Our fees are among the lowest in the country
Our Income account won Money magazine's Best Balanced Pension Product for 2020.
Due to required maintenance, QSuper Member Online will be unavailable from 9pm Friday, 30th October to 9am Saturday, 31st October 2020. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
With an 11% ownership stake, Heathrow Airport is the largest infrastructure asset owned by QSuper on behalf of members. It has been named the best airport in Europe and is often in the top 10 airports in the world for service.
At a recent event with some of our employer and sponsorship partners, QSuper’s Head of Employer and Business Development Erick Cordero welcomed Heathrow Airport CEO John Holland-Kaye, and asked him about leading one of the UKs’ largest single-site workplaces employing 76,000 people in 400 businesses.1
What is Heathrow Airport’s most significant moment or achievement during your time as CEO?
“The big change we’ve seen is the transformation of the service experience at Heathrow,” said Mr Holland-Kaye.
“When I joined the company 10 years ago, we were rated in the bottom 10 airports in the world.”
He explained that every time a new airport opened in China, Heathrow moved down one in the world rankings.
“But for the last three or four years we have been consistently in the top 10 for service and named the best airport in Europe.
“That is a huge transformation in culture and servicing customers, in a very short space of time, and that’s the thing I’m most proud of.”
How does Heathrow Airport’s internal culture make it unique from other airports around the world?
“One of the things that’s unique about Heathrow is that we take responsibility for the end-to-end passenger experience,” he said.
“If you’re travelling through an airport and anything goes wrong, you want to know who you can hold accountable.
“It could be a ground handler, an airline, a border force officer or an airport employee, but you just want one person to be held accountable. The way we look at it, everyone at Heathrow can say ‘that person is me’. So, if I’m going to be held responsible for anything that goes wrong, I’m going to take accountability for making sure it goes right to make sure that when you’re travelling through, you get a seamless, perfect experience.”
What programs do you have in place to ensure consistency of experience and service for passengers?
“Heathrow has four terminals, but each of them look and feel very much the same.
“We have the same walls and floors, and that creates a sense of unity that you don’t see in other airports, even places like Changi in Singapore,” Mr Holland-Kaye said.
“So that’s a physical way that we bring consistency. But from a service point of view, we have what we call our ‘service signatures’ which are a simple way for all Heathrow employees to know how to interact with passengers and serve them best.”
“If you’re travelling through an airport, and you’re looking a bit lost, if someone were to spot that and come up to you and ask, ‘Can I help you?’ and they shared whatever information they had with you to solve your problem and then took you to where you needed to go, that is a fantastic service experience,” said Mr Holland-Kaye.
“That accountability is what we’re trying to train into all of the people who work at Heathrow.”
Just like QSuper, Heathrow has many stakeholders – from passengers, regulators and investors – how do you navigate these complex relationships?
“Heathrow is a bit like a small city,” Mr Holland-Kaye said.
“We have 76,000 people who work there – they’re like the residents. We have about a quarter of a million people travelling through every day – they’re the commuters. And then we have 400 different companies, government agencies, private organisations, airlines – all stakeholders and service providers. Someone has to co-ordinate them all, and that’s my role,” Mr Holland-Kaye said.
“I’m a bit like the mayor of the city of Heathrow. And it is complex to balance the competing needs. Because very often what’s in the interest of one organisation is not in the interest of another. Or maybe it’s not important to them.
“The way I look at it is that we are all here to serve the passenger. And if we can get everyone who works at Heathrow just focusing on that, everything else falls into place.”
The pace of innovation is rapid in the aviation sector, how are you preparing for ongoing transformational change?
“There is a lot of change happening, and what you will see as a passenger is the way in which automation is helping to improve your passenger journey,” said Mr Holland-Kaye.
“I just arrived at Brisbane Airport and went through the immigration process using kiosks and then an e-gate. Fantastic experience,” he said.
“We have something similar at Heathrow now, where if you have an Australian passport you don’t have to see anyone. You go up to an e-gate at immigration, show your passport and it will let you through.
“That will transform the experience for Australian visitors coming into the UK.
“In fact, for 75-80% of passengers that will be the way in which we travel in the future,” he said.
“But at a complex hub airport like Heathrow with every single nationality, culture, age and ability travelling through, there will always be millions of passengers who will need special service – different kinds of support.
“That’s why there will always be a personal touch that’s needed. And that’s why things like our ‘service signatures’ are so important to ensure that every passenger gets the perfect service at Heathrow.”
“I loved John’s comment about delegating your worries. Who do I trust to hand those worries to and what skills do they need to take on those worries? I’m going to go away and do it.” – Belinda Drew, CSIA
“I think the opportunity to listen to people like John and hear about how they’re approaching problems is fantastic.” – Paul Trappett, IntelliHR
“A key takeout for me was just understanding the asset portfolio that QSuper manages and how well it performs.” – Meredith Staib, Royal Flying Doctor Service (QLD Section)
Learn more about QSuper’s Heathrow Airport investment
Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to talk to us about making QSuper your default super fund.
1 Source: https://www.heathrowexpansion.com/the-expansion-plan/facts-and-figures/
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the QSuper Board. No responsibility is taken for the accuracy of any of the information supplied.
QSuper and Heathrow
QSuper Balanced investment option tops 1-year and 10-year performance results
Attend the QSuper Annual Investment Update 2019
Find out more about QSuper’s investment in Heathrow Airport.