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Shaune du Plessis

Maintenance Engineer

The “Performance Improvement” group looks at facilitating actions and solutions. We also work closely with the business on improving processes to allow a smooth flow of work with the emphasis on Service Quality

The goal is to lead by example and show the business how it can work like a well-oiled machine.

The reason I work in this area is because I am passionate about aviation and believe that strong leadership goes hand in hand with being a good Engineer.

Where did your journey start?

I started my aviation career as a mechanical apprentice in the South African Air Force in 1997. From day one, the Air Force taught me about positive leadership and behaviour and the positive impact it can have on others. I also gained my SACAA license at this time.

I moved to South African Airways in 2001 and under the best leadership I have experienced until present I was able to grow and learn about being a good engineer and also about taking accountability and ownership of the company.

I started with Air New Zealand in February 2008 as a Tradesman on Line Maintenance AKL. I had to convert my NAA license to a NZCAA license before getting my approvals recognised by Air New Zealand. I had these by August 2008 and was then a LAME (Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer) on day shift and nine months of permanent night shift. I was given a secondment as a Team Leader mid 2009 for a year. I led a team of tradesman and LAME’s with pride and passion. This was the pinnacle of my own self-fulfilment.

Where’s your journey taken you so far within Air New Zealand?

I have been fortunate enough to learn more about this business in a very short time than most long service employees. I do believe that this is through my own motivation and drive but also the fact that Air New Zealand has changed for the good under the current management of Rob. There is now a vast amount of opportunities within this unit.

I am a person who easily builds rapport with people and through common respect and a positive attitude have a good network across not only TECH OPS but other parts of the business.

Where do you hope your journey will take you?

I have always had a vision of where I want to be at what stage of my career and life. This was something instilled by my parents and a philosophy I raise my own children by. I always believe that you aim for the stars; if in the end you don’t reach them at least you will be pretty close.

I would hope that this journey takes me as far as possible but does not deny me the pit stops along the way which keep me motivated and self fulfilled. A missed opportunity can never be recollected.

I see my current role as a stepping stone back into a front line position where my passion and drive can spill over to those I lead; just as my Team leader position did on Line Maintenance.

What Air New Zealand value do you feel you best represent and why?

“BE YOURSELF” I stand by my values and principles. I fully stand by the direction of the Executive Management of this company.

What’s the best story you’ve been able to tell after a day at work?

In my previous position as a LAME I found operations to be a different story every day.

No day is the same and the challenges are always different. If it is not bad weather or just an aircraft challenge, our goal is to get the aircraft in the air safely and compliant.

There is nothing better than making sure that an aircraft departs and knowing that you helped keep hundreds of people’s hopes and dreams alive. If you think about why people fly; it is to see a loved one, enjoy a vacation with friends or family or keep in business by attending an important meeting. There is always a purpose to those onboard! The cancellation of a flight impacts everyone in so many different ways imaginable.

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