Fjording Ahead

Read on for a profile of Bengt Georgsen, General Manager of the Stavanger office for Wings Travel Management and based in Norway.

How long have you been working for Wings and what made you join the company?
I have been working at Wings since November 2017. When I saw the ad for the Wings job in August 2017 I was attracted to the breadth of the responsibilities, to work in a smaller environment yet still be a part of a big global family.

What is your experience in the business travel world, and particularly in the oil and gas sector?
I have been working since 1997 in business travel and started out as a travel consultant. This was a good foundation for my career during which time I have enjoyed many different roles, including Key Account Manager, Department Manager, Marketing Manager and General Manager. My first foray into the Oil & Gas sector was in 1997 and I’ve been responsible for large accounts such as is Bilfinger Norge, Oceaneering, IKM Gruppen and Teekay.

Describe your current responsibilities at Wings Travel Management
As General Manager my role is to drive the business forward. Last year we had a great year, winning significant new business. We have also moved to new offices and implemented a new self booking tool, Cytric. Part of my role is to bring new clients onboard, to make sure we retain existing clients and operate with the right staff. To my mind, the right staff are the key to success and my policy is to have happy staff, then automatically the clients will be well looked after and they become our best advertisement for new business.

What are the particular market characteristics of the oil and gas sector – as opposed to any other market sector – and how do they impact in the Norwegian market?

Some of the O & G market is based on low fares but the volume is high so for these clients we move their traffic to online booking to create some of our cost efficiencies. Most of our corporate clients have focussed on flexibility because of the nature of the industry – with last-minute changes and enormous pressure on crew getting to and from their destination on time – so they are willing to pay for that flexible product. We have a good mix of clients in our Norway office, spanning O&G, commercial, group and meeting clients, so we are not over dependent on any one sector.

Outline your future plans for Wings in Norway?
As always, it’s around growing the business, growing the team, which includes Diana Pepe,
Our new sales manager for the region, and developing closer links between Stavanger and
Aberdeen. It’s an exciting time for Wings Norway.

Is the oil and gas sector back on track and showing signs of growth now?
I’m pleased to say that the O&G market is back on track and I predict that 2019 and 2020 will be great for the oil and gas industry.

What part of your role gives you the most job satisfaction?
My greatest job satisfaction comes from managing happy and satisfied staff; that is always my goal.

Do you manage to switch off when you leave the office behind? Do you have any interesting hobbies/ pastimes?
I am married and have two very active children so much of my spare time is spent with the family. Having said that, I always spend a few hours on Sundays to prepare for the week ahead at work.

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