Meet APT Chief Operating Officer – Lorna Heyward
I love working at APT, I started out in Thomas Cook in its heyday back in the late 90s and loved it, my path veered off to financial services, but I have found my way back to travel. I love my role, as I say every “COO” (which is always a word best said by a Scots girl and that I am), is different, COO’s come with variety, an emphasis on delivery and getting stuff done My role has changed a lot given what we have faced this year, lots of our people’s roles have – we are all wearing a few hats at the moment, the good part of that is you learn and learning is an important part of how we all develop.
We have great fun at APT, even in these incredibly difficult times we find the humour. We are a highly collaborative bunch and that’s been multiplied in 2020, teamwork has been critical in getting us through.
What sets APT apart?
What makes us different is our secret sauce – so given it’s a secret I can’t really share! Ha ha! Our products and range are amazing, our experience that we provide our customers with is superior, we have multiple offerings at different price ranges so we appeal to multiple segments.
What exciting projects are you working on?
We continue to work on our strategy and executing on that strategy, like many travel companies we are in the survive phase of our strategy with many operational decisions being made every day still. Equally we are very focused on the long term, so our minds are focused on emerging and thriving. Thinking about improving our employee value proposition, through introducing additional leave and new flexible ways of working, APT is a great place to work, we want to keep that up and make it even better. We are very focused on our customers, and helping them find that next trip and get them on it! Our new domestic product range in Australia is extensive and we love it. Our teams and crew around the globe are always in our minds and we continue to work and communicate with them whilst we don’t have international tours happening.
What key innovations are underway at APT?
Innovation is happening right across the industry at the moment, for us innovation is about making things better than yesterday. We are innovating our product range through new air tours as one example, innovating our experience with our agents and customers on how both channels book with us, innovating our processes to make us more efficient. The innovation I continue to watch is flight time reduction around the world, being from the UK and being able to get on a plane last year in Perth and then be in London 15 hours and 20 minutes later was brilliant, bring on the Melbourne to Edinburgh route non-stop for me would be great!
What destination is 'calling' you?
Any destination is calling me with my family, this pic was us in NYC last year – oh take me back! For 2020 my holiday plans were – Bali on a family holiday with a huge contingent of other families from Melbourne to celebrate our sons’ final year at school, also Hamilton Island with friends. My reverse destination is then we always have family visit from Scotland every year so ideally they would be able to travel to Australia. However all we can do right now is dream, we will travel again soon. I and all of us at APT are confident of that.