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Meet Abdul Waris

Dubai, FBO, I Am Jet, Middle East

We introduce #IAMJET employee, Abdul Waris, Team Leader Customer Service, Dubai

 

Abdul, how long have you worked for Jet Aviation?

I joined Jet Aviation in Dubai in November 2008, so just celebrated my 10th anniversary last year — which is hard to believe! I think the time has flown so quickly, because there has honestly never been a dull day, and many opportunities to evolve and develop.

How did you come to Jet Aviation?

A friend who used to work here referred me. I was looking for a part-time job while completing my Bachelor's degree and he knew aviation was a passion of mine. My family's business is related to the aviation industry, though more on the commercial side, so I've been around aviation all of my life. I interviewed for the position of Junior Private Aircraft Handler and was delighted to get the job. It was my first professional job interview.

“Taking care of my team is the best way I can meet the needs of our customers. I focus on the smallest details to ensure my team has the resources and guidance they need to go above and beyond”

Can you briefly describe your job?

It's my job to ensure the handling team in Dubai is delivering exceptional service to meet our customers' needs. This means wearing many hats. From an organizational perspective, I need to be strategic to ensure our corporate mandate and priorities are being met. As a team leader, I need to support and motivate my team. To do this well, you need to demonstrate passion and enthusiasm for the job, sometimes be a bit of a visionary to promote creative thinking, and always be willing and ready to guide, train and encourage the team. In short, I'm a bit of an all-rounder. You need to be a good communicator, an excellent listener and be able to take care of the team – whether it means playing the role of philosopher, teacher, boss, or friend. To quote Sir Richard Branson: "If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients. It's that simple."

What one word would describe how you approach your job?

As an all-rounder, I think the best word is VERSATILE.  I deal with people all day long, and they all have slightly different needs. It's being able to adapt and personalize things that makes us stand out from other service providers.

What is a typical day?

My normal day starts with monitoring the day-to-day flight schedules and ensuring the clients' requested services are arranged and coordinated for timely service (e.g., crew / VIP transportation; catering; customs and immigration; fueling; security; hotel coordination, etc.)

This includes checking that the team has the required resources and guidance to carry out their tasks smoothly and to the highest standards. While attending to these tasks, we all remain in constant communication with each other, the Airport Authority, security, and immigration to ensure we provide a quick and reliable service.

Managing my emails also takes time. These typically relate to clients, financial matters, the Airport Authority, slot allocation, management, the quality department, and team requests (e.g. vacation, the shift plan, timesheets etc.)

Before I leave for the day, I always look at the forecast for the following day and try to plan resources or head off any obvious issues, which can make a big difference in how the day unfolds.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Two things. I love the team's unity, but also really enjoy the uncertainty of how any one handling will roll out.

With FBO handling services, even though we have most of the information in advance, something unexpected usually pops up. You might learn at the last moment that a VIP needs a visa upon arrival; that a passenger's passport was forgotten or is torn; that there's a technical issue; or that there are valuables on-board, etc. We actually refer to these things as "uncertain events." They provide excellent learning opportunities, and can be very challenging.   

When we are finished dealing with a busy flight schedule and know everything went smoothly, that's also always a sweet moment. No matter how mentally and/or physically exhausting the day may have been, it's always great to see how content and happy the team looks after knowing they've done a great job. The Customer's happiness becomes ours. It is really something to be sensed and appreciated.

And what do you enjoy about working for Jet Aviation?

I love the unity and teamwork. We work as a family to achieve our goals at Jet. All departments work cohesively, with everyone doing their best to help expedite the services to exceed customer expectation.

What are the main challenges you face in your role?

It's the unpredictable nature of the work that I referenced earlier. Flight schedules change and we have no fixed work routine. We are constantly improvising or adapting to whatever comes our way.

If you could describe working at Jet in three words, what would they be?

PIONEERS (of) BUSINESS AVIATION. I have seen how Jet continuously evolves as an organization, whether it's a new advanced technology or aircraft type that we learn to service. We seamlessly integrate these new technologies – and do so while maintaining our high standards. This is readily evidenced, for example, by the IS-BAH STAGE 2 certification we received last year for 20 of our global FBOs. That was a great day for us.

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