“He always tries to find a win-win,” Liana Coyne of Coyne Airways

On Father’s Day, Liana Coyne of Coyne Airways tells a fascinating story of how she, together with her father, remains active in facilitating the needs of the world amid the coronavirus pandemic by holding on to principles that her father, Larry Coyne, has instilled in her.   

The STAT Trade Times, on today’s occasion of Father’s Day, interviewed Liana to understand what has led the father-daughter duo to perform exceptionally well in these difficult times by operating from different countries. 

1. How it all started for your dad?
They say that every challenge presents an opportunity, and I believe that to be true. My father started what would become the company in 1994, in the wake of a recession, with a mortgage to pay and a family to support. He had no choice but to make it work and decided to call the company Coyne Airways because he couldn’t let it fail. Fortunately, his strong work ethic combined with a talent for spotting opportunities and building strong, long-term relationships have stood us in good stead till today.

2. What are some of your father’s guiding principles you hold close to you?
 If I were to condense it down, I think the three guiding business principles my father has taught me are:

- Always try to find a win-win. All relationships involve negotiation of some kind. It is important to consider what the other parties’ drivers and objectives are because that will help determine if there is any space for common ground. There usually is, and if all the parties are ‘winning’, that serves as a good basis for a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.

- A little for a long time is better than a lot one time. This ties into the win-win rule and I suppose is really a mantra for the air cargo industry!

- No is easy; you need to get to yes. It is important to anticipate issues and challenges, but that is only half the answer. You need to not only see the potential roadblocks but figure out a way around them.

3. How is it like working together with your father in these tough times?
 My father and I work closely every day and frequently bounce ideas off each other. Most recently, we have been working together on a number of charters to deliver vital PPE to different countries. Coyne Airways initially started out as a charter broker and we have done thousands of flights, but we were initially overwhelmed with the number of requests, particularly in the early stages of Covid when there was a capacity crunch.

With my father based in London and me in Dubai, our experience, operator relationships and teams are a bit different, and we were able to pool that to find the best solutions for our clients. It is nice that we can still learn from each other and appreciate each other’s slightly different styles, even after working together for the past decade.
4. Considering the current circumstances, what do you have to say to the younger generation?
No one is really sure what the world will look like once we emerge from this global pandemic. However, one thing that has been made clear is how important logistics are in creating and maintaining the lifestyles we take for granted. I would urge the younger generation to consider careers in logistics and I am sure that the industry would benefit greatly from fresh perspectives, and the dedication of minds and energy to optimisation at every level.