Entrepreneurial skills take off at airline master class

Local News

Ambitious students from schools across West Yorkshire gathered to pick up industry skills from British Airways and Leeds Bradford Airport at an ‘airline master class’. Staff from the airline and the airport volunteered their time to share knowledge and wisdom with the participants.

This year’s master class was hosted at Horsforth School, ex-pupils Sally Beardsworth of British Airways and Beverley Walker of Leeds Bradford Airport returned as industry volunteers to give advice to the students.

Fifteen schools from around West Yorkshire each put forward a team of ten students to take part in the project and develop their business skills first hand. Each ‘company’ was given a virtual budget of £200 million to set up and run their own airline.

The structure of the workshop allowed students to decide roles and responsibilities, select destinations, create a flight plan, develop the brand, put together a budget, sell their seats to travel agents and finally present their business plan to the panel of judges.

Students from Horsforth School in Leeds took off with the top prize after being awarded Best Overall Airline for ‘Aeris International’ by the panel of judges. They will fly to London on one of up to three return British Airways flights a day from Leeds Bradford to experience the airline for themselves. They will also be able to look round the airline’s flagship Heathrow home, Terminal 5 before flying back in the evening.

The runner-up prize was a backstage tour of Leeds Bradford Airport, which was awarded to ‘Failte Airlines’ from Bradford Academy for Best Marketing Strategy.

The judging panel also awarded prizes for Outstanding Individual Girl which was scooped by Laura Wild from Kettlethorpe School in Wakefield and Outstanding Individual Boy which was awarded to Max Green from Horsforth School in Leeds.

‘Cupid’s Arrow’ from Freeston Academy in Wakefield was awarded Best Airline Presentation whilst ‘Pioneer Airlines’ from Horsforth School won Best Teamwork.

On the panel was Simon Lea, British Airways’ airport manager at Leeds Bradford Airport, Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airport’s aviation development & marketing director and David Burrow from Yorkshire Building Society.
Tony Hallwood, Leeds Bradford Airport’s aviation development & marketing director, said: “I am delighted to join British Airways our partner airline to deliver hands on experience to aspiring business students in the region. It is a pleasure for Leeds Bradford Airport to be involved in the development of students in our community; we have been astounded by the calibre of talent taking part. They have shown great creativity and entrepreneurial skills.”

Ellen Wood, Young Enterprise Manager for West Yorkshire, spoke of the fantastic partnership working which enabled the day to be such a success: “It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Leeds Bradford Airport and British Airways on this launch of the Airline Master Class in West Yorkshire; we hope to see many more schools getting involved with this excellent Industry Masterclass in the future.”

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