Patrick W. Diemer is the Managing Director and Chairman of AirPlus International, a role he has held since Apr-2003. He oversees all commercial aspects of the business including marketing, sales, human resources and strategy. He has been instrumental in the international expansion of AirPlus International, launching the company in the Chinese and Japanese markets.
Patrick W. Diemer Managing Director and Chairman AirPlus International
What is your current role and what three words would you use to describe your role?
CEO of AirPlus. Future-proofing the company.
Where do you call home?
Call me a romantic, but home is where my wife is. Currently that’s Frankfurt, Germany.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I have two very different types of days. An office day starts at 8am, finishes at 7pm and has back-to-back meetings. A day on the road starts early, finishes late, involves a lot of travel, but has the benefit of me being able to meet customers, teams and partners.
What are your main ambitions for the next 12 months in your role?
We are in the middle of a significant internal change program: IT, processes and culture. I’m here to assist the team to get it done and ensure the company keeps on growing and meeting our customers’ current and future expectations.
What is the biggest obstacle currently influencing the corporate travel industry?
I do not see a big obstacle for the industry at the moment. On the contrary, I feel we are on the upswing and technology now offers way more opportunities to significantly improve the traveller experience and the management of travel services.
What’s the best and worst career advice you have been given?
Best: Do not worry about your career, worry about the quality of your work.
Worst: See every initiative through. While it’s easy to feel guilty if your team members have invested their time in an initiative and you need to change direction, sometimes it’s better for everyone to pivot.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
I thoroughly like my job and I do not feel like switching but becoming an entrepreneur has always tempted me. I would probably stick to this industry though!
What does the corporate travel industry mean to you?
It’s a dynamic industry with lots of passionate people and a global approach, all of which makes it a fascinating industry to be a part of.
What book did you read last?
1812 – The history of Napoleon‘s crusade into Russia and his undefeated defeat.
What are your three most overused words/phrases?
Mine: Transformation, change, agility.
The industry‘s: Blockchain, artificial intelligence, digital.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see cast as you?
Jeff Goldblum 🙂
What is your favourite travel technology (current or old)?
Driving my vintage Alfa Romeo!
Window or aisle seat and why?
Aisle on short haul, because it is easier to get in and out. Window on long haul, because of the spectacular views.
Favourite flying tip?
Do not drink or eat, but sleep and read.
Favourite travel spot? Or where would you like to go on a dream vacation?
I feel privileged to have been to many dream spots already. My dream vacation is exploring and watching animals.
Which four individuals, living or dead, would you like to eat dinner with the most?
Napoleon, Clint Eastwood, Nelson Mandela and my family.
What do you do to relax?
In my free time I am busy with a thousand things, hence I rarely truly relax… What can I say, I like to keep busy.
What keeps you awake at night?
Any challenges the company is facing for which we do not have a solution yet. Getting to the bottom of a challenge and finding a solution can definitely push me to have an all-nighter.
What’s your secret talent that no one knows about?
I cannot keep many secrets because I talk too much. Maybe my secret talent is that I can actually keep my mouth shut!
People would be surprised if they knew?
How little it takes to make me feel good: Positive feedback!
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