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Our expert in-house capability provides accurate, up-to-date and incisive research to deliver swift, precise outcomes. Targeted individuals are engaged with care and professionalism and the client opportunity presented in a clear and well-prepared format.

Our News

Our expert in-house capability provides accurate, up-to-date and incisive research to deliver swift, precise outcomes. Targeted individuals are engaged with care and professionalism and the client opportunity presented in a clear and well-prepared format.

Thomas Cook Flight Training Experience

Recently I was fortunate enough to spend some time at Thomas Cook’s flight training centre in south Manchester. The purpose of the visit was twofold; to catch up with a friend of mine, Captain Clive Richardson who is the General Manager for Training at Thomas Cook UK and to take the rare opportunity to observe at first hand two new Captains being put through their paces on a topic known as ‘Intervention Strategy’. This is a vital piece of training that any senior aviator must undergo to equip them to handle and take control in situations which may be beyond the ability of less experienced colleagues. The modern commercial aircraft has so many systems and redundancies that actually make flying a safer experience than crossing the road and the industry has gained this status because every time we have an incident we take the learnings and do something with them to improve the overall standard – that could be a technical change delivered by the OEM or a change to the training curriculum which the airlines and ATO’s will implement.

During our session in the Airbus A320 simulator we explored situations where a Captain may wish to instruct their First Officer to operate the aircraft in certain way or in some cases take control in order to ensure the smooth operation of the flight. I should make it quite clear that none of these situations would have resulted in anything more serious than a bumpy landing or perhaps someone finding their dinner in their lap. However they did clearly emphasise to me the investment and training that goes into ensuring the UK has some of the best trained pilots in world in any situation – and in a time where safety and customer satisfaction is paramount, everything the airlines can do to ensure we are delivered to our destination seamlessly and comfortably will undoubtedly have serious commercial benefits for the operators.

If we look specifically at safety the positive reality is that incidents and accidents are now so rare, principally due to better training and improvements in the reliability and build quality of aircraft, that previously regular events that pilots were trained to handle many years ago (such as engine shut downs and mechanical failures) have become almost redundant on a modern airliner. Known as Evidence Based Training (EBT), a whole new suite of training solutions designed to give cadets and more experienced pilots the skills to handle situations that arise in the modern cockpit (such as software issues) are now firm elements of any pilots training programme and whilst we should never lose sight of the core competencies of handling the aircraft and learning to fly, EBT is proving critical to making us all safer in the skies. Many of the UK’s airlines have embraced this way of thinking and every day the industry advances a step further as we integrate new techniques and approaches into the commercial pilots training curriculum.

With this in mind all of us can be assured whatever carrier you chose to fly with the team at the front will take care of you every step of the way!

Many thanks to Captain Clive Richardson and his team for their insight and hospitality on the day!

The EMI Practice at Howgate Sable really took the time to understand our situation and find exceptional candidates who could fulfil challenging international leadership assignments for a truly global company with a history that spans well over 200 years.

It was a first class experience and positive outcome on many levels.


Barry McDonnell – Director of Manufacturing at De La Rue International

I have worked with the Howgate Sable team on several occasions whilst hiring mission-critical executives. Partnership is the byword for this organisation – they act as an extension of my team and work hard to support me not only in the technical solution, but in the sense of a deep understanding of my specific requirements. Delivery is the key measure of our talent partners and Howgate Sable have always achieved what was asked of them.

Jesper Berg – SVP HR, ABB

Having worked with Howgate Sable as a client and as a candidate I can confidently say their ability to deliver on complex searches is second to none. They not only have a detailed knowledge of the marketplace but also understand the importance of cultural fit. 

Bridget Lea – O2

I was particularly impressed with Howgate Sable’s knowledge and network in the aviation sector, the quality of the candidates provided at shortlist and the availability of Nick and the team to provide us with advice and guidance on candidates when required. Nick was particularly effective in understanding our needs as a Company and being flexible in adapting requirements and plans.

Paul Hutchings – Thomas Cook Group Airlines

I have recently worked with Nick from Howgate Sable to recruit a new Head of Aircraft Operations for Thomson Airways. I was particularly impressed by the wide-reaching search undertaken and the quality of the candidates put forward. The skills match to the brief was excellent and I am delighted with the individual we selected.

Dawn Wilson – Thomson Airways

From their initial call to me the Aviation practice team at Howgate Sable demonstrated a significant difference. Straightforward and to the point, the extent of their network and deep insight into the industry was immediately evident. The added value I have received as a candidate is tangible. An almost instant rapport quickly developed into a focused business relationship which is open, honest, respectful and above all trustworthy.

Carl Gissing