Andrew Fitzpatrick, Monster Entertainment, working from his garden.

What We’re Made Of is a Q&A series that looks at how companies in the aviation industry are tackling challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve had to adapt to changes in where, when and how we work, but we are resilient. If you would like to share your experience, e-mail editor@apex.aero.

Andrew Fitzpatrick
Chairman, Monster Entertainment

Location: Dublin
Day 14 of working from home
Date of writing: April 1

Are you in lockdown right now?
Yes.

Where are you writing from?
A table in the garden.

Have you or anyone you know been directly affected by COVID-19?
Nobody has had a confirmed diagnosis, but a couple of people I know may have had a mild case.

What news outlets are you following?

Euronews, RTÉ News and Sky News.

How are you passing time?

Mostly working; watching Babylon BerlinWestworld and classic rugby games on You Tube; reading Milkman by Anna Burns and The Names by Don DeLillo; and walking.

“See what your clients need, offer incentives and discounts. As soon as airlines start flying again, maybe arrange a video conference with as many participants as possible.”

Describe where your business was at the end of 2019. What were your goals/projections for 2020?
We had picked up some great new programs and were looking forward to 2020 with confidence. We had planned on building a number of childrens’ series and music series as brands.

What are some of the challenges your business has faced as a result of the outbreak?
So far, the main impact has been the drying up and/or postponement of airline orders in the in-flight sector. Outside the airline industry, some broadcasters have now additional content needs and others have put purchasing decisions on hold. We are trying to identify programming which suits the changed needs of our business – such as non-verbal programming as dubbing studios are closed, educational programs as schools are closed and music TV programs as concert venues are closed.

Any tips on how to remain productive under these new circumstances?
Keeping good communications going with all staff, setting goals, ensuring everyone’s Internet speed is adequate and people have the software and hardware that they need to continue working. Also, making sure everyone is taking care of themselves and getting regular exercise.

How can we, as an industry, work together and rebound from this unprecedented crisis?
I feel that all industries need to look at how they can accelerate recovery. See what your clients need, offer incentives and discounts. As soon as airlines start flying again, maybe arrange a video conference with as many participants as possible.

Can you give an example of generosity or kindness displayed by your company or one of your colleagues during this crisis?
We have a tenant in our office building and, from day one, we told them not to worry about the rent. All landlords should do the same if they can.

How do you feel about your government’s response to the crisis?
In Ireland, the response has been excellent. We are a high-risk country as we have huge inward and outward travel and we are a massively open economy. We started social distancing and working from home early on and, so far, the outbreak here has been very manageable.

Where do you see your company or the industry six months from now?
In six months, we should be back to normal, though we’ll never recover the business we have lost. Hopefully, in one year’s time we will be getting back to building our business again.

Read more about the coronavirus impact on the air travel industry, including APEX’s position on the matter, and subscribe to the APEX Daily Experience newsletter to stay up to date.