Meet the GHI Conference Delegate

21/08/2020

Raul Barrera, SVP Sales and Commercial Operations - Americas at Menzies Aviation, on telling it straight and the critical importance of finding the balance between cooperation and competition in ground handling…

GHI: What was the first GHI Conference you attended and what are your memories?

Raul: “Copenhagen at the 18th Annual in 2016.  I remember the Christmas market. Different times with streets packed with visitors and locals enjoying the local cuisine. We had a customer event one night and despite the freezing temperature, we all enjoyed a stroll around the park.”

GHI: Who/what inspired you to pursue a career in aviation?

Raul: “I started my career in cargo procuring air freight logistics. There were times particularly during the holiday season when we could not find enough planes in the market to move our cargo on time and make it to destination before the end of the year. The thrill of time sensitive logistics and travelling the world meeting people as a young professional got me hooked.”

GHI: How would you sum up the philosophy among the team at Menzies in the Americas?

Raul: “The team has a ‘tell it like it is’ mentality. We encourage transparency, truth, and honesty. In these particular times acting fast demands open communication and feedback straight to the point.”

GHI: What’s the one place you would like us to hold a GHI Conference in the Americas and why?

Raul: “So many places. I think Cancun in Mexico could be an interesting location. The city is well connected to Europe and all the Americas with all major carriers flying there. Cancun has a well-developed infrastructure to host these events and the hospitality in the region is best in class.”

GHI: What’s your biggest frustration with the ground handling industry?

Raul: “I think we need to find a better balance between competition and cooperation; there are too many players in the industry generating inefficiencies everywhere. Ground handling services should not be handled as commodities, but rather essential services where value and not just price is the driving factor for customers making decisions.
A crowded sector drives margins down and prevents companies from reinvesting in the business.”

GHI: What gives you the biggest kick out of working in this industry?

Raul: “Aviation is at the leading front of the world’s transformation allowing everyone to enjoy more of the planet and stay in contact with loved ones. Being a small part of that engine is a satisfying feeling.”

Hear Raul detailing the current operational challenges in the Covid-hit Americas market by watching GHI’s Webinar. Click here