If you’ve travelled out of Singapore Changi Airport on Singapore Airlines recently, you may have come across Derrick Leow, manager Hub Control or Clarie Lee, Singapore Hub manager. The two are part of a larger team at Singapore Hub that ensures smooth connections for customers transiting through and departing from Singapore Changi Airport.
The role of station managers
Singapore is a transit hub where many customers connect from the United States and Europe to Australia, New Zealand and other parts of Asia, and vice versa. As station managers, their responsibility is to ensure the punctual departure and turnaround of all Singapore Airlines flights at Changi Airport. This is essential to prevent a chain of delays, which will impact customers who have a connecting flight.
“On a busy night, we may have back-to-back delayed flights. We ensure that check-in counters are efficiently manned, and also lend a helping hand to our ground handling agents,” Lee shares.
Lee adds that their duties include heading to the departure gates to ensure swift turnaround of the aircraft and that sufficient lanes are open at the security screening unit. They also expedite ground activities such as refuelling, cleaning and catering, as well as work with ground engineers to rectify any technical issues.
Dealing with challenges
“Although our hub is based in Singapore, operational issues overseas – such as a flood or power outage – can significantly impact our operations. The team works closely with our overseas stations to address and overcome these challenges,” Leow shares.
Thankfully, the team is made up of a group of highly experienced Station Managers, including former weatherman Teo Seng Choke, a senior manager at the Singapore Hub. “Having a good knowledge of weather operations helps a lot in my current role,” Teo says. “Being able to forecast the weather allows us to better plan our operations.”
Teo went on to share about how the onslaught of monsoon weather in March this year affected airport operations and caused many flights to be disrupted. “I had to come back to lead the team and work very closely with all the stakeholders,” Teo shares. “It was non-stop operations for me and the team. Eventually, we made it and the flights departed with no more than two hours’ delay.”
Although the job has its fair share of stress, the station managers find fulfilment in helping customers. “Being able to reunite them with their loved ones and seeing them smile at the end of the day is definitely what keeps me going,” says Lee.
When unexpected delays or diversions happen, Singapore Airlines’ round-the-clock Operations Control Centre and Customer Care Team spring into actions. Learn more about their work here.
Curious about what goes into planning a flight and the logistics that go into planning crew schedules? Click here to find out!