FCG OPS: Passionate About People, Tech and Growth
While every company talks about investing in their people, FCG OPS lives and breathes it.
Part of the Flight Consulting Group, FCG OPS is one of the largest and most experienced operational control centres in Europe. The company has over 20 years’ experience providing a full range of dispatch, trip support, ground handling, travel and fuel services.
Providing these services of course are the company’s employees, which is why FCG OPS is so committed to investing in its people – not only via training, but also by offering a healthy work-life balance and an energetic yet challenging work environment.
“There’s a lot to love about working at FCG OPS, which is one of the many reasons we have such a low employee turnover,” says FCG OPS Marketing Manager Jekaterina Lecite.
One of the things that employees appreciate is the company’s commitment to promoting from within, with the human resource file being full of examples of managers who started as trainees. Take for example Maksim Ivanov, who serves as the company’s OCC Manager. Ivanov first joined the company as a trainee before being promoted to junior dispatcher, dispatcher, instructor and quality manager.
If You Can’t Find Them, Teach Them
Being able to recruit from within isn’t just good for employee morale, it’s also critical to FCG Ops’ ability to navigate today’s talent crunch. But unfortunately, it’s not always enough. That’s why the company is also building other routes to recruiting tomorrow’s talent today – including education.
“If we can’t find the skill set we need, we go to the university, create a course and start teaching it,” says FCG OPS Director of Development Yuri Nadezhdin, whom himself first started with the company 13 years ago as a trainee.
One of those courses is taught by Ivanov. An IATA certified instructor, he has previously taught courses on Flight Management at the Transport and Telecommunication Institute in Riga, Latvia.
FCG OPS has also partnered with the International Flight Operations Academy (IFOA), a Swiss-based outfit that provides access to world-class quality training and professional development services for aviation organisations and individuals eager to enhance their careers in different air transport industry sectors. FCG OPS has opened its facilities, including its dispatch centre, to IFOA so its students can get an up-close look at aviation in action, not to mention some hands-on practical training.
“This is an excellent way to ‘show off’ our company to potential future recruits and yet another way we continue to build a pipeline of talent,” adds Lecite.
Keeping it Local
In addition to its people, another one of the company’s key differentiators is its local knowhow. “We are one of the few trip support companies located in the Baltics, meaning our local experience is unmatched,” remarks Nadezhdin.
According to Nadezhdin, this experience enables the company to understand the requirements of local European customers better. It also allows them to be more proactive and, ultimately, deliver a higher quality experience. But you don’t need to take his word for it – just ask their customers.
“FCG OPS has been our valuable partner for many years, and we regularly count on their trip support for all our flights in the Central Asia region,” says Flying Group OCC Supervisor Lieven Vaes. “These missions can often be challenging, but FCG OPS is always ready to exceed our expectations no matter what surprises may come along.”
This ‘keep it local’ mentality extends across the company’s rapidly expanding network, which already covers more than 50 airports in 28 countries in the Baltics, Scandinavia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe.
Most recently, the company brought in local country managers in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria. “Our country managers allow us to provide the same quality service that our customers have come to expect from FCG OPS with a unique local touch,” says Lecite.
A Digital Transformation
FCG OPS is clearly on a growth trajectory. In addition to expanding its global footprint, last year it served over 15,000 flights. To ensure its service keeps up with this growth, the company is currently undergoing an expansive digital transformation.
“Our goal is to automate, automate, automate, reducing the need for emails and phone calls and streamlining as much as possible,” explains Nadezhdin.
For example, the company is currently working to synchronise its in-house scheduling system, called FCG ATOM, with Leon Software, a popular online system for air operators. The integration provides companies that use Leon with real-time access to the flight preparation status in the familiar system interface.
“This online monitoring capability allows our clients to keep an eye on every step of the flight planning process and make well-timed changes,” adds Nadezhdin.
Once complete, the integration will eliminate duplicate actions, reduce manual operations and the number of phone calls, and minimise the risks of typing mistakes.
“This is yet another example of how we leverage our passion for technology, growth and our people to bring real added value to our business aviation customers,” concludes Lecite.