60 Seconds With

“Leadership is selfless service for the benefit of others.” 60 Seconds With: Kevin Cullinane, Head of Communications, Cork Airport

By Business & Finance
26 February 2019

Kevin Cullinane, Head of Communications at Cork Airport takes on the Business & Finance 60-second interview challenge.

Q. What was your first job?

That’s a bit of an unusual one — it was selling Christmas trees at my cousin’s florist and fruit & veg shop for one season in secondary school.

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

We welcomed Cork Airport’s first scheduled transatlantic service out of Cork Airport in July 2017 — undoubtedly one of my proudest moments. Witnessing the Norwegian Air Boeing 737 aircraft take off to Boston Providence in the USA, following the hard work put in by the team at Cork Airport, and our stakeholders, was a huge achievement.

Q. In three words or fewer, how do you define success?

Three words which define success for me are ‘exceeding market expectations’.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

People will give you the minimum they perceive you are willing to accept.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

I firmly believe that you can’t motivate people as motivation is intrinsic. People must be self-motivated, and so, I surround myself with like-minded people.

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?

It would have to be Willie Walsh, CEO of International Airlines Group (IAG). His work as CEO of Aer Lingus, and now as CEO of IAG, has been instrumental in enhancing Ireland’s connectivity with the world and delivering growth for Irish tourism.

Q. How do you relax?

I’ve been singing in choirs since I was six years of age, and in St. Colman’s Cathedral in Cobh for 40 years. Choral singing is a great form of mindfulness.

Q. What’s your motto?

There is a good business quote, ‘leadership is selfless service for the benefit of others’. It’s always good to remember it’s about ‘we’ and not ‘me’ in a team context.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?

To continue to grow and enhance the corporate reputation of Cork Airport within the daa group, as an internationally successful aviation business. This year Cork Airport, which is Ireland’s second busiest and best connected airport, enters its fourth year of consecutive growth. We are committed to continue our growth throughout 2019 and beyond, and are forecasting an 8% increase in passenger numbers this year, with over 50 routes now on offer from Cork Airport across the UK, continental Europe and the east coast of the USA.

People will give you the minimum they perceive you are willing to accept.