Glyn Hughes joined IATA in 1991 after an airline career at British Caledonian and Air Europe, becoming global head of cargo four years ago succeeding Des Vertannes. His priority areas have included safety, security, quality, special cargo, operations, modernisation and industry sustainability. And lighting the barbecue.
ACW: You joined IATA in 1991. What were you doing before then?
Hughes: I previously worked for a couple of airlines who are sadly no longer with us, British Caledonian and Air Europe. After such successful airline experiences, I thought the only direction from there was IATA.
ACW: What kind of people do you dislike?
Hughes: Hmmm, apart from the obvious murderers and similar such serious criminals I don’t really dislike people…I do get frustrated though with people who have great talents or skills and don’t strive to achieve their full potential.
ACW: What did you want to be when you grew up?
Hughes: Some say I haven’t yet grown up. But when I was a lad I had dreams of being a window cleaner. But a job like that requires a great vision and a clear business objective. It’s still on my bucket list.
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?
Hughes: This was an easy question. I asked my wife and she said I would turn up for work the next day just like normal and she would make sure she would email me from all the ports she would visit in her around the world cruise. My kids also weighed in and by the time their spending spree would finish I would need a second job.
ACW: If both a taxi and a limo were priced the exact same, which one would you choose?
Hughes: Neither, UBER is the way ahead. I am proud of my 4.9 UBER rating (it’s a long story why it’s not a 5.0).
ACW: What’s your murder weapon of choice?
Hughes: Razor sharp wit and an over-used joke book. Can kill at 75 paces.
ACW: You’re on death row, what would your last meal be?
Hughes: An all-you-can-eat buffet which I would proceed to continue with forever.
ACW: Coke or Pepsi?
Hughes: On a plane neither, the gas expands and leads to hours of discomfort. In summer, Pepsi with a slice of lemon and when I have a sore throat, Coke, warm and flat as it soothes.
ACW: Beer or wine?
Hughes: Beer… then if I have too much, I whine.
ACW: BBQ or fine dining?
Hughes: BBQ IS fine dining … burgers and steaks on paper plates is the best it can get.
ACW: What would I find in your fridge right now?
Hughes: Chocolate, a mixture of English and Swiss. Lots of ketchup, see above re burgers and steaks, and salad stuff (doctors’ orders).
ACW: What are the best and worst purchases you’ve ever made?
Hughes: The best was buying Amazon shares at $20.00 each. (Sadly, the worst sale was then selling them at $40.00.) The worst purchase was 15 years ago, I bought a hairbrush and still haven’t used it.
ACW: Are you afraid of clowns?
Hughes: I have to be politically correct here … no, in fact one summer I was employed to dress up as Ronald McDonald. I hasten to add that wasn’t recently.
ACW: If you could have dinner with anyone from history, who would it be and why?
Hughes: Mr and Mrs Fred and Mary Anne Trump. We could have a great conversation about parenthood and I would hope to convince them not to have any children.
ACW: What would your autobiography be called?
Hughes: “My life in Puns” … or a “Pun a day keeps the doctor away” … or “The Punny side of Life”… or a “Pun too Far”.