Liz Aluvanze: Flying excessive at aviation physique


Kenya Affiliation of Air Operators chief government officer Liz Aluvanze through the interview in Nairobi on October 11, 2022. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

Liz Aluvanze’s life since childhood has at all times been marked by stellar performances. She attended Loreto Main College after which Makini College, scored an A, and joined Treasured Blood Secondary College Riruta, and received one other A.

After finishing her A ranges at Brookhouse College she scored one other A, enabling her to proceed to the College of Manchester within the UK for a level in Aerospace Engineering graduating with First Class Honours.

She then joined the celebrated Cranfield College (additionally within the UK) for a Grasp’s diploma in Air Transport Administration.

Earlier than her appointment because the CEO of Kenya Affiliation of Air Operators (KAAO) final month, she had labored at Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, Kenya Airways, and in numerous sectors together with air transport, industrial, fleet growth, air legislation, and engineering providers, technical and flight operations.

As she settles into her new place, changing Col Eutychus Waithaka who had been the CEO for 25 years she tells BDLife, “I’ve a giant function to play in pushing this organisation to the following stage.”


What has your journey been like, from a younger lady to now sitting on the helm of the Kenya Affiliation of Air Operators?

I used to be born and raised in Nairobi. I’m the firstborn in a household of 4 youngsters, a brother and two sisters. My dad and mom labored very exhausting to supply for us and our prolonged household. I believe that could be a lesson I discovered very early from them; the significance of exhausting work, diligent work, and tenacity. I grew up in Buruburu and later we moved to Kilimani.

Generally our predecessors have the proverbial huge footwear. What are your plans to slot in or be even higher?

My predecessor, Col (Rtd) E.Ok Waithaka, is a legend within the aviation business. He has championed the protected, environment friendly growth and development of the business not solely domestically however regionally. I hope to honour his legacy by finishing up my mandate with transparency, diligence and inclusivity as we steer the following chapter of the Kenya Affiliation of Air Operators to better success. The sweetness right here is that he stays dedicated and supportive of the affiliation’s initiatives and is on the market to us for steerage and consultations. My board can also be very supportive of my initiatives and believes in constructing on constructive legacies.

There aren’t many feminine executives within the aviation business. Why do you suppose the business is usually steered by males?

Gender disparity is a giant and extremely popular subject within the aviation business. I consider the business has the poorest gender stability, significantly with regards to females holding management roles. The challenges and limitations ladies face are way more than these of our male counterparts they usually differ from bias to preconceived notions on ladies’s capabilities and pursuits in addition to gender stereotypes. One other barrier is the lack of know-how and sensitisation in regards to the business and the assorted profession alternatives, focused at ladies and younger ladies.

Being among the many few ladies leaders within the business does this offer you extra stress to not let ladies down?

I’m not the primary lady to carry such a place, nor will I be the final. Ladies have excelled for many years in government ranges of management, and the aviation business isn’t any completely different. As an illustration, the CEO of Uganda Airways is Jennifer Bamuturaki whereas Yvonne Manzi Makolo is the CEO and MD at RwandAir and Anita Adjei Nmashie was just some days in the past elected to symbolize Ghana on the Worldwide Civil Aviation Organisation Council.

All these three ladies, simply to call just a few are trailblazers within the aviation business, and I hope to fulfill and study from them. The stress that I then must face is how you can proceed making the sector obtain its many targets whereas on the similar time steering my group to proceed to fulfill our short- and long-term targets.

By way of the successes that outcome from this difficult work, I hope I can inspire younger women and girls in Kenya and the area to enterprise significantly into STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics], figuring out they will obtain no matter it’s they set their minds to do.

Who’s Liz away from work?

Liz is a younger Kenyan woman who likes to spend time along with her household and mates, hearken to podcasts, train, learn and take a look at new issues. I consider train is essential. Ever since I received this job, going to the health club day by day is troublesome due to my packed-up schedule. Nonetheless, I attempt to train as much as thrice every week.

What number of members do you’ve got at KAAO and what number of extra do you plan to recruit within the subsequent 12 months?

We now have 48 members and I plan to convey 100 extra on board within the subsequent three years. You perceive that one in every of my essential roles on this job is to extend our membership. I wish to convey coaching, upkeep, drone, and balloon operators amongst others, into the affiliation in order that the aviation business sphere is represented underneath one umbrella. Having all classes of operators; from fixed-wing, helicopter, scorching air balloons, and remotely-piloted plane techniques to accredited upkeep organisations and accredited coaching organisations all working collectively underneath the affiliation’s umbrella.

How did you find yourself within the aviation business and what was your first job?

As cliché because it sounds, I’ve at all times been intrigued by plane and the mechanism behind their working. And as I pursued my schooling additional, I grew to become way more within the bigger aviation business and the regulatory framework, which is the place I shifted my deal with. My first job was with Fastjet Airways as an operations intern at their head workplace in London on the time.

How would you describe your management type?

Management shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all. However I’d describe my management type as transformative and visionary. I often encourage all members of my group to take part and share concepts in addition to to problem themselves with regards to problem-solving and technique implementation.

Which a part of your job retains you awake at night time?

The entire entirety of my job retains me up at night time. I can identify the highest three issues, the primary being selecting and executing the problems and initiatives that may make the best distinction for my stakeholders. Every stakeholder, be it the airways, regulator, airport operator, or authorities is extraordinarily essential, and creating the most effective synergy for the event and development of a vibrant aviation business is a vital process that have to be accomplished all the identical. The second is how you can face the challenges that include change. As they are saying, change is the one fixed. The third, being on a lighter and extra private word is getting by way of my to-do record, e mail overload, and conferences, however that is what I signed up for.

What challenges are Kenya’s air operators grappling with?

The aviation business took the toughest hit with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, with many governments placing a halt on long-distance journey. The discount in flights didn’t translate to a discount in prices. Quite the opposite, these had been nonetheless due and payable regardless of minimal money inflows. The business could be very capital-intensive one with low margins and vital possession prices for plane, the price of storage and long-term parking in addition to maintaining the plane maintained following worldwide security laws regardless of not being in use,  and value of employees amongst others.

Because of this, the aviation business is prone to be among the many final industries to recuperate from the disaster. One other main problem is tax. There’s an pressing want to supply much-needed aid to the business gamers to provide them a combating likelihood within the face of fierce regional and worldwide competitors. Prior to now when tax breaks had been granted, the business managed to get entry to newer, fashionable plane, a undeniable fact that has performed a serious function in enhancing security and effectivity requirements.

Lastly, entry to cost-effective long-term financing for plane acquisition stays an excellent problem. This is a crucial software to drive fleet modernisation and enhance effectivity.

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