Saturday, June 15

Airkenya Staff Profile

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Airkenya Engineering Manager - Alan OliveiraAirkenya Engineering Manager, Alan Oliveira changed a flat tyre for a friend – then found himself in Aviation…

What got you into Aviation? I grew up in the vicinity of Wilson Airport and used to see the planes flying overhead. I took an interest in aircraft and aviation when I was still in primary school.

What was your first job at Airkenya? I joined as a Senior Engineer having worked as an Engineer for twelve years with an aviation company at Wilson Airport.

Did you ever want to learn to fly? Not really, I was more interested in the mechanics of flying.

What is your earliest memory of Airkenya? Airkenya was always the biggest airline on the airfield, the leaders in the passenger transport category, and in the type of aircraft operating and frequency of flying. So when I was head-hunted to work at Airkenya, I was absolutely thrilled. I was recruited at the time when the fleet was expanding and there was requirement for Engineers to look after this growing fleet.

Any fond memory that sticks out for you? The DC3’s and the challenges they presented: These are World War II aircraft with radial engines – the engineering of the 1930’s and 40’s, but they were still flying with Airkenya in the 1990’s. Our passengers loved them. They wanted to experience these vintage aircraft. Airkenya had two of them flying when I joined.

Who had the greatest influence on you during your childhood? My Mother. It was my Mother’s good friends who gave me an opening into Aviation. I was doing a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering at the time and working for a textile manufacturing company to earn some money. I happened to change a flat tyre for a family friend, Kishore, and he asked me to come and see him at Superior Aviation. The rest as they say is history…

Do you enjoy reading? Yes, when I have the time. I enjoy reading the sports pages of the daily papers and the politics. I haven’t had the time to read novels for a long time.

What do you do in your free time? I cycle. I love the outdoors. I walk in Karura Forest with the family whenever we get the opportunity.

Where has cycling led you? All over the place; into the Great Rift Valley, Ngong Hills and Mount Kenya for the 10 to 4 Cycling event. But the longest most challenging ride was to Mombasa. It took us two and a half days and we cycled the whole way!

What music do you enjoy listening to? Rock and Pop. I am old school. The 80’s and 90’s particularly. I sometimes listen to the radio when I ride, it keeps me informed.

How did you meet your wife? I actually met her at one of the Goan Club functions over the festive season some years ago. Goans love dancing, music and a good time.

Do you have children? Yes, a daughter of 20 and a son of 16.

If you could be or do anything else – what would it be? I would have gotten into flying. Probably an easier job than what I currently do!

If you could have dinner with five famous people past or current, who would they be? Mother Theresa, Chris Froome, the designers of the Stealth aircraft…

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Honest and committed, so two What one word would your friends use to describe you? Dependable.

What are you most proud of? My family, my life achievements.

What’s the one thing about you few people know? I used to play the Guitar in a band way back then…

Do you talk about religion or politics? Both, more politics.

What do you like most about your job? The daily challenges and the satisfaction of overcoming these challenges. Keeping the fleet flying. Not letting people down.

What do you like least? The amount of time I am at work and the fact that I have spent so little time with my family or doing other things I enjoy like cycling.

What has been the happiest day of your life? When my first child was born, our daughter Daniela.

What would your advice be to anyone wanting to be a Maintenance Engineer? Its hard work initially, you need a lot of commitment and must make lots of sacrifices with your time. But it pays off in the long run.

Which is your favorite Airkenya destination? The Masai Mara, no surprises, as I love the outdoors and the natural wonder of this amazing reserve.

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