SmartLynx Airlines is a charter airline based in Mārupe, Latvia, operating flights on wet-lease out (ACMI), holiday charter flights, and ad hoc passenger charter flights across Europe, Africa, and Asia. In 2022 SmartLynx Airlines will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
We talked with SmartLynx Airlines Chief of People & Culture, Mara Steinberga, about what does it mean to work in the aviation, what are the most exclusive things about working in this industry, and how does the average daily routine looks like at SmartLynx (spoiler: every day is unique).
🔵 What exactly does SmartLynx do?
We are an EU-based airline with headquarters in Riga, Latvia, and two subsidiaries in Estonia and Malta. Very soon we’ll open up our office in Vilnius. SmartLynx Airlines specializes in full-service ACMI aircraft lease services and is an acknowledged ACMI, cargo, and charter provider in the EU on Airbus A320, A321, and A330 aircraft. Recognized as one of the top choices for aircraft lease solutions, we support leading airlines with short and long-term ACMI services by operating flights in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
🔵 How is your business model different from your usual airBaltic, for example?
While airBaltic’s primary customers are passengers, SmartLynx is a B2B business, meaning our clients are other airlines that don’t have enough aircraft at a specific time.
In the previous answer, you may have noticed the letters ACMI, which stands for Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance. Meaning, when other airlines contact us, we provide them with the complete service – aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance. This business model allows us to serve clients globally.
For example, during the COVID-19 crisis, all airlines started to get rid of their most expensive asset – aircraft, but once the business picks up, it is not that quick to add aircraft to one’s fleet, so we as a service provider can quickly jump in.
🔵 How is working for the airliner and in the aviation industry different from the rest of the career opportunities?
I would like to believe that not many industries are as dynamic as aviation – every second counts, and the whole company needs to operate as well-oiled machinery. That’s the only way to provide the end result – flights on time. I would say that aviation is not for everybody – you either love it and never want to leave, or you hate it from the first second you start working. There is no in-between. The dynamic, the speed, the stressful situations, the fun, and the everchanging daily life is the new normal for all those working in our company, and we don’t know how it can be different?
🔵 What’s the most exclusive thing about working in the aviation industry?
You get to see the other side of aviation. Usually, we fly as passengers, and we tend to be irritated about delays and different hick-ups. Once you are on the other side of the aisle, you start to understand how everything works, and so many things begin to make sense. When you work in aviation and fly frequently, you still hear passengers being irritated, and it makes you want to sit down next to them and start explaining what aviation is all about.
🔵 Could you name the three most exciting challenges people could expect when working for SmartLynx?
Firstly, every day is different, and you will never experience a routine at SmartLynx, no matter the position.
Secondly, growth opportunities – we are proud to see how our employees develop and grow. We are also pleased to see the leaders we have developed and will continue developing in the future.
Last but not least, you have the possibility of working in a very multicultural environment – we are proud to have 40+ cultures represented in our company, and we are glad to explore the different cultures in our daily lives.
🔵 How has SmartLynx adapted during the Covid-19 pandemic situation to survive and come back bigger and stronger than before?
Covid-19 has significantly changed both what and how we do. Things we thought couldn’t be done remotely before the pandemic are now easily doable. This change has opened doors to international recruitment – we are happy to have new colleagues from all over the world, and we can still communicate with them through online platforms.
Additionally, I’d like to give big thumbs up to our management team. Thanks to their great strategic thinking and planning, we managed to secure our business and come out of the crisis even bigger than ever. We are currently experiencing the biggest expansion in our 30-year history.
🔵 What kind of specialties and expertise are you currently looking for at SmartLynx?
We want people who love a dynamic environment. We want people with positive energy and a smile. We want people who love changes and challenges. We want people who love to work in a team and achieve great results together. We want people who want to reach new heights both personally and professionally. We want people with ambitions and goals. We want people who are not bystanders and just let things slide past them – we want people who are not afraid to speak up and react. This is SmartLynx Airlines DNA.
🔵 What does the future hold for SmartLynx? What are your ambitions?
There are no limits for us – we want to grow and become market leaders globally. We are not having the “if that will happen” mindset, but the “when it will happen” one, so we are working very hard to get there. We celebrate our 30th anniversary this year, and it’s hard to contain our excitement for what this year and all following years will bring for SmartLynx – continuous growth and expansion in multiple directions.
Check out SmartLynx Airlines’ open positions on MeetFrank:
- Junior Software Developer
- Senior People and Culture Officer
- Head of Product
- Data Entry Specialist
- Operational Excellence (OPEX) Manager
🔵 How would you describe your recruitment process?
Our recruitment process is pretty simple – once the candidate applies for a specific role, we review their CV and see if they are fit for the position. If the candidate is chosen for the next stage, they get a link for a one-way interview via our Hirevue platform. We are so happy to have this platform, as it gives the candidate the flexibility to do their interview whenever they are ready and available.
If the one-way interview is successful, the candidate is invited for a live interview and/or a practical task. Candidates for management-level positions have to get through additional tests, such as cognitive and psychometric tests.
And then voila – you are becoming the new member of the Smart Team!
🔵 Any tips on how a candidate could stand out in the process and increase the chances of being hired?
Make sure your CV is fresh, updated, neat-looking, and English. If you have a detailed description of main achievements in the roles, it will allow us to understand your background better.
During the one-way interview:
- Do not worry and be yourself – this is even better than a live interview because you have a chance to re-record yourself if you don’t like the response. And each question gives you preparation time.
- Make sure there are no distractions around you.
- Try out the test video to make yourself comfortable by tweaking your sound, surroundings, and appearance.
- We still appreciate candidates who participate in this one-way interview as if that would be a real-life interview – meaning that the candidate is dressed to impress.
When we have our live interviews, the main tips for candidates are:
- Do some research about SmartLynx Airlines – we like it when candidates are prepared;
- Prepare any questions you have about the job or the company – we will gladly answer all of them.
- Try to keep your answers to questions short but saturated – answer all questions so that they’d be relevant to the role.
- Be yourself and smile a lot – one smile generates at least one smile in return.