Flight Operations

Description of the Role/Career

A career in flight operations is a diverse and exciting world. The fight operations department in most operators is divided into four divisions; Crew Control; Flight Planning, Ground Operations and Operations Control.  Flight operations officers/controllers are responsible for the day-to day running of the heart of the airline its Operations Control Centre (OCC).

 Crew Control’s main priority is to organize the flight and cabin crew schedules efficiently. The crew controller is part of the flight operations team and works closely with dispatch and the sales department. Their job is challenging and fast-paced and they must optimize manpower and provide effective management of the airline’s resources. 

 Flight planning is the process of producing a flight plan to describe a proposed aircraft flight. Flight Planners are responsible for managing two safety-critical aspects: fuel calculation and to ensure that the aircraft can safely reach the destination. As well as compliance with air traffic control requirements, to minimize the risk of midair collision.

 Ground Operations are responsible for airport and passenger management. They act as the point of contact for third party Ground Handling Agents (GHA) and airport staff across the operator’s policies and procedures. In the event of disruptions, the operations team ensure that any irregular operations on ground at the airports are dealt with smoothly.

 Operations Control is responsible for safe and on-time management of flight operations. Operation Control Centre (OCC) officers manage the pre-planned flying schedule and assist in the redeployment of aircraft on a reactive and forward planning basis as well as controlling and supervising the operator’s flight schedule.

Pathways into the Role/Career

Ryanair also offer a 2-year rotating graduate programme in their flight operations department. Many members of the flight operations department start in ground operations in airlines and contractors’ others might start on the front line dealing with customers. Some roles within the flight operations department require a license, e.g a flight dispatcher licenses. 


Common Requirements

  • Leaving Certificate
  • STEM subjects
  • Flight Dispatch Licence (Preferred)
  • Good understanding of 
    • Weight and Balance
    • Meteorology 
    • Aviation regulations inc. FTL’s

Employers of such Roles 

All airlines maintain a Flight Operations department in order to maintain high operational standards. Some airlines may seek to outsource elements or the entire department into that of a parent group. Irish employers of flight operations roles include, Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Stobart air, Cityjet, SAS Ireland and Hibernian. 

 Some organisations also offer ad-hoc flight operations support for leasing companies and luxury aircraft travel. For example, Dublin based company ‘Six West’ provide such flight operations solutions during lease transactions and aircraft deliveries.


Link to Respective Employer Career Websites

  1. https://careers.ryanair.com/graduate-program/flight-operations/
  2. https://www.aerlingus.com/careers/careers-on-the-ground/inflight-operations-centre/
  3. https://www.stobartair.com/careers/