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Airport Operations Manager

  • Airport Operations
  • Fuzhou, Mainland China
  • Cathay Dragon

Cathay Dragon, an affiliate member of oneworld, is a Hong Kong-based international airline, and a member of the Cathay Pacific Group. Established in 1985, the airline now operates a fleet of 19 A330-300s, eight A321s and 15 A320s providing quality passenger and cargo services. The airline's network covers 53 destinations across the Asia-Pacific region, including 23 in Mainland China.

Cathay Dragon operates about 400 flights a week to the Mainland, offering quality services to passengers around the region. The airline’s expertise has been recognised in its winning the Best Airline – China category for six consecutive years in the respected Skytrax passenger survey. It has also been voted "Best Regional Airline Asia" in the survey in 2011, 2013 and 2015, as well as “World’s Best Regional Airline” in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015. 

Cathay Dragon aims to ensure that its passengers’ in-flight experience is as enjoyable and as comfortable as possible. The influence of traditional Asian hospitality is felt on each Cathay Dragon flight through the personal service and attention to detail provided by dedicated and professional cabin staff. The airline is committed to continuous improvements in service to provide its passengers with an even more pleasurable and comfortable flying experience.


  1. All China based positions are subject to local terms and conditions.
  2. Applicants must have the right to live and work in Mainland China. We are unable to assist applicants with visa or work permit applications.
  3. Once employment is confirmed, the employment contract and personnel file will be arranged through local FESCO.


To lead and manage the overall airport operations to run smoothly and efficiently during all operational shifts whilst complying with the established safety, security and quality standards.

To deliver the best possible operation and airport service experience ensuring our customers always feel special and valued at all times, regardless of circumstance.

To inspire our people and suppliers to embrace change and excel in everything they do including to take every opportunity to benefit from technological advancement and representing the Company’s best interests within the local community.

Key responsibilities and tasks:

Safety First, Quality Always

  • Rigorously execute corporate safety, security and quality policies to ensure the station, employees and suppliers are fully compliant with all regulatory requirements and quality standards
  • Achieve absolute operational integrity, with zero safety defects and security infringements
  • Advocate a “Just Culture” and develop proactive partnerships with stakeholders in root cause investigations and analysis
  • Partner with local airport management to identify and mitigate personal, safety and security risks in the workplace for employees (suppliers included) by promoting and developing a culture of zero tolerance on safety and security incidents
  • Act as the Airline’s Operational Duty Holder (ODH) of the airport adhering to the risk escalation process to the Functional Duty Holder (GM ASD)

Operational Excellence

  • Lead the local team to achieve error free operational excellence with particular emphasis on safety management, on time performance, baggage handling and future airport experience
  • Proactively explore ways to excel above published standards, airport policies and procedures
  • Deploy resources productively to maximise efficiency
  • Celebrate and promote ‘Best Practise’
  • Oversee and play an integral role to ensure airport operational continuity
  • Commitment to owning the full spectrum of airport operational issues and resolving them in a pragmatic, commercial and legally compliant manner
  • Undertake any other reasonable task as required

Outstanding Product and Services

  • Inspire the local team to live the ‘Service Straight From The Heart’ principles as an enabler to create genuine connection and memorable experiences for our customers across all points of contact
  • Actively seek opportunities to apply new technologies in the customer experience flow
  • Drive airport lounge experience to the highest level with a customer centric approach
  • Confer recognition on, and earn the loyalty and emotional attachment of, our highest-value customers (front-end and elite Marco Polo members)  

Crisis Management Capability and Preparedness

  • Support the Regional Business Resilience Coordinator to develop organisational, supplier and individual capabilities for effectively handling Emergency and Accident (E&A), Irregular Operations (IROPS), and other foreseeable airport contingencies
  • Plan for and manage exercises, reviews, and update all contingency plans and manual backup procedures at least once per annum
  • Implement IROPS plan during significant disruptions and lead the team to mitigate further disruption to the operational plan
  • Ensure our customers are cared for, informed and given choice where possible through the use of disruption management tools

