MSP Team Members (Excluding Directors)
Graeme is a specialist in airline operations.
Graeme has over 45 years’ experience in aviation, of which over 26 years were in a wide variety of management positions at Cathay Pacific Airways and its associated companies. In these roles he was responsible for flight crew management and operations, regulatory and safety management, and aircraft selection and business development.
He has considerable experience in practical flight crew operations and regulatory activities, including dealing with airline regulators on all aspects of safety issues.
Since leaving the Cathay Pacific Group, Graeme has carried out a number of consulting assignments and also was appointed Senior Vice President Operations for Air Astana in Kazakhstan. Here he had the added overall responsibility for ground operations, cabin crewing activities in addition to flight crew operations.
Graeme’s initial training was with the United Kingdom Royal Air Force, where he obtained a First Degree at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell (1965-1967) and subsequently, an MBA from the Hong Kong University (1980-83). Graeme is a highly experienced professional senior airline operations manager and consultant, with a vast practical knowledge of commercial airline operations. He has worked on several strategic and successful assignments on flight operations related projects.
For more than 26 years (1979 to 2006) Graeme worked at Cathay Pacific Airways (CX), where he performed in a wide range of senior managerial positions in flight operations, flight crew management, flight crew training, business performance improvement and engineering. His final role at CX was Director of Operations at a subsidiary company Air Hong Kong, a joint venture cargo airline with DHL for four and a half years (2002 to 2006). Here he was responsible for all operational activities including flight crew, safety and engineering.
Earlier important Cathy Pacific roles included acting as Principle Member (1 of 8) of the Operation Better Shape (OBS) Team directed by Sir Rod Eddington. This project aggressively analysed the entire business activity of CX to avoid the possibility of the CX Group moving into a serous deficit position. This difficult situation arose as a result of the collapse of air traffic as a consequence of the first Gulf War in the wake of the allied operation to recapture Kuwait from the Iraq occupation (1990-1993).
Under the OBS programme Graeme secured major performance improvements including:
Directing the On Time Performance project that rectified OTP deficiencies in the airline’s operations. Subsequently the revised procedures were first incorporated at Hong Kong International Airport and then extended worldwide.
He dramatically improved the Cabin Service by revising Cabin Rectification Procedures. This resulted in an 80% improvement in service levels.
Implemented successfully ‘Revised Conditions of Service’ for all pilots at the CX Group. This led to a 5% increase in CX share price.
This participation in the Cathy Pacific OBS work programme also gave Graeme a much wider exposure to understanding airline activities outside pure flight operations.
In 1994 Graeme was appointed as Director Operations and Engineering for Air Hong Kong which was a cargo subsidiary of Cathy Pacific operating B747 freighters on international routes from Hong Kong, exploiting the rapidly expanding export air cargo shipments from China to overseas markets. Here Graeme transformed the operational efficiency of the Air Hong Kong turning a HK$50m loss into a HK$50m profit within a year. He also selected and introduced into service 3 additional B747 aircraft.
In 2002 Graeme was appointed as Director of Operations for Air Hong Kong, which was subsequently re-launched as a completely new airline under new ownership as a Joint Venture (60% CX/40% DHL). This change involved the introduction of a new fleet of medium haul, wide-body Airbus A300-600F aircraft to serve intermediate distance Asian destinations to and from Hong Kong. Graeme supervised the introduction of these aircraft including the pilot training and all the engineering aspects.
Major achievements of this assignment were:
Introduced all 8 aircraft and crews on-time and within budget.
Supervision of all maintenance and other operational contracts.
Achieved all the On-Time-Performance targets
Generated US$50m cash flow for the principle shareholder
Launched the first A300-600 aircraft Type Rating Training Organisation (TRTO) for Hong Kong and China, based in Shanghai.
In 2006 Graeme returned to Europe to undertake a number of consulting projects. As chairman of Synergy, a business aircraft company, he advanced its activities into the jet age. He also managed a Helicopter AOC. Other activities included management of the turn-around of a French simulator manufacturing company during 2010 that now has an order book of €3 million.
Graeme has also acted as a Sector Consultant at Oxford Said Business School, helping the placing of many students in positions in industry.
In 2011 Graeme was invited to take up the position of Senior Vice-President Operations at Air Astana in Almaty, Kazakhstan. In this role he was responsible for all operations at Air Astana, comprising all the Cabin Crew, Ground Staff and Cockpit Crew, including training and managing the Flight Operations Control Centre. Here he supervised around two thirds of the total company’s 3,200 personnel. At that time, Air Astana operated five aircraft types (4 flight crew categories) Boeing B757, B767, Airbus A320 series (A319/320/321), Embraer 190 and Fokker F50. Graeme returned to the UK in September 2012.
Graeme has vast knowledge and experience of airline operations management, and has delivered several significant and successful improvement programs to a number of different airlines. In particular, Graeme is very familiar with efficient flight-crew and cabin crew performance and management, ensuring delivery of the key aspects of safety and regulation, including ETOPS operations. As a highly experienced flight crew manager, unusually, Graeme also has extensive practical experience relating to the supervision of both aircraft engineering and maintenance activities.
Graeme’s experience encompasses all the key regulatory and safe working practices that are essential to a modern efficient airline in today’s prevailing highly competitive business environment.