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Staying home in Chicago

Thiago Simao
Although lockdown restrictions are slowly easing, the majority of Air bp’s global team continue to work from home for the time being. This month Amanda Jones, Air bp’s global marketing manager, chats to Thiago Simao who reveals why communication is key and what he’s looking forward to beyond lockdown.  

Originally from Brazil, Thiago joined Air bp in 2010 working as an account manager for commercial airlines in South America. In 2017 he joined the North America team and is currently based in Chicago as general aviation bulk sales account manager covering the US and Canada. 


“It’s been strange working from home for such a long period of time. It’s not something I’ve really done before,” he says. “My typical day entails talking to my customers, helping to resolve any issues that have arisen, understanding their requirements and planning for upcoming requests from customers for proposals. So that hasn’t really changed, but video conferencing calls are something I didn’t really do previously.” He adds, “The first half of my day is dedicated to catching up with customers and colleagues. The latter half is spent responding to emails and following up on any action that is required.” 


Thiago explains that as a result of the pandemic demand for fuel has dropped significantly, as you would expect.


“This has understandably had a big impact on our forecast and planning. Previously customers would nominate projected fuel volumes on a monthly basis. Now I am liaising more frequently with them to gain a more accurate understanding of their supply needs on a weekly basis.” As for video conferencing, he says that’s probably here to stay. “It has been a lifeline for many of us in the working environment and has really underlined that communication is key. However, I am looking forward to talking to friends, colleagues and customers in person.” 


Looking beyond the impacts of COVID-19, Thiago highlights that the decarbonisation of aviation remains a big challenge for the aviation industry.  Air bp is continually working with customers to promote lower carbon solutions.


“Educating the wider market is vital,” says Thiago. “Since the latter half of last year our customers have increasingly shown interest in our lower carbon solutions, which includes sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and carbon offsetting. We're working with leading SAF producers and developers like Neste and Fulcrum BioEnergy to meet our customers' needs by purchasing, blending and supplying SAF. "


On a personal level Thiago says that once lockdown restrictions are lifted, a haircut is at the top of his list. He also can’t wait to play a game of tennis and go to the gym. As for the return to the office?


“It’s funny. At the beginning it was a big adjustment for me to be based at home, but I’ve got used to it now and it will be hard going back to the office, although I’m sure that will make my wife happy,” he concludes laughing.



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