Simon Nathan has been part of the Route Development team for more than 9 years, with a background in Sales and Commercial Management across Europe and Asia. We talk with him about how the pandemic has changed his daily work.
Tell us about your role
As Senior Manager for Commercial Strategy and Route Development, I’m the dedicated point of contact for Russia and CIS countries, the Americas, and amongst others, Norwegian. In the last four years I’ve also been focussed on our route development strategy, and developing standardised tools that help the team to be even more effective.
What is your background?
I was with Maersk Line for more than 17 years in the UK, Singapore, Vietnam and then Denmark, doing a variety of local, regional and global roles in the sales and commercial fields. I’ve been a bit obsessed with planes since I was a kid, so applying this experience to the world of aviation is fantastic!
How has the Covid-19 pandemic changed your daily work?
Well, 2020 was strange, that’s for sure! Things started normally, then there were growing concerns over the impact of reduced numbers of Chinese travellers to Denmark – and then things suddenly exploded into the chaos we have all come to know. We were even sent home and instructed not to work, when the Danish government made a support scheme for furloughed staff. We had not seen that coming! The world suddenly seemed both much larger and much smaller at the same time; horizons moved inwards almost to the front door. Travel was either banned or impossible, meaning that we had to look at new ways of working (Hello, Teams!) and living (Hello, family; see you next time, distant friends!). Flying, our reason for being here, has pretty much ceased. The conversations we have with our airline partners have changed; they’ve become more about how we jointly survive right now, rather than how we immediately grow together. That said, looking further into 2021, the increasing rollout of vaccines, and a pent-up desire for people to just ‘go somewhere different’, does give me hope for a return to growth.
What’s the best part of your job?
Undoubtedly, working with great people all around the world. It’s been a great experience to understand that in aviation, we have airports, airlines and suppliers all working together to achieve common aims – we exist in the same environment and we can’t exist without each other. Learning to work within this joint community has been great, and when this all comes together to deliver a new route for CPH, and perhaps even bringing a new airline here, it’s a fantastic feeling. Meeting with airline and airport partners at Conferences around the world gives a very helpful community spirit, and you can always pick up on some news that helps you think about the next opportunity to chase.