Employee Spotlight

Our Employee Spotlight Series

Louis Owens, Data Protection Officer

Louis is the Data Protection Officer based in the Stobart Air head office, Dublin. He joined the airline in October 2018, and since then, he has been an integral part of the Safety team.

  1. Tell us a little about working at Stobart Air.

I really enjoy working at Stobart Air, the people are very friendly. I like that I’m trusted to do a good job in data protection and that my colleagues place responsibility on me.

  1. Can you tell me a bit about what you do at Stobart Air?

My job is to ensure the company complies with data protection legislation. The basic principle of this legislation is that personal data belongs to the person and given that this information is their data, we have to be very careful of how we use it.

We must ensure customer rights are upheld. In my role, I work closely with the Customer Relations Department as they hold a lot of Customer Data, and similarly I work with the HR Department as they hold a lot of Employee Data.

I ensure we only hold necessary data and that we process it lawfully and fairly. I work with all Departments in Stobart Air, answer any queries that may arise, deal with data access requests that are made, and a host of other data related tasks.

  1. What is a typical day like for a Data Protection Officer?

My core tasks involve maintaining our regulatory registers and other documents to demonstrate our compliance to the Data Protection Commission. I also provide awareness training to staff, answer GDPR queries, deal with data breaches and requests for data, maintain our Privacy Notices, and keep our GDPR and Information Security Manuals up to date. I also review new business processes to ensure they are compliant with data legislation.

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

The best thing about my job is that it’s specific. I am not required to be a jack of all trades, just a master of one, which is GDPR.

  1. How would you describe the culture at Stobart Air?

The working culture is quite relaxed, and people are very friendly. I also think due to the company’s operational focus, it is quicker to get things done.

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

I grow my own organic vegetables.  I haven’t bought salad in a shop for more than nine years. I grow lots of vegetables including peas, lettuce, beetroot, onions and potatoes. I have a polytunnel and a small orchard.

  1. Describe Stobart Air in three words?

Energetic, young, interesting.

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

I’m always slow to give advice, particularly if it is outside my area of expertise! But I would say to ask questions if you’re unsure about anything, as colleagues in Stobart Air are always happy to assist!

  1. What is your hidden talent?

My hidden talent is the ability to cook an entire meal using ingredients that I have grown or raised myself.

  1. Finally, do you have a nickname?

I do! I have heard people referring to me as “Brother Louie”, which is a popular song by Hot Chocolate released in 1974. Whoever thought up that nickname gave away their age!!!

Ciaran Tourish, Operations Controller

Ciaran is an Operations Controller Air based in the Stobart Air head office, Dublin.

Ciaran joined the airline in December 2017, and since then, he has been an integral part of the Operations Control team.

Tell us a little about working at Stobart Air.

Working at Stobart Air is very enjoyable, and I am very fortunate to work with such a great team in the Operations Control Centre (OCC). We’re different to the rest of the team at Stobart Air HQ in that we’re operational 24/7, 364 days a year (thankfully, we all have Christmas Day off!). I mostly enjoy the positive working relationships within our team in the OCC, which is a great support when it’s a busy day and you know you can always rely on your colleagues. Also, senior management are very approachable which says a lot about the company culture.

2. Can you tell me a bit about what you do at Stobart Air?

My primary job is to assist, support and brief our crew. This generally means keeping flight plans updated, managing Air Traffic Control (ATC) slots to suit our schedule, providing information to flight crew that may affect the operation and clarifying any queries they may have. I am also the central point of communication between multiple stakeholders including crew, engineers, ground operations, ATC, crew control, customer handling and the senior management team. If I hear from the crew that there is a technical issue mid-flight and we may need to divert, I decide on a suitable plan of action and inform the stakeholders, to ensure everyone is aware and the plan is implemented. It’s a great opportunity to get a feel for how an airline functions and what it takes to get an aircraft into the air.

3. What is a typical day like for an Operations Controller?

Most of my day is spent reviewing and updating the flight operations system which tracks and monitors all our flights and locations – if taxiing, airborne, landed or delayed. In addition, the Operations Control team also monitor the weather and conditions at our destinations, communicate with engineers, crew or ground handling agents and liaise with colleagues in the OCC, while keeping on top of emails and phone calls. As a general rule, weather and any aircraft technical issues dictate how busy our day will be.

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

Definitely the team of people I work with in Stobart Air. I really enjoy my work and the friendships with all in the OCC. There’s always good conversation with colleagues in the HQ, as well as with the engineers and crew. I also like my work roster which has a varied mix of days and nights. This varies across weeks, and the 4/5 days off means you feel like you have a nice break which is great to have.

5. How would you describe the culture at Stobart Air?

I would describe the culture in Stobart Air as being friendly, open and hard working. Due to the scale of Stobart Air, if you have any issues, you can contact management, even after office hours. The leadership team are very approachable and are always happy to help. I think that is something you wouldn’t get in all companies.

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

I like to travel as much as I can. I am just back from three great weeks in Thailand and Vietnam. The roster we have in Operations is helpful for travel as often you can go away for a short break on days off without even taking annual leave. However, due to working various days/nights including weekends, I can’t commit to team-based activities, so I train in the gym instead and I also enjoy cooking.

7. Describe Stobart Air in three words?

Open, professional and friendly.

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

My advice would be to ask plenty of questions and give the job your best shot. Always aim to be friendly to those on your team, as well as all other colleagues.  This will make your time in Stobart Air more enjoyable and fulfilling.

9. What are you currently watching on Netflix?

I have just finished Mindhunter which was brilliant – it’s about two FBI agents who establish a behavioural science unit and interview multiple serial killers to further their understanding of the motives behind their murders. I am currently reading Louis Theroux’s new book ‘Gotta Get Theroux This’ which is great so far.

10. Finally, what is your hidden talent?

I can play the mandolin and tin whistle. I used to go to the annual Fleadh Cheoil each year growing up due to my eldest brother’s interest in Irish music. I figured it would be good to know something at least, so I learned how to play both instruments. These days, I tend to leave the music to my brother, but maybe someday I’ll pick it up again.

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.