It’s been revealed that the Dubai-based airline Emirates is looking for its third Vice President of Cabin Crew in a just a few short years. The holder of the role is responsible for managing around 25,000 cabin crew and attempting to drive performance through a team known as Crew Performance Managers.
In the last few days, the incumbent VP Cabin Crew handed in her resignation, although it’s not yet known why she decided to step down. Doreen Depastino had only been in the position since March but has many years of experience in the airline industry, having held similar roles at the now-defunct Virgin America, Hawaiian Airlines and jetBlue.
According to Depastino’s Linkedin profile, she managed a $1.1 billion budget, directly managed a 139 strong team of Crew Performance Managers and a multi-cultural community of cabin crew with “superior levels of leadership, direction and management.” She has not yet updated her Linkedin to reflect her departure from Emirates.
During her short tenure, Depastino was most known for sending out an internal memo reminding cabin crew to answer call bells. The reminder followed customer feedback that showed call bells were either being ignored or reset without being answered, while routine cabin monitoring wasn’t always being done.
In April, she also sent a memo to cabin crew telling them not to steal Emirates property from onboard its planes – the reminder came just days after a similar controversy at Cathay Pacific.
“Please don’t risk your job because you took property from the aircraft, hotels or from others, accidentally or without permission,” Depastino told crew. “We will deal with each incident firmly, so please make it a habit to check your belongings before leaving the aircraft to confirm you don’t have any company property in your possession,” the memo continued.
Depastino was, however, said to be a well-liked manager who went to a lot of effort to meet crew and listen to any concerns they had.
The previous Vice President of Cabin Crew, Lynda Briody left Emirates in January having managed the department since 2015. Briody said she was leaving the airline for “personal reasons” – she has since co-founded a leadership mentoring business based in Dubai.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.