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Celebrating Women in Aviation: Preslava Ivanova, Commercial Charter Broker at Chapman Freeborn

To celebrate International Women’s Day at Chapman Freeborn we are shining a spotlight on women in aviation and the huge variety of roles available in the industry. Our Celebrating Women in Aviation series holds space for the experiences of our wonderful colleagues, giving you an insight into their roles, how they got to where they are today and their advice for other women and girls considering a career in the aviation industry.

Preslava Ivanova began her career in aviation over 4 years ago when she joined Chapman Freeborn as a Commercial Charter Broker. She has grown up with an interest in aviation as her dad was part of the Bulgarian Air Force. One of her earliest memories was on her birthday – 16th October – when she learned that she shared it with the Bulgarian Air Force Day after seeing dozens of military aircraft fly over her house!

Preslava grew up living near the airport and used to enjoy watching the aircraft out of her window, which resulted in her dreaming of a career in aviation. “I wanted to be a pilot but sadly couldn’t afford it. I tried out some other industries that I didn’t enjoy as much as I thought I might, and then discovered there are plenty of other paths in aviation to pursue other than being a pilot. I then found my role at Chapman Freeborn.”

As a broker, Preslava experiences a huge amount of variety in her role every day; “No two days are the same. We work with a variety of clients to source the most suitable commercial jets for their needs, coordinating all parties involved such as airlines, handling agents, airports and ground transport. We negotiate the offers, put proposals together and go through legal agreements. Sometimes we attend meetings around the UK or even further afield – one I flew to Geneva and back in a day for a meeting. Where possible we look after our clients on their flights in person, travelling with them to ensure it goes smoothly.”

It is deep-rooted historical gender stereotyping that Preslava believes causes the current gender disparity in the aviation industry, she believes that as much as times have changed, many women still live with the preconception that working in aviation is not a role for them.

Preslava wishes there was more education from a young age to inform children of all the different roles people can take in aviation, “They stretch so far beyond pilots and flight attendants. I think more and more companies in aviation need to shout as loudly as they can about this. There are so many different roles you can do, and aviation can be very flexible and accommodating to your personal circumstances. Don’t let fear get in the way.”