Employee Spotlight

Our Employee Spotlight Series

Deirdre Forde, Stobart Air Receptionist

Deirdre is the receptionist at Stobart Air, and she is based at the head office in Dublin.

Deirdre joined Stobart Air in 2016 and since then, she has been a huge part of team, welcoming everyone as they enter Stobart Air and looking after a large part of office admin

Tell us a little about working at Stobart Air.

At Stobart Air, the work is always very varied. In my job, I’m lucky to be able to meet different people from different of walks of life who work in different areas of the business. I meet service providers, pilots, cabin crew, colleagues for internal meetings and the list goes on… I also meet new colleagues before they go for their interview and I call it the “Deirdre pre-interview interview”!

1. Can you tell us a bit about what you do in Stobart Air?

I organise Fexex and cyclone couriers, arrange taxis, manage the stationary orders and compare prices with different stationary companies. I often help with facilities and I look after the reorder for the kitchen. I help with organising meetings when required and look after the car park. There are also some admin tasks associated with my role along with screening phone calls and it has been said that I am the best gatekeeper in the world!

2.What is a typical day like for a Receptionist?

Every day is varied from the next. I have no set structured task and that’s what I love most about my job, no day is the same. I am met with different challenges and I enjoy figuring things out whether it be by myself or with some of my colleagues at Stobart Air.

3. What’s the best thing about your job?

There are so many things I love about my job but if I had to pick one, I would say it is meeting and greeting people. Honestly, I am a people person and I love helping everyone out, whether that’s ordering stationary for a colleague or sewing a button on to someone’s sweater.

 4. How would you describe the Culture in Stobart Air?

I would describe Stobart Air as being a very friendly working environment. The people who work in Stobart Air are also very helpful and approachable. This is obvious as soon as a new person starts in the office, everyone keeps an eye on them and helps them find their feet as much as they can.

5. When you’re not working, what do you do for fun?

I sing in a Folk group, it’s called St. Maurs Parish Folk Group. This is not to be confused with a choir as we have a full set of drums, tin whistle, guitars, accordions and someone in the group even plays the harp! I also enjoy a bit of snorkelling and I am a member of a local diving club. I have three beautiful grandchildren and I spend the majority of my free time playing with them. I also love playing my guitar…. when I get the time to do it!

6. Describe Stobart Air in three words?

Interesting, friendly and dynamic.

7. What is your proudest moment from working at Stobart Air?

My proudest moment was when I was given the opportunity to be an elf on the charity Christmas Santa flight in aid of Crumlin’s Children’s Hospital. This is where we take children on a flight to the North Pole to see Santa. It was a really rewarding experience to see the smiles on their faces.

8What advice would you give somebody starting out at Stobart Air?

I always give people the same advice when I meet them at an interview or on their first day at Stobart Air: Breathe. Don’t panic. Be yourself. Here, people are very friendly and will help you in any way they can.

9.  What is your hidden talent?

I have a few actually…I enjoy arranging themed parties, I can (sporadically) play golf, and lastly, I am never stuck for words!!

Fionn Phelan, Technical Services Engineer

Fionn Phelan joined Stobart Air in June 2017, having completed his degree in Aeronautical Engineering in UL.  Fionn is a Technical Services Engineer and he is based in the head office in Dublin.

Tell us a little about working at Stobart Air.

Stobart Air is a great place to work. Although it is a smaller airline, you get the opportunity to work on bigger projects that you may not have the opportunity to work on at a larger airline. Some friends of mine from college went on to work for other airlines, but two years on from college, they are still where they started. I have taken on much more responsibility compared to them, such as managing the Aircraft Maintenance Programme and representing Stobart Air at the Maintenance Steering Groups in Toulouse.

1. Can you tell us a bit about what you do in Stobart Air?

I work in the Technical Services Department as the Technical Services Engineer. I manage the planning of maintenance and coordination of the maintenance programmes. This involves developing a maintenance plan for each aircraft to decide what needs to be maintained and analysed during the day to day operations. I also liaise with the manufacturer of the aircraft on any feedback that arises from the maintenance.

2.What is a typical day like for a Technical Services Engineer?

Every day is very different and there is no set routine to my job. Any day can consist of meetings with inspectors in Irish Aviation Authority (IAA), revising the maintenance programme on AMOS, or meeting with the Engineering Department to discuss new changes etc.

3. What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is that I have the opportunity to take on bigger projects and I have the privilege of representing Stobart Air on the Maintenance Steering Group in Toulouse.

