View Full Version : airline accountant
16th Jan 2012, 18:44
I am completing my final year at university- I want to become an accountant in an airline/aviation company, any hints or tips? I understand I have to sit the exams- which does not put me off just getting into the finance department is a bit daunting.
16th Jan 2012, 23:14
The only advice I can offer is to monitor airline websites.
Aviation Jobs, Airline Jobs, Air Jobs, Jobs in Aviation - AviationJobSearch.com (http://www.aviationjobsearch.com) is good.
My partner has almost completed her exams also, she is looking at taking a job in an airline contact center. Completing her year on the phones and the moving on from within.
17th Jan 2012, 15:15
LGWXOPSA cheers for the advise, is your partner sitting her ACCA exams? Is she looking to also work in an airline?
PS mutt shut up mate nobody wants to hear you
18th Jan 2012, 13:11
She is just finishing up her AAT exams (one more to do).
She has airline experience and misses the staff travel so I think would like to get back in!. - easier said than done.
18th Jan 2012, 13:19
When you say 'accountant' do you mean in terms of working with profit and loss statements, finance, debtors and creditors, or are you referring to the more interesting and airline specific functions of yield managment, capacity controls, revenue accounting, and so on?
18th Jan 2012, 18:00
Cheers LGWXOPSA for the reply.
Capetonian I would like to work in any aspect of airline finance however I was just thinking (maybe my naivety) if i get in as a accounting trainee/get my qualification I will be able to do a more interesting job in airline finance/revenue accounting/yield discrimination and climb the ladder.
Do you work in airline finance Capetonian? Any tips for a youngster trying to get his foot in the door?
20th Jan 2012, 14:07
any answers people?
20th Jan 2012, 14:38
Sorry, I meant to reply to you earlier.
The difficult part is to join an airline in an accounting/finance department and not to get stuck in the same area, but that's down to you. From that perspective you might be better to join a small airline where there is wider scope for exposure to all areas. Revenue management and forecasting route profitability is fascinating as there are so many variables and unknowns.
There are a couple of books I'd recommend you to get hold of, they cover wider areas than the above but will be a useful start for you in understanding the size and complexity of these areas.
20th Jan 2012, 14:49
Having been for much of my working life an airline ‘beancounter’ (still am, to some extent), I can reassure you that there are very large numbers of people working in airline back-office functions, so the jobs are there – already filled – the question is how to access them when they become available.
Apart from some areas in which specialist knowledge is necessary (perhaps formal accountancy or other qualifications; purchasing comes to mind), the main requirements are numeracy, analytical ability and either a knowledge of the industry or a willingness and capacity to learn.
In my early days at BA, a lot of the younger people in these jobs had been recruited through annual intakes of school-leavers and graduates. I guess those days are long gone, and in any case competition for those places was intense. But it can’t do any harm to put your CV around, stressing just those qualities that I mentioned above.
Otherwise if you get into an organisation like BA in any capacity whatever, you then have access to the internal job vacancy system.
Good luck. Despite what you read on PPRuNe, without the beancounters, the pilots wouldn't have jobs (and vice versa, I hasten to add).
PS Capetonian - revenue management requires extreme numeracy - a maths degree at least, I would think.
20th Jan 2012, 15:16
Indeed, but since the poster said he was looking at a career in accountancy, I assume he takes for granted that a degree of numeracy is required.
That does raise an interesting point that I've often pondered, which is that whereas in the past the functions related to rev man were slide rule, then spreadsheet, so much of it is now automated that we have decision support tools and make decisions based on their output.
In the old days we calculated fares by looking up 'FCU' amounts (remember those!) and HIPs and MDPs and backhauls and currency adjustments in the APT and he AT .......... it was more fun! I think the same might apply to rev man!
20th Jan 2012, 15:38
I think that's the point, if you are numerate and informed about the industry, you can skip from one function to another relatively easily. I used to love fare calculation, especially when contacted by an agent with a complex itinerary saying 'our expert (or a competing airline) has worked on it and come up with £xx, we wonder if you could beat that'. Nothing like a challenge. But fare calculation was the job of people on clerical scales, at least a couple of ranks lower than the planners.
I was actually a revenue management pioneer, in the mid-1970s, when I was tasked with doing the allocation of APEX seats on the BOAC US services - zero, 5, 10, 15 or max 20 seats, flight-by-flight for a month at a time. My only reference data were the actual loads on the same flights/days the previous year. No slide-rule, just rule-of-thumb. Nobody ever complained that I got it wrong, though :).
I don't think anyone makes yield management 'decisions' any more - the algorithms do that. And it takes someone far, far more numerate than I am to understand them.
21st Jan 2012, 10:53
Capetonian thanks for the reply and the books- I am actually reading them books currently for my exams! The Irony! SSK thanks for your input also. Is there anyway I could send either you my CV/contact details to possibly pass on to your contacts/network to help get my foot in the door. I know its a long shot but its worth a try!
23rd Jan 2012, 16:37
hi guys any replies?
29th Jan 2012, 18:51
Thanks for the earlier replies anyway chaps!