60 seconds of summer with Dominic Kennedy

Virgin Atlantic Cargo managing director, Dominic Kennedy

Dominic became managing director of Virgin Atlantic Cargo in August 2017, having been a key member of the airline’s cargo leadership team for nine years. Previously he had responsibility for the commercial planning of Virgin Atlantic’s cargo division. Dominic joined Virgin Atlantic in March 2005.

ACW: You have been involved with cargo at Virgin Atlantic for a decade. Is there anything left for you to learn?

Kennedy: I am learning a lot from working with our JV partner Delta and from the great relationship I have with Shawn Cole, VP of Delta Cargo.

ACW: Any surprises since you have become managing director?

Kennedy: One of the best surprises so far has been to really appreciate how passionate the team is about delivering great service to our customers. I’m not saying we’re perfect all the time but I know we have people across the business who take it personally when we suffer a dip in service and who will take responsibility to get back on track for our customers as quickly as possible.

ACW: In terms of Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s business, what are the main opportunities you see over the next five years?

Kennedy: 2017 was a great year of growth for our cargo business and we made another valuable contribution to the airline. There will also be great opportunities from leveraging our JV partnership with Delta Cargo, which we’re very excited about and from growing our established relationship further with Virgin Australia.

ACW: Will Brexit produce any problems for Virgin Atlantic Cargo once the UK has left the EU? Are you making contingency plans?

Kennedy: Like everyone, we’re waiting to see the final terms of the deal. Virgin Atlantic is working closely with the Government to achieve the best possible outcome for the UK, the aviation industry and our customers. We’re confident that a new bilateral deal between the UK and USA to replace existing arrangements will be agreed in good time before the UK’s exit from the EU. From a cargo perspective, the free movement of goods to and from the UK and EU is clearly essential to support imports and exports. We need to see an agreement that ensures goods continue to flow seamlessly across borders as they do today.

ACW: What’s the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t learn from your CV alone?

Kennedy: Good question. My wife and I organised a surprise wedding. I proposed on Christmas Day and it’s my wife’s birthday in January. We brought our families and friends together in Devon for what they thought was her belated birthday party in early February, before finding out it was actually our wedding day.

ACW: We finish the interview and you step outside the office and find a lottery ticket that ends up winning £10 million. What would you do?

Kennedy: I genuinely love my job and I’m very motivated to continue. So, I’d invest it for my children… and I’d probably also treat myself to a new Pinarello road bike.

ACW: Rugby or football?

Kennedy: Football. I support Burnley FC, my hometown club – and we’ve had a great season!

ACW: What’s the last thing you watched on TV and why did you choose to watch it?

Kennedy: Paw Patrol with my children before leaving for work this morning. Unsurprisingly I had little choice in the matter.

ACW: What did you want to be when you grew up?

Kennedy: A pilot. One of my relatives was a pilot with Cathay and from an early age, I was fascinated by air travel and seeing the world. So what better way to do this than be a pilot, even though I didn’t actually fly on a plane until I was 15 years old.

ACW: What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?

Kennedy: My best purchase was my Brompton bike, which I bought about nine years ago. If I’m in the office, I ride to work every day. It’s a six-mile journey and I’ve been doing it since I joined Virgin 13 years ago. The worst? Shares in Kodak. A joke, obviously.