 4. How would you describe the Culture in Stobart Air?

Everybody is very friendly and helpful. You can also see that people are very passionate about their jobs and willing to give 100% which makes the work culture a great one to be part of.

5. When you’re not working, what do you do for fun?

In my spare time, I play music in a rock music band called ‘Drivelight’. I also enjoy going to the gym and working on my car.

6. Describe Stobart Air in three words?

Helpful, passionate and friendly.

7. What is your proudest moment from working at Stobart Air?

My proudest moment is when I received maintenance programme approval on the ERJ190 from the IAA. What this means is that the manufacturer provides you with a list of all the tasks associated with the aircraft and then I would log them onto our internal systems in a language everyone would understand. Subsequently, the inspector would then review the updates to see if the programme was acceptable by industry standards.

8What advice would you give somebody starting out at Stobart Air?

Ask questions. Everyone is very open and will guide you in the right direction. Also, don’t be afraid to contribute in meetings with colleagues. Your ideas are valued, and people will support you while taking your opinion into consideration

9What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned during your time at Stobart Air?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Everyone has a wealth of knowledge in Stobart Air and they are only happy to help. Everyone is very approachable and knowledgeable, and I think that is one of Stobart Air’s best assets.

10. What are you currently watching on Netflix?

I don’t get a lot of time to watch Netflix but the last thing I watched is Planet Earth with David Attenborough.

Alison Smith, Head of Ground Operations

Tell us a little about working at Stobart Air.

I love the can-do attitude and the friendliness of people in Stobart Air. People are hugely important to our company.  Working at Stobart Air is challenging but very interesting. It is a company that is on the brink of change and that is very exciting.

1. Can you tell us a bit about what you do in Stobart Air?

I am the nominated person for Ground Operations, so safety is the primary focus for me and my team. I am responsible for all ground handling activities in all our stations. I ensure procedures are fit for purpose and ensure compliance with safety and security regulations. My role involves travel to visit ground handlers and other service providers who handle the aircraft daily. I am also responsible for customer relations which includes customer complaints and customer compliments. Facilities also fall within my remit including head office, crew rooms and engineering offices. This covers everything from a broken press to a broken toilet and everything in between. I get to work very closely with all other departments.

2.What is a typical day like for the Head of Ground Operations?

A typical day for me involves keeping up to speed with emails and the live operation. Sometimes answers are needed urgently regardless of what day or time it is. I work with my team to achieve the set targets and goals for each area while constantly looking at ways to improve.

I am also there to provide guidance and support to the team with the different projects being worked on. Every day is different – some days are filled with meetings; other days are spent at my desk and I get to cross lots off my to-do list.  Some days don’t go as planned and we always must be ready to deal with the unexpected!

3. What’s the best thing about your job?

It’s not boring – I am one of those people who genuinely loves my job!

4. How would you describe the culture in Stobart Air?

There is a really friendly culture at Stobart Air. Employees can confidently express opinions and thoughts among work colleagues. Management always take your ideas into consideration when developing tasks and responsibilities.

 5. How would you describe the Culture in Stobart Air?

Stobart Air is open, friendly (you see that through new people who join the company and are made to feel very welcome) busy and it’s a very positive place to work.

6. Do people have a nickname for you at work?

People generally call me “Ali”. No doubt I have other nicknames that I am unaware of!

7. When you’re not working, what do you do for fun?

I’m a big rugby fan and try to attend as many matches as I can. I’m a proud Leinster fan, living in Munster, which can be dangerous!!! I also love music, especially live music. I experienced the fun of Electric Picnic last year and I’ve seen Pink and George Ezra so far this year.

8. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your time at Stobart Air?

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again! There is a lesson to be learned every day. Some tasks may prove to be challenging at first and you may make mistakes but there is always credit for making an effort and you will feel a sense of accomplishment after.

9Describe Stobart Air in three words?

Safe, friendly and challenging.

10How has Stobart Air changed since you’ve been here?

The company has changed considerably since I started here. We have changed our name a few times, changed from operating under our own brand to a franchise and wet lease operation. We have developed a much stronger safety culture and we are not a small family airline anymore. It is a huge achievement to successfully introduce the Embraer jets onto the AOC and see the company rebuild and expand over the last few years.

11. What is your proudest moment from working at Stobart Air? 

There are several things that have make me proud such as the introduction of Embraer jets onto the AOC and the great people in my team. Personally, it was when I finished my honours business degree with CIT while working full-time.

