30 Oct

What do you know about Small Planet Airlines?

Recently BAA Training has launched a cadet programme with Small Planet Airlines. It is always a huge pleasure to introduce a new partner, new potential and a new opportunity for those literally reaching for the sky.

Therefore, future pilots, if you are eager to know the airline better, allow us to get you acquainted with its culture, activity and future plans.

An interesting slice of history

Small Planet Airlines started its operations in 2009. It is a rapidly growing independent leisure airline company operating across several continents: Europe, Asia and Africa.

The company that has begun its activity with only 5 destinations on its list, Rhodes, Heraklion, Varna, Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, is currently developing at a skyrocketing pace.

Today Small Planet Airlines holds Air Operator Certificates (AOC) in such countries as Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Cambodia, as well as carries passengers to over 130 different destinations and is ready to expand its business further.

Apart from regular charter programmes, the carrier is also performing special flights for government delegations, sport teams, the military and private entities.

It is interesting to note that every winter season Small Planet Airlines transfers a part of its fleet to Asia – this unique strategy helps the company to cope with negative effects of seasonality in Europe, where the passenger flow drops significantly due to unfavourable weather conditions. In winter 2017-2018, Small Planet Airlines plans to relocate 5 aircraft to Cambodia and continue its operations in India.

Briefly about the fleet

In less than a decade the airline, which initially offered services on only 3 old Boeing aircraft, has considerably grown its fleet.

At present, Small Planet Airlines fleet is comprised of 22 aircraft: 18 Airbus A320 and 4 Airbus A321. The company became an Airbus-only carrier in 2016 and chose the best-selling single-aisle aircraft of the Airbus family – A320 for its services.

Also, in 2016 the company successfully retrofitted all its Airbus aircraft, investing over 6 million EUR into this.

According to Small Planet Airlines, Poland remains its biggest business market. This year, 10 aircraft in total are based in Polish airports, 5 aircraft operate from Germany, 3 from Vilnius. London Gatwick remains as the base in the UK with 2 aircraft assigned, and another 2 operate from France.

 „We devoted the year 2017 to stabilizing our operations and optimizing processes, and next year we plan to move full speed ahead. Our fleet in Europe should grow by 5 additional aircraft”, says Small Planet Airlines CEO Kristijonas Kaikaris.

Cadet Pilot Programme to help achieve the set goals

As a comparatively young airline, Small Planet Airlines is among the fastest growing independent leisure airlines in Europe.

Therefore, to meet the projected pilot shortage and fulfil all the plans set for the future Small Planet Airlines has taken up a cadet programme in partnership with BAA Training which is expected to supplement the company’s cockpits of Airbus aircraft with 450 new pilots within 8 years.

“We have recently seen that a global shortage of pilots affects even the largest players on the market. Our planned growth increasingly depends on our ability to hire the necessary number of crews. We are combating this challenge by starting the recruitment process earlier than before. Furthermore, we have created an inside talent-programme and increased cooperation with BAA Training, guaranteeing jobs for future pilots at Small Planet Airlines”, says Small Planet Airlines CEO Kristijonas Kaikaris.

The company is well-known for its strong values and culture. This is the airline that challenges airline business conventions in a big way.

 „Our colourful brand represents our nature and the way we work. Small Planet Airlines aims to be a different leisure airline driven by a simple and powerful question that is rarely asked in the boardrooms of the airlines, a “Why not?” question.  “Why?” is not a proper question. “Why not?” is a great question. A question that opens airline business for a change and a bit of fun. After all, this world has enough of boring airlines already. Now we are looking for a team member eager to ask this question!”, says Small Planet Airlines Head of Crew Resource Division Vaiva Maslauskaitė.

She adds: “Flight safety is a priority for the airline, so we are looking for people who are first of all skilled in their profession. We need to trust our employees, therefore only those applicants who are motivated to work and learn, are attentive to detail and able to cope with various situations properly are invited to the second stage of the assessment”.

Small Planet Airlines in numbers

The leisure carrier headquartered in Lithuania:

  • has a fleet of 13,8 years old as an average age;
  • carried 1.98 million passengers in 2016 and expects to carry 2,7 million in total by the end of 2017;
  • had only 1.59% of flights delayed by 3 hours or more in the H1 2017;
  • upgrade 11-14% of First Officers to Captains every year.