More than 25 years ago, Hoang Thanh Quy, CEO of Hai Au Aviation, chose the aviation industry simply to get a job. However, years of persistence have gradually turned the reluctant career into his passion. “I’ll probably work in the aviation industry until my retirement, no need to try another field.”
If we are passionate about something, we will be extremely patient with it. On the contrary, it’s still true that when we keep doing something, it means we already have a certain liking. For Thanh Quy, the aviation industry wasn’t his dream at first, but the more he worked for it, the more he liked it. There, he can learn everyday, travel and connect with colleagues from all over the world, as well as earn a living. After all, profession also contributes to forming a person’s image.
Let’s learn more about the journey of the current CEO of Hai Au Aviation, the first and only company operating seaplanes in Vietnam so far!
I joined the aviation industry accidentally. About 26 years ago, I graduated with an engineering diploma in Transportation. At that time, Vietnam just started a market-based economy, so finding jobs was much more difficult than now. Then, Vietnam’s flag carrier, Vietnam Airlines, recruited ground crew, so I applied and got the job. Working for Vietnam Airlines was the wish of many, especially young people at that time.
Personally, I think new graduates can have a good start and last long in their career if they work with good people, not just with a high income. I am fortunate to have such a start when working with talented and dynamic colleagues and leaders of Vietnam Airlines. This is one of the main reasons I stayed there for a long time. However, they give me 40% of the motivation, the rest still depends on myself.
In this career journey, I have learned a lot, and the very big lesson in the aviation industry is discipline and carefulness in each task. Airlines can compete about fare, service quality and more, but when it comes to safety, there is no compromise. To build safety standards, people make procedures, regulations, training and monitoring systems, if you’re neglected in enforcement, problems will come immediately. In my opinion, young people today are very smart, they learn quickly, but quite lack patience and care in their work.
During 22 years at Vietnam Airlines, I mainly worked in the commercial sector. This is one of the four main fields of an airline including commercial, flight operations, engineering and services. Currently, as the CEO of Hai Au Aviation, a small airline, I take charge of all these areas.
After 15 years of working in different positions is the time I realized that my expertise in commercial aviation has been into a new stage. From the outside, it’s difficult for anyone to notice this change but I could be aware of it myself. Feels like suddenly we open a door and see everything clearly in our field. I suppose it’s a very important milestone but no one but I can recognize it. This is also the most meaningful milestone for me when I am mature enough in my career, have a basis to take on new tasks and control my work.
Another milestone for me that everyone can see is in 2020, when the aviation industry was heavily hit by the Covid-19 epidemic, by a lot of effort, I together with the Hai Au Aviation team established a new business segment. It means a lot to me because it is the first time I have made a strategic turning point for an airline (though it is small) in the role of CEO.
I once wanted to stop for many reasons after around 10 years in the industry. But fate didn’t end so I stayed. As mentioned, after working for a long time, I realized that I have had a thorough knowledge of commercial aviation, and want to stick to it more. Compared to other fields in the transportation industry in Vietnam, I think that aviation gives me much knowledge, maybe because it integrated early with international standards, and people have to keep learning about it. Having a chance to continuously learn is also an important reason for me to stick with the profession for long.
During 26 years, I spent about 1 year working in hospitality, and almost all of the time I have been in the aviation industry. In 2019, I participated in the Kite Air project of Thien Minh Group, but due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the project had to be temporarily canceled. I continued to stay in charge of the group’s Hai Au Aviation.
During the 2 years of the pandemic, many employees in the aviation industry had to quit, but I did not since I was still leading the company. In the hardest time, our company saw a new business opportunity. Before, I thought a lot about getting promoted, earning money and changing. However, I am now attracted to the profession. After all, I think that in terms of personal finance, knowledge and career passion, my career still gives me all. That’s why I will probably work in the aviation industry until I retire, no need to change anymore.
I don’t have to exchange anything but mostly I earn things. I have an income to live on, knowledge to constantly improve myself, excellent leaders and colleagues to follow,… I feel like there would be no better opportunities for me outside. Although I am smart, I always observe and learn from people working in the same field around the world. Aviation is quite a developed industry in Vietnam, but still smaller compared to the world. I always hope to create something new, but both myself in particular and Vietnam’s aviation industry in general have not been able to do it yet. I think this is the biggest challenge.
Knowledge is the most valuable thing I get when working in the aviation industry. For me, in terms of building a knowledge base, this industry helps us form discipline, and grasp cutting-edge technology and modern production processes. Nevertheless, not everyone working here will get much knowledge, it is important whether we try to study hard or not.
Patience with the profession and passion for the industry. In my point of view, you need persistence to handle a job. Due to the epidemic, many people had to change their jobs. But those moving from the aviation industry to another one will easily see a lack of formality, standards, speed as well as expertise. I want to remind those who used to work in the aviation industry that if you’re still interested in the industry, just come back.