Airline CEO Attributes Time At UC For Inspiring His Aviation
Airline CEO Attributes Time At UC For Inspiring His
March 6, 2013
The chief executive of one of the world’s newest airlines says that his student experience and inspiration from the University of Canterbury (UC) to launch into to a globetrotting aviation career.
Former UC business graduate Campbell Wilson helped launch budget airline Scoot out of Singapore last year, having been appointed to lead the project in May 2011 by 100 percent shareholder Singapore Airlines.
From having just five staff 18 months ago to nearly 400 today, the airline is continuing rapid expansion with the first of 20 Boeing 787s on order. Scoot will be the second airline worldwide, after Air New Zealand, to operate the 787.
Scoot was established by Singapore Airlines Group to target the medium/long-haul budget market and flies from Singapore to eight cities - Sydney, Gold Coast, Tokyo, Taipei, Tianjin, Shenyang, Qingdao and Bangkok. Scoot’s flights are generally four to eight hours in length while most budget airlines operate within four hours.
Wilson said he credited his time at UC for helping set him on his current path.
``Our target market is generally travelling for leisure, so we have adopted a personable approach as both our corporate positioning and on board. Our crew are encouraged to have fun and engage people, not to be as formal and subservient as is more typical on an Asian airline.
``We’ve created the term Scootitude to guide and encourage our staff, and to convey the sense of difference externally.
``I loved my time at UC and my experience there is paying off now. UC, at least as I knew it, has a great spirit and an atmosphere conducive to both study and fun and Christchurch overall provides an environment that helps produce a well-rounded person.
``The UC hardware may have since taken a hit in the quakes but I’m sure the software and spirit remains and perhaps has been strengthened. A university exists to give a student an environment – surroundings, resources, lectures, and faculty – that allows and challenges them to develop, but the rest is up to the individual.
``UC provides an environment second to none but, as with life after university, it’s up to the individual to seize the opportunity. In my early undergraduate years, I mostly enjoyed the social side of the university. Friday nights at the Students Union were especially memorable.
``As the years passed I discovered my areas of academic interest, my enjoyment increasingly skewed toward the academic side. By the time of postgrad I was really inspired by the studies through lecturers Stephen Dakin and Pete Cammock’s lectures,’’ Wilson said.
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Photos: Campbell Wilson