Like any other profession, the airline industry and the flight crew profession can be incredibly competitive. Young pilots, attendants, and other professionals are competing to move up in the industry from their respective positions while the industry is constantly changing. Airlines who merge, cut back services, or change their services to meet new customer needs require professionals who are not only skilled in their jobs but understand the industry on a larger level. Intelligence and hard work can help professionals get their job but moving up in the industry requires a certain industrial acumen not found in the classroom. Staying ahead of the competition in the airline industry requires a little extra effort on the part of airline professionals.
One way to stay current on industry news and the latest in the airline business is to read industry magazines or consult airline web sites. General industry magazines, like Air and Business Travel News, deal with the industry as a whole and the business side of airlines. More specific airline and aviation magazines, like Air Cargo World, allow pilots to stay up on parts of the industry they may not be as familiar with. Web sites about all parts of the airline industry exist and flight professionals should take in all of them equally to gain a fuller view of the industry.
Another way for flight crew professionals to understand the complexities of the airline industry is to speak with colleagues at a variety of companies. By understanding what other airlines are doing to service their customers effectively, flight professionals are able to figure out ways in which their company can better serve their clients. As well, colleagues can provide information from the ground level, unfiltered by editors at airline magazines or marketing people through airlines. Learning about the daily working life of colleagues can help improve yours greatly.
Finally, the best way to stay ahead of the curve in the airline industry is to travel aboard different airlines. Flight crews should search out the best deals while taking a variety of airlines to learn about their flight services firsthand. As well, professionals should try to take charter flights and other regional flights when possible in order to learn about the entire airline industry. This firsthand experience is not all work, however, and flight crew professionals should enjoy their travels while keeping an eye to gaining a competitive advantage.