People Development and Performance Management

  • Lead, support and encourage own team to achieve success
  • Build a strong and motivated team, ensure the right organisational structure and the right people are in place to foster positive team spirit and facilitate teamwork
  • Actively participate in recruitment and selection activities for the airport team
  • Supervise and mentor direct reports, encouraging effective collaboration
  • Develop employees with high potential and identify learning opportunities to ensure appropriate training and development programmes are in place to suit both self-handled and 3rd party ports as appropriate
  • Maintain active and ongoing dialogue in relation to employee goals and performance
  • Actively engage with employees to enhance communication and their understanding of department goals
  • Demonstrate leadership and lead by example in accordance with Cathay Pacific’s core values
  • Enhance the employee experience in line with the role level and the brand promise

Supplier Management

  • Actively manage supplier performance levels as per contract and service level agreements
  • Ensure sub-contracting as per contract and engage the relevant parties when information and changes occur
  • Set clear direction and expectations to suppliers as per corporate requirements
  • Conduct regular (at least monthly) performance review meetings with the suppliers
  • Establish action plans and ensure the plan is being delivered in an efficient manner and keep track of all documentation

Cost Efficiency

  • Plan and manage station budget and airport-related costs with all key stakeholders
  • Seek opportunities to drive down costs by making them controllable
  • Seek revenue opportunities by maximising the utilisation of properties e.g. Lounge
  • Manage budgets and costs effectively without compromising legislation, levels of service or operational performance

Represent Cathay’s interests in the airport community

  • Actively engage and manage external airport relationships in the best interests of the Company – authorities, suppliers and service providers, oneworld partners, and other airlines
  • Ensure competition compliance involvement in airport-related industry affairs
  • Act as the representative in AOC or BAR to protect the interests of the airline

Proactive Partnerships with Regional and Head Office

  • Sustain effective communication with Head / Regional Office to establish mutual understanding
  • Partner with Head / Regional Office departments on improvement initiatives and projects
  • Champion Head / Regional Office initiatives
  • Develop and implement local strategy in conjunction with Head / Regional Office directives and frameworks


  • Emergency and Accident and Crisis Response responsibilities as required

Qualifications / Experience:

Academic qualifications

  • A diploma qualification in a related discipline is a minimum educational standard
  • Bachelors and/or Master’s degree in operations management, business administration, airport planning and management or airport operations is desirable

Knowledge, skills, training and experience

  • Excellent command of written and spoken English is mandatory with the local language being an advantage
  • Three years’ airport operational / customer handling experience
  • At least two years’ recent experience in a supervisory / management capacity
  • Up to date knowledge of all regulatory and local legal requirements relating to airport operations and passenger processing
  • Command of the different management processes and their importance as they vary from normal operations to disruption or emergency situations
  • Superior independent working capabilities coupled with good decision-making skills
  • Self-motivated and committed leader who enjoys team work
  • Strong customer service mentality with superior interpersonal skills
  • Effective use of negotiation skills
  • Good analytical/numerical skills and experience of planning, reviewing and managing budgets and costs
  • Ability to interpret and implement global policy to ensure local compliance
  • Ability to think logically and commercially in order to present and justify ideas/findings to a wide variety of audiences that are often culturally diverse
  • High personal presentation as the job-holder is expected to represent the Company at external/internal meetings
  • Proven track record of supplier management in-line with Company policy to involve contract renewal, negotiation, agreeing terms of business, and senior management endorsement
  • Strong computer literacy including Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Leads, adapts to and embraces constant change


  • Analysis and Problem Solving
  • Customer Focus
  • Teamwork and Building Partnerships
  • Coping with Pressure
  • Leading and Engaging Teams
  • Developing and Recognising Others

Cathay Dragon is an Equal Opportunities Employer. Personal data provided by job applicants will be used strictly in accordance with our personal data policy and for recruitment purposes only. Candidates not notified within eight weeks may consider their application unsuccessful. All related information will be kept in our file for up to 24 months. A copy of our Personal Information Collection Statement will be provided upon request by contacting our Data Protection Officer.

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