Meeting Airlines from all over the World and having an opportunity to show case our unique range of Cabin bags and Crew Accessories in one conference was a huge appeal for GATE8 in investing in the event sponsorship, travel and attending and we were not disappointed.
Part of my business growth strategy is to offer our services and expertise in the design of highly practical robust cabin bags that deliver operational performance benefits to Airline crew, which compliments in many ways what we are already doing within the Business Travel community through our consumer range of Cabin Bags.
As our reputation as an innovative and passionate luggage brand has grown, we are now proudly working with x 5 Airlines in the UK (with more to follow in 2018), supplying their crew with bespoke products that meet their operational needs, sized perfectly for their onboard overhead lockers and travel needs and styled to match their uniform and brand guidelines.
I therefore saw this event as an opportunity to start building relationships with International Airlines to help scale this side of the business.
In addition to sitting in on talks & learning about the Airlines response and strategies regarding Unruly Passengers, Emergency and Evacuation procedures, strategies to prevent Human Trafficking, emerging technologies to assist Cabin Crew training such as VR headsets etc it also enhanced my understanding of the amazing work the crew do behind the scenes to keep us all safe as we as passengers enjoy the flight and experience – I learned loads and made some excellent Airline connections.
It was also fascinating (and emotional) to listen to Ximena Suarez, who was one of only six survivors after the ill-fated LaMia airlines flight plunged into the Colombian jungle November 28th 2016. A plane crash that killed 71 people – including members of a Brazilian soccer team. Her harrowing account of the flight and her fight for survival in the aftermath couldn’t help but inspire and move all the delegates – this was truly an incredible story delivered by a very courageous (and lucky) women.
In addition, listening to the talk delivered by the team responsible for delivering the Crisis Management Response to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which vanished on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board and then shortly after with Flight MH17 which was shot down over Ukraine. Darlina Muhammed talked very openly and honestly about how the crisis management team dealt with angry family members of missing MH370 airlines and eventually she saw relationships were being built between crew and families. This powerful talk discussed her experience of how “kinship of sorrow brought people together”, how she witnessed the bringing together of people irrespective of race, religion and ethnicity. If that wasn’t enough alone to set the tears rolling, she dropped in at the end that her husband narrowly avoided flight MH17 after being last minute re-scheduled onto another flight as a member of the Malaysian Airways cabin crew.
Overall a fantastic event which brought together Airlines from across the World, some amazing speakers and stories and a great window on the World for GATE8.