Here I'm again back from Paris! Need to catch up with my blog. Well.. I'm trying a some thing new tonight - to see how etco can help me to do my blog entries. Let's see how it goes in this one as I'm using etco to post this blog. More to come, hopefully, about my trip to Paris, if this works out my way ! Hey… I checked it out and seems pretty good and the post is published in my site in an eye blink!
I'll be on the go again starting tomorrow… meaning, I'll be off to Paris for three days business trip. Well.. I guess, probably not the best time to travel to Europe with freezing cold and rather wet weather; however, you know how our business and industry like ? In getting prepared for the travel tomorrow,I'm still kind of wondering whether I should carry my new laptop ! As much as I would like to take it along with me, without really knowing whether I would be able to connect the machine to network with out any glitches (as I usually have experienced in the past during many of my travels) I feel, I would rather not take it. So, I've prepared my new loose leaf binder with all documents necessary in plastic clear folders and I have to say, it really looks professional - I'm happy ! I was originally scheduled to fly tomorrow morning, first to Frankfurt and then after a brief flight kitchen visit in Frankfurt, onward to Paris. However, last minute I had to cancel my brief visit to Frankfurt and schedule my flight to Paris direct tomorrow afternoon as I'll have to meet my colleagues from IT tomorrow morning to catch up with our IT Projects Weekly Progress meeting we missed last Thursday. Oh, well… never mind !
If I remember right, I'm going to Paris after about year and half. I was there last in July 2005, when I transitted to Toulous to attend Airbus A380 UD Catering Working Group Meeting. Talking about Paris in the industry front, we have had quite a number issues concerning industrial action over the years and many times we had to double load catering on flights to avoid any inconvenience to our customers.
After some long and sleepless nights over the weekend, I finally managed to get my homepage hosted and published in my own domain registered with GoDaddy. Ofcourse, as always, my favourite EmiratesMac community was great help and support to me, when I kind of got stuck in the process of up loading files on to the web host. Some times, I wonder, what would I do without help and advise from lovely bunch of people at EmiratesMac. Well.. Many Thanks guys!
Before it slips out of my mind, I thought I must write some thing about an extra ordinary colleague of mine. He has been working in our company since its inception in 1985. In fact, it was quite recently during a business trip to Tunis that I found out he was a the Flight Purser of one of the two very first flights of the airline on October the 21st, 1985. He has served on the flight from Dubai to Karachi on that day. Telling the story of that 1st flight, he said "The give-aways on that flight were 24 carrot gold plated key rings and when I walked in the aircraft cabin to distribute give-aways, none of the passengers wanted them and they were refusing…." They didn't want to accept these 24 carrot gold plated key rings as they were so afraid of their local airport customs that they would impound them on arrival…."
He also shared with me about a dinner that him and another few first employees were invited by the Chief Executive of the company. In that dinner, the Chief Executive of the company, then has said about how the company's route network would look like in the future, talking about all sorts of destinations like Colombo, Manila, Singapore, Hongkong, London, Paris, North America…. Looking at where we are now, as one of the world's fastest growing airline, it is amazing, the vision of our Chief Executive during those early days, has now become a reality ! Most certainly, untiring efforts of all those who were part of those early days in setting up the vision and making things happen had contributed to the growth and success to the organization. In that, my colleague Ibrahim Issa has always been one of them.
I have to say, it has been a privilege to being able to have him as a wonderful colleague and a friend! As I go along which would think a long one in writing and posting about my life and career, I hope to be able to write more stories from Ibrahim about the airline's early days.
We were invited to Switzerland in January this year by our friend Hermann, to attend his wife Oki's swiss party. Monica, Stephanie and I traveled to Zürich, on Emirates EK087 on January 5th, 2007. Although we were holding 'SRC Firm' tickets, as they were actually not confirmed tickets, we were checked-in at only 45 minutes to the departure. The flight to Zürich was really an uneventful one which hasn't got much to write about! Well.. except of course, that Stephanie enjoyed her 'Chili Chicken' hot en tree during the meal service. We arrived in Zürich about 20 minutes behind the schedule and managed to clear immigration, baggage claim and customs very quite smoothly, without any hassle at all! Hermann was at the airport to receive us and drove us to Markus and Kaethy Kaegi's home at Winterthur. We met Oki there, who had no idea of that we were invited for her party - well, it was a surprise plan by Hermann. So she was really surprised to see us there! We were put up in Stephanie's - Markus & Kathy's daughter's room on the top floor of the some 100+ years old beautiful swiss home. Stephanie - Markus & Kaethy's daughter at the time was away from home traveling in India, so the whole room was for our selves for 3 nights!
We had Oki's swiss party on January the 6th at a hut on swiss mountains. Before we went to the hut around 7.30PM, all the guests were met at Markus & Kathy's home for a few glasses of good wine. Then we drove in convoy to the mountain and then we had 10 minutes walk to the hut on the top of the mountain. The hut was decorated so beautifully with swiss flags and tables were layed up with nice red table linen, napkins and cutlery. We had about some twenty guests present at the party. Wines were served followed by typical swiss supper - soup, ham and potatoes cooked by Hermann personally! Well.. I have to say, it was delicious! There was good swiss instrumental music and good dancing all night till about 2am the next day!
