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Getting to Know Mikko Turtiainen Director of Sales, The Americas, Condor Airlines

Nov 4, 2023
November 2023

PHOTO: © CONDOR AIRLINEs

THE BASICS
Name: Mikko Turtiainen
Title: Director of sales, The Americas
Company, city: Condor Airlines; Neu-Isenburg, Germany
First job: Client manager, Finnair
Where to next: On an exciting growth journey with Condor and wherever that takes me!

A LITTLE BIT MORE
What actor or actress would play you in a movie of your life?
A combination of Tom Cruise and Clint Eastwood

What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in your current industry?
I would be a sports agent or an actor.

What is your favorite book, movie or television show?
Top Gun — both movies are fantastic.

What historical figure, dead or alive, would you love to have dinner with?
JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr., to name a few

THE BUSINESS
What is your most recent project, and what was the inspiration behind it?
Repositioning Condor to key target audiences within the United States and Canada. We recently launched the Airbus A330-900neo in North America and will convert our entire long-haul fleet to the A330neo by early next year. Condor is growing over the Atlantic, and never have we had this many seats (310) flying non-stop between North America and Frankfurt. We continue to build awareness of Condor’s new premium offering (94 premium seats, with 30 in business and 64 in premium economy) and build traction with the important North American market, primarily working in the corporate, travel management and premium leisure segments. In 2024 Condor will reach new destinations such as Miami.

What is your favorite aspect of the job?
The combination of strategic work with hands-on selling truly is the best of both worlds. Condor has a great product now with the neos and our signature, eye-catching, striped branding — sure to bring a smile to guests who fly with us.

What’s the biggest business risk you’ve ever taken?
Oh boy, I’ve taken a few. As a sales guy going into revenue management, and then as a passenger sales guy going into cargo, I got a few looks. Some said going from Finnair after 23 years to Condor, into something completely new, was a risk. Looking back, each move was the best move, even with the risk involved. In the end, without risk there is no growth.

Who is someone you admire professionally in the travel industry?
I’ve met a lot of good, smart people along my journey, many whom I call friends today, but I cannot single out just one I admire.

AS A TRAVELER
Tell us about a travel nightmare: My biggest nightmare is missing my flight, as I am not one to be too early at the airport or gate. Truthfully, the gate was closing a few times as I came running to catch my plane. Once, at London Heathrow, my inbound flight was an hour late, and I sprinted to make a connecting flight. I still cannot believe I made it!

Share a comical travel experience: I was once mistaken for an air marshal on a flight. I was wearing a suit and had a short hair cut. I wondered why passengers were avoiding me.

What is your preferred method of travel — planes, trains, automobiles and cruise ships — and why? It depends on the distance. I enjoy driving, especially as it allows you to stop when you please and do a small detour if you see something interesting. I do enjoy cruising, a nice way to relax and see a few ports. As for planes, it gets me where I am going in the quickest way possible. Trains I use less, but they can be effective, too.

What has been the best example of customer service you’ve experienced during your travels? I am fortunate service has met my expectations most of the time, so nothing stands out. There was one time my wife came to the rescue. I got to the airport at 6:15 a.m. for a 7:30 a.m. departure and noticed I left my credit card at home. My wife sped home; came back to the airport and gave me my card, with a kiss, and I made the flight. She saved me on that trip!

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