation directly impacts the customer’s experience and contributes to the success of the wider business.

How long have you been a Lead Operations Manager? What has your career progression looked like? 

Since August 2021.

I was very interested in logistics and spent my placement year working in the logistics team for a tyre manufacturer as part of my degree in International Business. After I graduated, I found IAG Cargo online. The interesting, dynamic, and fast-paced environment really appealed to me. Through the process of applying for the graduate scheme I was instead offered a position in the Operations Strategy team in a newly formed role as a Performance Analyst in August 2018.

What’s the most rewarding challenge you’ve overcome? 

Learning how to do my current role! It was a big change for me and involved learning part of the operation I hadn’t had much exposure to as well as how to be a people manager. I’m very fortunate that the team are so knowledgeable and were very supportive and happy to share their knowledge to help me up the learning curve.

Get in touch with Jen about career opportunities, here

Aneel Israr, Interim Department Manager 

What do you love about your job? 

Every day is different! The day-to-day of my role is very varied – I liaise with colleagues from around the business from operation managers to drivers, and team leaders to industry partners. The role involves working in a fast-paced time responsive environment that gives an ability to unleash your true potential. There are lots of exciting changes and transformations taking place. I really enjoy the people aspect of my role as it gives me the opportunity to get to know and work with people from different walks of life and learn from them. 

How long have you been an Operations Manager? What has your career progression looked like? 

Three years. I graduated in Airport and Airline Management some time ago. I started working at Gatwick Airport, and I really enjoyed it. The pandemic really put a spotlight on the essential role of air cargo – we connected the world together and transported supplies to the countries that so desperately needed them. It was amazing how we as a business responded to changes in supply and demand and adapted our strategy to support our customers during the pandemic.

I started from the frontline at IAG Cargo as a driver. I then became a team leader, then afterwards, I progressed into a manager role and I am currently working as Interim Department Manager -Airside Logistics. Over the years, my manager gave me opportunities to develop myself. The biggest test was the huge degree of trust they put in me. I always exceeded expectations and performed beyond the role of an operations manager.

What advice do you have for people looking to move up in the industry? 

I am a strong believer in the quote from a Poem (Invictus, William E Henly).” I am master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul”. You’re the sole person responsible for your success and happiness in your role. You need to know you’re the right person for the job. Assess yourself before applying – do you have the skills and behaviours suited to the role? If so, you will automatically grow into it. Always push yourself and never stop learning.

If you would like to find out more about the exciting roles at IAG Cargo, visit our careers page.