On the next day, Hermann drove us for a tour in the Zürich city. We drove through beautiful swiss country side and in the city, we took a walk around old swiss town, surrounded with nice old buildings. When we returned home, we had a couple of glasses of nice wine from Markus's cellar, followed up with a nice meal. As it was our last night in Zürich, after the dinner we had to pack our luggage in preparation of our travel next day back to Dubai.
There's always a first time… It was the 1st time I did gokarting ever! On the Jan 20th,2007 evening, I went for gokarting with our senior management colleagues from EKFC. We also had Hermann and Stefan joining from my team. Meeting at Dubai Autodrome - Kartdrome @ 1700hrs, we had to first signed in and got changed to our racing gear - overalls, helmets, and hand gloves. We then had about 10 minutes briefing on basic rules and stuff from one of the Autodrome employees. After that we were allocated our Karts and I got No 37 - Sodikart with 4 Stroke Engine, 390cc/cm3, 13.5bhp, speed 90-100Kms per hour. We began with a qualifying session - 5 Flying laps, approximately 10 minutes. Guess what ? Towards the end of my fifth lap, my kart stopped in the middle of the racing track and after several attempts, the marshaller could not get it re-started and had to put a side on to the curb and I was asked to walk back to the pit. I was then given a new kart no 37 for the Heat Race. We had all together 14 participants. Although my kart turned 3 times on the racing track, been the 1st time, I was not bad. I drove fast as much as I could; however, I found it was hard to control the speed and car at bends/curves. I remembered seen a poster which outlined about rules on the track saying. not to apply both brakes and accelerator together. So I was kind of a bit confused, when ever I reached bends on the racing track in trying to control the speed. I guess, that was where I went wrong and in fact, it would have been the case, that my car turned a couple of times. Also, at one time my helmet wiper was fully faded with what I think humidity and it was making hard for me to see the race track in front of me clearly. In the end, however, I completed total of 9 laps, with the best completion time with 1:47:181 in the readings and was placed @ 12th - not that bad for a 1st timer, I think! We had Oki, Hermann's wife taking photos of the event and I'll post them here, when ever they are finally get to me!
Welcome to Wordpress.com. This is my first post here. I got to know about Wordpress from EmiratesMac - EmiratesMac User Group in the UAE. Any one and every one, who has a passion for Apple computers and everything else Apple must visit EmiratesMac site and consider membership. I have to say, it is a brilliant place filled with wonderful user community who help each other in anything and everything to do on Apple products.
I visited SAS Service Partner - A Scandinavian Airline owned Flight Catering Company in London Heathrow, Gatwick and Frankfurt from 07th to 12th September 1992. The visit was planned in less than two weeks as there were some issues that needed immediate flight kitchen audit and actions.
I travelled to Heathrow on Emirates A300-600 aircraft on the 07th September and stayed over-night at Forte Crest Hotel near the Airport. The next day, I visited SAS Flight Kitchen in Hatton Cross. Our Account Manager was a young lady by the name of Sharon Weinman and she took me around the Flight Kitchen. After that we sat down and discussed Cabin Crew Voyage Report comments we had received and agreed on corrective actions pertaining to catering. I also did a quick stock count of randomly selected items and not too sure the findings were very impressive.
I’m with Sharon Weinman
My next stop was in Gatwick and I was met by Tony Wells, the Account Manager at SAS Service Partners. Tony and I knew each other only by telexes and it gave me an opportunity to put a face to the name! I also met Collin Munn, whom I guess Tony’s boss in Sales & Marketing Department at SAS. I followed the same work routine similar to SAS Kitchen in Heathrow, discussing Cabin Crew Voyage Reports and also random stock count.
Tony Wells and myself
My stay in Gatwick was at Forte Crest at the Airport located very close to the North Terminal. After long days work and checking in to the hotel, I spent the evening with my good friend Krishan Perera. Krishan was the Station Officer for Air Lanka in London-Heathrow; but he lived in Crawely with his family.
My other friend Sumuk Warnasuriya was also working with Krishan at Air Lanka station office as a Flight Operations Dispatcher on a posting.
Krishan in Action in my Room.
Sumuk & Krishan
Boys are Boys - At Krishan’s Home
I think the guy in sarong was Krishan’s wife’s brother.
I was meeting both Krishan and Sumuk, after a long time, since when I was leaving Air Lanka in 1991, both Krishan and Sumuk had already moved to the UK. So we had lots to catch up over a few drinks at Krishan’s place.
This is a test to see whether posts could be back dated to 19th of January 1991. This was the day I started my career in the world of Airline industry, as a 27 years old young lad. My dad accompanied me in the public transport to Air Lanka offices in Katunayake. After reporting at the Administration office, I was asked to go to another office located in the aircraft hangar. There was a person in a white shirt &amp; a blue trouser, what looked like an uniform as he also wore blue/gold colored Epaulettes with four stripes. Looking at the number of stripes he had, he definitely appeared a guy in high ranks. He shook his hand to introduced him self saying," Hello, I'm Nada'. After a brief chat, he asked me to go the room next door.
That room was fixed with steel shelving and there were all sorts of stuff stored on thos shelves. Shelves were also labeled with various names like, Hollowware,Serving Gear,Crockery,Glass etc. Some of those names, I had never even heard of!