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COVER STORY: Passion and Respect Make Everything Possible. Ivy Liu, General Manager, Banana Aviation Industry Development Ltd.
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Passion and Respect Make Everything Possible
Ivy Liu, General Manager, Banana Aviation Industry Development Ltd.
总经理 刘封彤

BT 202002 340x458I believe that women all over the world face different challenges in developing their careers. Especially in aviation industry, which is heavily gender imbalance, you have to redouble your efforts and never shy away from showing your desire and ambition in order to get a chance.

Ivy Liu is General Manager of Banana Aviation Industry Development Co. Ltd. in Tianjin, and she talks about her impressive career in the aviation industry, and her passion for her work.


Thank you, Miss Liu for having us here in your offices. Can you please introduce Banana Aviation to our readers?

Banana Aviation Industry Development focuses on the talent needs of aviation manufacturing and maintenance companies, and hopes to provide a lifetime industry platform for those who are passionate about the aviation industry. Banana is willing to share the complete life of aircraft manufacturing, maintenance and even dismantling cycles with those who are willing to enter the aviation industry. Banana focuses on the aviation industry itself, especially the entire aircraft life-cycle of manufacturing, maintenance, and recycling.

请介绍下Banana Aviation.

香蕉航空产业发展公司(Banana Aviation Industry Development Ltd.)专注于航空制造与维修行业的人才需求,更希望为对航空产业饱含热情的有识之士提供一个可以获益终身的职业信息发展平台。


7Why are you so fond of the aviation industry? What do you like about it?

In 2017, I had just given birth to my baby, and I felt that work in the aviation industry was more suitable for me. In my youth I had spent almost 10 years with two former pilots. That's why I'm interested in the aviation industry. I had worked for Pan Pacific Tianjin Hotel as General Manager’s secretary, but I didn't know if I should return to the hotel industry or not. Mr. Reinhold is my most beloved life mentor. He used to be the General Manager of Pan Pacific Tianjin Hotel, and I worked with him for three years. I was moved by Mr. Johann's dedication, sincerity, integrity and professionalism.

But I chose to be an aircraft maintenance English lecturer as my first job after returning to work because I could get a better salary, and during the process of preparing lessons, I also found that I liked it. Later, because of the working relationship, I knew that the number of aircraft deliveries in China had surged, and the corresponding demand for manufacturing and maintenance personnel would increase. Providing supporting services for the aviation industry and related consulting services is the original intention of Banana.


从毕业开始,我一直在酒店行业做行政。在这里要非常感谢我最敬爱的人生导师,也是完成天津泛太平洋酒店开业筹备的总经理Mr. Reinhold Johann。生宝宝前我的工作是天津泛太平洋酒店的总经理秘书。Mr.Johann对工作敬业、真诚、正直的态度以及专业度令我震撼,直到今天我依旧为曾经为他工作过而感到荣幸,也充分体会到职业经理人的素养对于一个品牌的重要影响力。

2017年,我刚生完宝贝,觉得重返职场更适合自己,但重返职场很迷茫,不知道要不要重新回到熟悉的酒店行业。 其实和飞机的缘分因为一些家庭原因已经有8年的时间。当时也由于机缘巧合,回归职场后的第一份工作是飞机维修英语讲师,在备课的过程中我学习了很多航空产业的专业知识,而且是越来越爱的过程。后来,又因为工作关系逐渐了解了航空产业的人才需求量以及储备现状,愈发觉得在国家大力发展扶持的产业现状之下,中国飞机交付量激增,相应的生产制造以及维修人员需求量会越来越大。目前航空产业对于行业外人士,甚至是行业内部,还比较神秘和陌生,信息相对封闭。提供航空产业的配套服务以及相关咨询业务是Banana的创立的初衷。

Ivi and Reinhold JohannBut why airplanes? Any other industry. Why airplanes?

I knew the entire process, how to be a pilot, how to be a pilot student, how to be a real pilot, so I thought that maybe that was a good opportunity for me to start my career. And I searched on the Internet, and found a job offer for a maintenance English trainer. I got interviewed, and I passed and got the job.

cover story 01What is Banana's business scope?

Banana is currently the representative in China of the world's largest FAA aviation maintenance technician training school, or we could say Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM).

In China, aviation industry has rapid development, but we still need refer to some well experienced system in the world, AIM has very clear direction to guide you on how to be a maintenance person. I wanted to introduce a really professional maintenance brand into our country and let people know how to be a member of this industry, because flight safety is very important. You don’t want to take a very dangerous flight as your transportation. Everybody thinks the pilot is elegant and decent, but nobody cares about maintenance guys because they are low profile, they work hard in corners. But they’re quite important for aircraft safety. We cannot use aircraft with poor maintenance. Nobody wanna take risks in the air.
I knew AIM from the sponsor list in the GALA Dinner of American Chamber of Commerce in China, then I met Dr. Dana Lehman, who is the representative of AIM for Chinese market at that moment and told him "Any possibilities I can be your representative or agent in China?" Dr. Dana helps me lot, that’s why I got this brand in China.

We’re working on expanding the brand in order to enroll students for AIM. The price is a little bit higher than normal training fee, but you can get FAA license once you complete the entire training program and pass the FAA check and interview. That’s quite attractive for technicians or mechanics. A lot of aircrafts are registered in the U.S., so they need person who has FAA license.