12. What advice would you give somebody starting out in Stobart Air?

Don’t give up, be passionate and enjoy what you do. Also, don’t be afraid to be different and have a voice

13. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned during your time in Stobart Air?

Be honest and do the right thing.

14. What is your biggest pet peeve?

My biggest pet peeve is when someone says, “it’s not my job”.

15. What is your hidden talent? 

My hidden talent will remain hidden 😊


Nikolett Reger, Trainee Accountant

Tell us a little about working at Stobart Air.

The people at Stobart Air are what make the company so great. They really are the best part of working at Stobart Air. You start off as colleagues and very quickly become close friends.

1. Can you tell us a bit about what you do in Stobart Air?

As a Trainee Accountant, I prepare the Management Accounts. The Management Accounts show whether the company is making a profit or making a loss and compares it to what was budgeted-– this involves working very closely with numbers. It’s a big responsibility as you must be able to stand over figures and explain the rationale behind any fluctuations that may occur.

2.What is a typical day like for a Trainee Accountant?

A typical day for me is very busy, which I enjoy. No two days are the same working as a Trainee Accountant. There is a new challenge every day so you’re always on your toes which is really exciting!

3. What’s the best thing about your job?

It definitely has to be the people. From the day I joined Stobart Air, everyone has been so welcoming. Everyone is really supportive, and I always feel valued in what I do.

4. How would you describe the culture in Stobart Air?

There is a really friendly culture at Stobart Air. Employees can confidently express opinions and thoughts among work colleagues. Management always take your ideas into consideration when developing tasks and responsibilities.

 5. Describe Stobart Air in three words?

Challenging, supportive and friendly.

6. How have you developed as a person since joining Stobart Air?

Since joining Stobart Air, I have definitely improved my financial and accountancy skills. I am currently sitting my Accountancy Exams through Stobart Air, and I have developed new skills through doing this. My colleagues are really supportive when I am sitting exams as they have all been through it before. Stobart Air provides paid study leave which is really helpful when preparing to sit exams.

7.What advice would you give somebody starting out in Stobart Air?

Don’t be afraid to speak up in meetings and offer your input into projects and tasks. People will always value your input, support you and take your thoughts and ideas into consideration.

8. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your time at Stobart Air?

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again! There is a lesson to be learned every day. Some tasks may prove to be challenging at first and you may make mistakes but there is always credit for making an effort and you will feel a sense of accomplishment after.


Sander Piket, Data Analyst

Tell us a little about working at Stobart Air.

I enjoy working at Stobart Air, especially in the Commercial Department where I am based. The atmosphere at Stobart Air is always enjoyable. At times, things do get quite busy, but that goes without saying in any job. My manager has put a lot of time and effort into my development, and a lot of trust and confidence has been placed on me as part of the team. It’s great to work somewhere where you feel valued, and I always feel like an important part of the team at Stobart Air.

1. Can you tell us a bit about what you do in Stobart Air?

I am a Data Analyst with Stobart Air, and I’m based in the Head Office in Dublin. In 2016, I joined Stobart Air as a Ground Operations Intern and I have progressed in my role since then. In my current role as a Data Analyst, I spend a lot of my time analysing data to create reports such as sales reports, profitability reports, and much more. These reports are then used to progress the business.

2. Whats’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is that it is flexible. I can work with different teams across the business, and my manager gives me the freedom to be creative in my role. As I mentioned, I always enjoy feeling valued in my role.

3. Describe Stobart Air in three words.

Friendly, great opportunities (I know that’s two words!) and honest.

4. If you could move to any other department in Stobart Air, which would you choose and why?

I can’t see myself moving to another department, I am happy in my role as part of the Commercial Department. I have progressed in my career since I began working as an Intern, I am challenged in my role as a Data Analyst and it’s something I really enjoy doing.

 5. What is your biggest pet peeve?

The staff room dishwasher. My biggest pet peeve is when it’s opened it mid-cycle and items are added/removed before the dishwasher is finished its cycle!

6. How have you developed as a person since joining Stobart Air?

Since joining Stobart Air in 2016, I feel I have matured both professionally and socially. Moreover, I feel at home in Stobart Air and in Ireland having only moved here in 2014 from the Netherlands.

7. What is your hidden talent?

I am particularly good at Karting. In University, I was part of the Karting Society and participated in intervarsities. In the Netherlands, I participated in a Red Bull competition and came 3rd in one of the regional races. Not many people are aware, but I am fluent in 3 languages, Dutch, French & English. I was born in the Netherlands and I moved to France aged 8, where I learned both French and English in school.


