Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA: Standardising emergency situations in the airline sector

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA: Standardising emergency situations in the airline sector

Published January 18, 2019

2 minute read

Susanna Halonen-Manner, Senior Vice President Emergency Response of Norwegian, says that the most important thing is the cooperation of airlines and the introduction of best practices in companies.

“This is one area where airlines do not compete, but we learn from each other. To a great extent, we standardize security methods together. We are a learning organization, we learn from each other’s best practices, but also about mistakes, “says Halonen-Manner.

Halonen-Manner started as Norway’s Senior Vice President at the end of last year. Her job is to standardize the management and communication processes in the company. She also has a dialogue with other airlines. It is not a new phenomenon, as already in 1944 the States decided on the so-called Chicago Agreement on harmonization of air traffic.

Last year, Halonen-Manner was elected to Washington’s Aviation Emergency Response as the only European airline representative. Previously, she served as chairman of the Star Alliance Emergency Response Group, which includes 28 airlines.

The strong safety culture of airlines means strengthening the “safety first” thinking of both flying personnel, ground personnel and technicians.

“We standardize management models, and when we build such models, we will rather build systemic capital, rather than individual performance. For example, anyone in the leadership role will lead in the same way, “Halonen-Manner says.

The more standardized the organization of exceptional situations, the less uncertain.

“Each party in the group knows what to expect. The process is so seamless that it does not have any surprises. Thinking can be used for the event itself. “

In standardizing management and communication, the introduction of new technology is important for airlines. Norwegian uses the EcoOnline Crisis Management application, which includes teamwork and standardized communication models.

When a person sees the message, she knows immediately what the question is. You can also open a conference call through the  EcoOnline application.

Norwegian, like other airlines, has regular exercises for exceptional situations. “We have small exercises monthly, and three times a year a bigger exercise involving about 700 people. Here we evaluate the results of the exercises and improve the organization all the time. “

The organization of emergency situations includes people-centred support personnel, communications personnel, unit management and a department that manages partnerships, such as contacts with insurance companies.

The number of passengers in air traffic has doubled to nearly five billion annually in ten years. In addition, they are projected to increase to more than seven billion annual passengers by the year 2035.

2017 was the safest year in commercial air traffic history. Last year, only ten death-fatal aviation accidents occurred, killing 44 people.

Also in her previous job at SAS Halonen-Manner led to exceptional circumstances. During her long career, she has also served as a leader in disaster situations, but she can not speak more about it because of privacy.

What is Susanna Halonen-Manner’s Guide to flying to the fearful one?

“It is worthwhile to seek information. There is a lot of literature nowadays. The other thing is that she tells her fear of the crew before he leaves, so she gets support. “

Source: Interview of Susanna Halonen-Manner, VP Emergency Response in Norwegian Airlines with the Finnish business newspaper Kauppalehti.



Author Harald Axelsen

Harald has over 20 years experience in sales, marketing and consultancy in emergency preparedness and crisis management. Background from companies such as Safetec, One Voice, UMS and Nordea.

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