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February 2018
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Saskia de Jong is based at Avinode’s office in Miami 

A day in the life: Avinode aims to blend traditional communication with cutting-edge tech

“Working for Avinode, I find myself at the forefront of the latest technologies and trends in the business aviation charter industry,” says Saskia de Jong, director of sales for Avinode Americas. “And of course, working from sunny Miami,” she adds.

Avinode's online platform was launched in 2002 and is used today by over 7,000 air charter professionals who make an average of 500,000 flight requests each month. “As a result, every day is different and brings a new challenge,” says de Jong. “Building and maintaining relationships between charter brokers and operators, a vital part of what Avinode does, means making sure that both my sales team and I understand the ins and outs and varying needs of both sides of the platform.”

De Jong took on her new role in November 2017 and is responsible for managing a sales team made up of five regional reps. Aside from her routine morning visits to the 'amazing coffee machine' – the Swedes are notorious coffee lovers apparently – her day is a mix of one-on-ones with her team, product develop-ment meetings and speaking to clients. “We talk to brokers on the ground on a daily basis, ensuring that they are using the Avinode system to its full potential and introducing them to any system updates or products that would help improve their workflow.”

User feedback is vital to how Avinode approaches the future. “By understanding the pain-points of both the managers and day-to-day users, we are able to steer system updates and new product developments in the right direction. An important part of my job is getting out onto the road and meeting with the managers and senior executives at broker companies around the country. Maintaining these key relationships means that we have better insight into the needs and future goals of their businesses and can take feedback and ideas back to Avinode for future product development. This is the part of my job that is most rewarding; unearthing the needs of the industry, watching solutions unfold and having a front row seat in seeing where we are headed next.”

De Jong is also responsible for leading the sales team at industry trade shows throughout the year, including NBAA-BACE, NBAA regional forums, NBAA Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference, EBACE and Corporate Jet Investor, to name a few. “It's an exciting time to be working in business aviation globally, but particularly in the US, where the business aviation charter market is growing impressively and change is the only constant.”


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