In business development, due to in-depth contacts at the 5th Helicopter Aviation Expo in Tianjin last year, Banana signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Advanced Business Events (ABE), a well-known French aviation business exhibition company. Through ABE's reputation in aviation industry, Banana is willing to use flexible business ideas to pay close attention to market dynamics, introducing high-quality resources, and providing in-depth exchanges for aviation companies, while also studying corporate needs, and providing high-quality and efficient industry information and services for the relevant companies.

Basically, our business goals are the same as ABE. ABE is willing to invite many companies to attend the exhibition and Banana is always trying to have more companies hiring our students. If training can provide you with a very bright future, it will involve more people to consider about it.

In May, we will jointly host the first aviation industry talent resource forum with ABE. Through the influential companies in the aviation industry, they will share the current status of the industry and the development needs of the talent market, and provide accurate and objective training information for the supply chain of industrial talent. We’re willing to make an truly influential activity and create the platform which can really help companies and educational institutes.

During the summer vacation, we will also prepare for the first study tour of the Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM). We hope to influence the youth with the most influential and representative industry atmosphere in the aviation industry, so that more and more Chinese students can feel the charm of aircraft, and we want to attract the next generation to obtain professional education and join the industry, they will get the whole picture of how one can be part of this profession and the aviation maintenance industry. The summer camp will be in Atlanta, the home of the busiest airport in the world, Hartsfield International Airport.


Banana Aviation是目前全球最大的FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) 美国联邦航空管理局认证的Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) 航空维修研究所中国区的招生代表。美国联邦航空局要求世界上最高和最严格的培训航空专业人员的标准。

Banana Aviation希望可以将世界先进的航空产业技术与理念带进中国,不断的为国家的航空产业提供充满从业热情的技术人才和产业资源。

航空维修人员甚至是航空制造的技师们,对于飞行安全的意义和重要性无比重要。我非常希望借助Banana Aviation这个平台让大家意识到这一点,也让行业内的一线员工为自己的工作感到自豪。

Banana Aviation也一直在努力成为航空咨询信息的分享平台。2019年,通过在天津第五届直升机航空博览会上的深入接触,Banana Aviation与法国著名航空国际商务会展公司ADVANCED BUSINESS EVENTS (ABE) 签订了战略合作协议。通过ABE在航空产业内的口碑与声望,Banana Aviation愿意用灵活的商业思路,引进优质资源,为航空类企业提供交流平台的同时也深入研究企业需求,从市场和人才两个方面为航空企业提供优质高效的业内资讯与服务。



在暑假期间,我们也将在第一次招募国内青少年参与到Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) 航空维修学院的游学活动。用航空产业具有影响力和代表性的产业氛围影响青少年,让越来越多的中国学生感受到航空产业的魅力,进而吸引更多的下一代接受专业教育进而加入这个行业。

7bWhat about for the long term - let’s say five years.

I want to make a link for AIM and domestic schools. We want to create a major for them to enroll students to join and to learn how to be a mechanic, how to be a technician. We want to offer a graduation certificate after they finish the training. That is the five year plan.


我计划将Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM) 这个品牌引入国内学校,与国内学校合作,招收对产业有情怀的学生系统了解飞机,通过专业培训,真正成为专业技术人员。

What do you think are the ingredients for achieving success at Banana Aviation?

Be passionate. You have to love it, you have to love the things you are working with and you have to put all your effort into the things you are working on. You have to balance family and work, but we have to compromise with our goals and do a great job.



What has been the most challenging part of opening Banana Aviation here in Tianjin?

Now I still have a challenge because few people understand why I put so much effort into it instead of into my personal things or my family. I prefer to be professional and focus on the things I’m doing now instead of being a housewife. That’s the challenge I still have.

How does your leadership build on Banana Aviation?

I’m really a fast person and quite strict. If I need something, you have to give me a clear timeline.

As you see the trends in the aviation industry, how do you manage to meet them for your customers’ expectations? How do you handle it?

My advice is: Deal with customers sincerely, share relevant information about the industry. Give feedback quickly and keep up with the development of aviation industry.



2For a first-time customer, how would you describe Banana Aviation?

That is quite difficult because I don’t remember how I created such a funny company name. It was really hard in the beginning, but I showed a lot of respect to my main contractor, and shared my personal and professional opinions with them. They then preferred to do me a favour instead of offering business to someone who just sits and waits.

Where do you train them?

We have a small training centre in Tianjin, but for the full program you have to go the U.S.A. Aviation Institute of Maintenance (AIM), which 13 schools in the U.S., and offers very professional training. They have real aircraft for students to practice on.



微信图片 20200123151000What kind of people can join, are you recruiting, what kind of background?

The aviation industry relies on people much more than other industries. The automotive industry can set up a very professional automatic line to produce components or vehicles, but in the aviation industry, human beings are the main productive forces. If people have no respect and responsibilities toward the industry, little mistakes will lead to big disasters.



5Thanks Ms. Liu for introducing us your company and future projects. It was a very interesting conversation and a reference for young people who should feel passionate about their goals in life. We wish you and your company a successful career.

感谢Ivy刘封彤女士为我们介绍您的公司及未来的项目,我们期待看到2020年Banana Aviation可以持续壮大发展。

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