Meet Ms. Varapan Meefeungsart from IATA
In this issue of AFL we’re introducing Ms. Varapan Meefeungsart, the Aviation Industry Analyst of the International Air Transportation Associations (IATA), who shared with us her experience working in the airfreight logistics industry and the principles that have helped her to succeed
What are your current duties within IATA?
Currently, I’m in the Aviation Industry Analyst post where I oversee the coordination of all logistics. For example, the air waybill (AWB) payment system (Cargo Account Settlement System) for IATA members and holding general meetings to discuss the regulations that can support members on different projects, such as e-AWB and e-Freight. I also work to drive our work standards to align with those of international recognition. For example, joining the Montreal Convention in 1999 on the amendment of liabilities that directly affects the airfreight industry. This also includes the coordination of all aspects of air transportation focused on by IATA. i.e. maintaining safety standards, providing best practices, and laying down the air transportation protocols with both public and private stakeholders in the aviation industry for the sustainable and internationally-recognized growth of the Thai aviation industry.
How did you start working in the logistics industry?
Prior to working in logistics, I was a Sales Assistant at Singapore Airlines, which gave me experiences working with both commercial flights and cargo carriers. After joining IATA, I had the opportunity to oversee the air ticket purchasing system of IATA or BSP. I then began to work more with the logistics part of the industry, which helped extend my knowledge about logistics. I was very lucky that IATA’s business covers all aspects of aviation from ground work, passenger service, airfreight, airports, and all the way through to international regulations. It’s given me the opportunity to constantly work with and learn something new every day.
What are some of the challenges you face in your current post?
I think one of the challenges is the amount of obstacles we have compared to the number of talents we have in the organization. At IATA we’re a team of only 3 members, but we have four different countries under our jurisdiction, that includes Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. Each country offers their own challenges. For example, Laos and Myanmar often adjust their fees and expenses while the Cambodian laws may present some difficult obstacles to airlines. Thailand is challenged by the capacity to cater to passengers, the regulations and the public workforce on licensing and standardization, and the complicated changes to laws that don’t keep up with growing private sector economies. Therefore, IATA has to get involved in providing recommendations and best practices. These challenges we face are what drive us to work harder and more efficiently.
What is your secret to your work success?
I’d say having a good attitude towards one’s work. This is because having the right attitude helps you enjoy the work you’re doing even though you’re facing a lot of difficulties and challenges. In addition, my motto is to do my best every day, so that I will never regret not doing something or not doing something as well as I could have. I always think that anything can be done if you put your full effort into it. This is all you need to really succeed in the work you do.
Having been with IATA for a long time, what is your favorite thing working with the organization?
IATA is an organization that holds high standards and always seeks to grow and develop in all of its aspects. I also have the chance to work with the highly talented and professional colleagues from many different countries. These are my favorite things about being a part of IATA.
Do you have any advice for anyone who is interested in entering the airfreight logistics industry?
For those who are interested in working in this industry, you really have to constantly be on your toes and seeking to know more. It’s an industry that changes rapidly. You’re required to always be up-to-date with the happenings, and try to develop your work potential to the fullest.