David Murphy, Certifying B1 Engineer

Tell us a little about working at Stobart Air.

The company culture is great. The people within the company are some of the friendliest you’ll meet and they have a wealth of experience and knowledge that they’re more than willing to share. No two days are ever the same and for me that’s definitely a bonus.

1. Describe Stobart Air in three words.

Challenging, rewarding and friendly.

2. Do you have a nickname at work?

There have definitely been a few throughout the years! There’s never a shortage of creativity within engineering.  Mostly I’m called Dave but every now and then there’ll be something new doing the rounds for a few weeks, it’s always good natured of course.

3. What was most appealing to you about the Aircraft Engineer Apprenticeship programme?

Initially I enjoyed the idea of working with my hands and doing something different everyday. Not many people get hands on with an aircraft or understand what’s going on in the background and that caught my interest. I saw the apprenticeship as a challenge and an opportunity to begin a career in an exciting, fast paced industry and I certainly haven’t looked back since. There is also the added benefit of being paid while you learn!

4. How has the Aircraft Engineer Apprenticeship programme positioned you in terms of career prospect and career progression?

I graduated in 2016 and not long after that, the company enrolled me on a type rating course for the ATR aircraft. This enabled me to add the ATR aircraft to my license and start certifying, taking responsibility for work carried out on the aircraft. Not many companies would provide the opportunity so quickly after graduating.

I am happy with my current role but in the future, there may be the possibility of further promotions and the company certainly encourages everybody with the required qualifications to apply for in house vacancies.

There’s also the possibility of moving off the tools and into a number of office-based roles within Stobart Air including aircraft leasing, maintenance planning or technical services. If a prospective apprentice completes the exams and graduates with their license, the possibilities are endless!

 5. If you could move to any other department in Stobart Air, which would you choose and why?

I don’t think I’d move departments. The fact that no two days are the same within the engineering department keeps it interesting. I like not knowing what to expect when you walk through the door and there are constant challenges arising throughout the shift.

Nobody has seen it all and every day you’re learning something new! The people within the department are some of the best you’ll meet and it’s very easy to build both professional and personal relationships.

6. How have you developed as a person since joining Stobart Air?

I was only 19 when I joined Stobart Air so naturally I’ve done a lot of growing up since. The apprenticeship pushes and challenges you and I definitely learned a lot during it. The progression within the company happens pretty fast and you’re constantly learning and developing every day. I cannot put a value on the experience I’ve gained since joining the company and I’m sure it will continue to benefit me well into the future.


Patrick English, ATR Flight Safety Officer

  1. Do people have a nickname for you at work?

People might have a nickname for me that I’m not aware of! I think most people call me “Patrick” or “Paddy”. It doesn’t matter where I go, I am mostly called Paddy. Whether that be Southend, Isle of Man, Cork… even our ATR Chief Pilot calls me “Paddy English, Paddy Irishman, Paddy Scotsman”. So, I think that’s it!

  1. What do you like most about working for Stobart Air?

The biggest thing is the variety, working on both the line and at head office allows you to meet many different people. The people are a huge aspect of the role plus every day is different! The role also helps you to learn and teaches you an awful lot about what not to do.

  1. What is your hidden talent?

My hidden talent is folding myself into the flight deck of an ATR. I am 6”7 so I suppose my talent is trying not to hit my head in the aircraft every day.

  1. Describe Stobart Air in three words.

I would say challenging, expanding and diverse.

  1. What are you currently watching on Netflix?

I’m quite busy at the moment so I don’t get a chance to watch as much Netflix as I’d like to. I am currently in the middle of watching Narcos Mexico and I have just finished Power which was quite good. Not too sure if there will be another season, the finale left everything quite up in the air but I’m hopeful there will be.

  1. If you could move to any other department in Stobart Air, which would you choose and why?

The training department. I like to work with people and fresh blood in any department introducing new ideas is never a bad thing. I have seen many changes in the past 4 years but there certainly are improvements to be made, I’d like to be a part of that.

  1. What is your biggest pet peeve?

People who complain over everything. There are always solutions to even the smallest of problems and some people just don’t understand that.

  1. How have you developed as a person since joining Stobart Air?

I’ve learned how to manage people better thanks to working on the line and in the Safety Department. As flight crew we are lucky we don’t deal much with front of house, but the safety department has taught me how to deal with delicate situations and manage the people affected by our investigations.