A330 Captain at SmartLynx David Mark Kinnersley’s career journey has been anything but conventional. Despite his childhood dream of becoming a pilot, life took him through other careers before he finally landed in the aviation industry. However, David says he has gained valuable skills with each experience and always felt unconditional support from his family, which helped him become the professional he is today. Deservedly awarded as an Employee of the Year 2023 in the category of ‘Duty Devotion,’ David is ready to share his story and advice with others.

“It came as a surprise, albeit a nice one,” David humbly expresses his surprise and gratitude when asked about his reaction to receiving the Employee of the Year title. Knowing David’s professionalism and strong work ethic, one would think he has been in the industry forever, but that isn’t the case.

While David’s lifelong passion for flight emerged when he was only 4 years old, he encountered detours along the way. “Flying is my third career. I was raised in an area of the UK dominated by heavy industry, and it was expected that when I left school, I would work in those industries. Hence my arrival into aviation somewhat later in life,” shares David.

In the past year, together with his team, David has successfully completed numerous challenging projects on the A330 Fleet, all while overseeing the career development of his fellow pilots. From welcoming new recruits to running a command course, David’s dedication to nurturing talent is evident, “Continuing the career development of our people is of utmost importance, and I’m proud to have played a part in that.”

Looking ahead, David remains focused on maintaining the high standards set by his team. His goals for the future are clear: to continue delivering exceptional performance and rising to meet any challenge that comes their way.

In a profession where managing people is as demanding as navigating aircraft, David recharges his energy through exercise, playing the drums, or enjoying a well-deserved beer. David believes that it’s crucial to have fun, both in personal and professional lives, and encourages others not to forget that. “When it stops being fun, it’s time to leave.” I have applied that advice to everything in life, and it has never let me down,” says David.

If he had to crown the future Employee of the Year, David says he would look more closely at the “quiet ones — those who diligently go about their tasks with minimum fuss.” He believes that these individuals are often overlooked, but if you scratch the surface, you may find an exceptional talent there. Lastly, David emphasizes the significance of flexibility, “You have to be very, very flexible and adaptable.”