Airline Q&A — Sun Country

Joe Beckendorf – Senior Manager, Network Planning & Aircraft Scheduling – Sun Country

You are in for a treat — a special Q&A with Joe Beckendorf, the Senior Manager of Network Planning and Aircraft Scheduling for Sun Country. Find out what drives his passion for aviation and his favorite non-work hobbies (and much more!).

Have you always had a passion for aviation?
My interest in aviation began when I was very young and my parents took me on a plane to Chicago.  We had a few family friends who were pilots, too, and they were great resources and inspiration for me as I worked toward obtaining my pilot’s license.  Ultimately, I decided I liked the business side of the aviation industry and have now worked in many aspects of our operations at Sun Country: scheduling, pricing and revenue, and for the past year, network planning.

What is the best and worst advice you have ever received?
Best advice:  Don’t underestimate yourself.

Worst advice: Follow your dreams.  I think you should follow your interests and see where they lead, and always be open to new opportunities and possibilities even if they aren’t exactly what you’ve pictured yourself doing.

What is a memorable or most rewarding project you have worked on at Sun Country?
I recently helped produce a 5-year growth plan for Sun Country’s scheduled service.  While it was challenging and at times rather stressful, I became much more familiar with the company’s strategic direction and feel good about what we were ultimately able to produce and where the company is headed.

What does your (work) day-to-day look like?
Every day is different, which is one of the things I like about my job.  Most days, though, you can find me attending a few meetings, working on level of ops stats, forecasting new markets, analyzing FPS data and advance booking reports on our current markets, producing future frequency plans, working with Schedule Planning to ensure the most marketable schedule possible, and then communicating with all other departments as to what our future plans look like to make sure we as a company will be able and ready to execute.

What pieces of information do you value the most from airports?
Leakage studies, true visitation numbers, and examples of actual stimulation numbers in similar markets.  Incentive and airport costs are also helpful.  Really, anything that would either take us a fair amount of time to produce on our own or that we simply can’t get out of Diio.

Favorite thing to do outside of work:
Spending time with my three young kids.  If there’s time beyond that, there are always random DIY projects around the house to keep me occupied.

Working with APAC

“When I moved into the Network Planning realm just over a year ago, I had a lot to learn and was rather overwhelmed.  Attending APAC’s roundtable in Huntsville last fall changed that for me.  Not just because of the knowledge they provided, but because of how welcoming, supportive, and compassionate the entire team is.  They are all extremely knowledgeable in all aspects of the aviation world.  But most of all, they’re just good people and I really enjoy working with them!”

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