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Olga Kovalova celebrates 20 years at Chapman Freeborn

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15th January 2024

Olga Kovalova headshot

We are delighted to congratulate Olga Kovalova on reaching her 20th anniversary at Chapman Freeborn.

Olga initially joined the business in 2004 as Market Researcher, after which she moved to brokering (including a stint in the VIP department) and then to Key Account Manager.  Her two decades at Chapman Freeborn have culminated in her holding the position of Head of Government & Humanitarian Projects – Europe.

“I feel immensely proud to reach this milestone”, explains Olga. “I am grateful for having had the experience of working for such a great company and with so many amazing people for over 20 years.”

Olga reminisces on a particularly memorable air cargo charter from the start of her career in 2005. “I was still learning a lot about this unusual profession,” she recounts, “and on this occasion we were moving water purification equipment to the Dafur region on a very cold, wintery day. After eight hours of loading, the client realised that a part of the equipment that was meant to stay behind had been loaded!

“The aircraft was due to depart soon and it was nearly midnight, but we needed to offload everything to locate this box. The crew initially refused, the client was crying and I was in emotional turmoil! But after 30 minutes I was able persuade the captain to delay the flight, and we spent 14 hours watching the cargo being offloaded and re-loaded.

“Eventually, the box was found, and I learnt early on that any situation can be resolved with some will and the all-important human element.”

Many of the air charter experts at Chapman Freeborn say that their favourite part of their job is the rewarding and ever-changing nature of the industry, and Olga is no different. “Every flight we do, irrespective of how well-prepared we are, comes with the risk of the unknown. We manage these risks on a daily basis, and that’s what makes it interesting, challenging, stressful, sometimes frustrating…but always rewarding and never boring!”

When asked what makes a person equipped to take on this role, Olga says, “You need to be at least a little bit of an adrenaline junkie!”

As Olga heads into her 21st year at Chapman Freeborn Airchartering, she looks forward to further developing and growing the Government and Humanitarian Aid vertical with her colleagues; “Together with the team, we will continue adapting to the new realities of the charter market, expanding our areas of reach, and, very importantly, sustaining and appreciating the amazing things we have already achieved.”

Thank you for all your hard work and dedication, Olga, and we look forward to celebrating the next 20 years with you!

 

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