Lufthansa: 70% foreigners for employees
Roman Tesař is the Managing director of Lufthansa service center in Brno. Born and raised in Brno, he graduated from Brno University of Technology and has been working for Lufthansa Group companies for more than 20 years in different positions in the Czech Republic and abroad. BEC asks him about his business experience.
How would you describe the business GTS does for someone not having a clue?
GTS Brno is a 100 % subsidiary of Lufthansa and offers a wide range of customer services for the Lufthansa group passengers. This support is offered globally and Brno office plays a vital role in the network of Lufthansa shared services.
How many similar centers does Lufthansa have globally? And what are some examples of service they provide specifically?
Lufthansa has several service centers across the world. GTS Brno is part of the GTS Group which has 7 centers globally (Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa, Canada, and Australia) and covers most of Lufthansa customer support contacts. GTS Group provides service in 24 languages for more than 80 countries.
We offer support for individual customers, travel agencies and corporates that use Lufthansa for their travels. Beside the direct call support, we also communicate via e-mail and chat.
In our centers we perform several other important back office tasks supporting Lufthansa operation such as airline ticket sales or weight and balance calculation for flights of 30 different airlines.
What problems do customers turn to you with, for example?
They call us with question about the travel conditions, changing their travel dates, special assistance or flights with small children. Questions about travelling with skis, golf equipment or specific bulk sport luggage are on our daily routine as well.
How long has GTS been active in Brno and how has your foreign crew changed over time?
It was established in Brno in 2005. From the first day our team has been very international. There are about 70 percent of foreigners in our organization. Many of our colleagues come to Brno for just a short time but then decide to stay with us. On some projects they can work abroad but they always like to return to Brno.
How many foreign employees do you have and what nationalities are the most represented?
At the moment we have over 200 foreign employees of about 30 different nationalities. The biggest groups are Slovaks, Ukrainians, Polish and Romanians.
What do your foreign employees appreciate in Brno? And is there something they miss here?
They miss an airport with international traffic. And they like the fresh and young atmosphere in Brno and city’s surroundings.
What can the city improve to make it more attractive for international companies like GTS Lufthansa?
In general it is about communication in English. The employees in the labour offices, insurance companies or doctors and dentists don’t speak much English yet. I recommend they have all the important information (opening hours, required documents, processes) available in English. And in the offices that foreigners visit frequently, employees must speak English.
The city should develop a strategy how to make Brno a foreigners-friendly city, with the aim to secure their long-term stay. This includes school and medical system, authorities, cultural events, and integration of foreigners within Brno population.
What specialization or skills should a candidate applying for a job at GTS Lufthansa in Brno have?
What is important for us is a combination of two languages – English and German (or Russian, Polish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Hungarian, Serbian). Also, the candidates should have good communication skills and be able to multitask.