The Manhattan Aviation ethos is supported by Amy Duke’s passion and infectious excitement as the company’s founder and managing director. With the establishment of the business in 2002, her broad and diversified commercial knowledge acquired a new emphasis. Since then, she has dedicated herself to making Manhattan Aviation one of the most reputable providers of customized aviation training programs in the business.
Below, Amy shared her motivational journey toward being an inspiring woman in business:
The Journey of Joining Aviation
My life has been destined to be a residence on this island, so I am heading back to the isle of Man again and got married to Mr. Duke in the year 2000. After marriage, I’m working like mad. All my time is only for work and nothing else.
In less than 2 years, my marriage was over because of my workaholic behavior. After hard work with little savings, I turned myself to be my own boss by starting a business in hospitality by running a Thai restaurant, called Amy’s Chiangmai Thai Restaurant, and I was the first Thai lady who ran a Thai restaurant on the island at that time. On January 27th, 2002, the grand opening of my restaurant was fully booked and a very busy day. It was a successful day finished with all the food I prepared, so on the 28th I needed to close for a day to get all the ingredients in and start preparing food to re-open again on January 29th. The business continued until 2003. It was announced to all the island restaurants (over 200 in total) to participate in a curry competition. Amy’s Thai Restaurant was included in this competition. I was the winner of the National Curry Competition 2003 and also achieved second place in the North West Region.
This competition (North West) in Manchester was supported by the Isle of Man government and they sent me there on their behalf. I was supposed to be a winner. It was very hectic due to loss of stuff and ingredients, with no time to set up a nice table for presenting food compared to the winner. Their table was presented like a 5 star restaurant, for Amy’s it was like a canteen, but my food was brilliant. For 2nd place, it was OK. During running a restaurant, I met my second ex-husband, who has brought me into the aviation industry, and we started operating Manhattan at the end of 2002, starting as a recruitment business. Starting your own business requires skills, knowledge, and experience, none of which I possessed while running Manhattan Aviation.
After a year operating in Manhattan, making zero income My ex-husband (my boyfriend at that time) and I were discussing that we could not cope with 2 businesses at once, therefore we reached the junction of which business I wanted to run between continuing with the restaurant or Manhattan. With careful consideration and after the good reputation of the Thai restaurant, I decided to leave the restaurant business after the completion of the Curry of the Year 2003 competition.
The Process of Becoming Successful
With this online training, we have walked the right path. This is a successful business and an achievement. We provide online training to all engineers to keep their current and updated technology on the type. With this online training, not counting the big airlines or the MRO, we are probably the first organization who provides the CT online training. With lots of demand for type training, we expanded the business to meet customer needs and requirements. In 2012, we gained the GCAA (the General Civil Aviation Authority) and JCARC (Jordanian Aviation Authority) approvals. I worked tirelessly with many roles to cope and deal with those functions; it was too much responsibility for one person, so we managed to assign people to replace me with a Training Manager function while continuing to present with the Accountable Manager and the CEO/MD of the organization.
The Responsibility of a Leader
My duties within the operation are to oversee all aspects of the organization’s activities (from the front door to the back door). Life’s never been easy for me. I’m probably lucky in games but not lucky in love. I got the 2nd divorce in 2012 and have stayed single ever since to the present day. Being a fighter, with enthusiasm, strong character, decisiveness, and a hard-working personality, nothing matters but work. That has driven business and transformed the organization to come this far.
During my business journey, I have been confronted with many obstacles, and every obstacle is surmountable. I was lucky. I got help and guidance on how to overcome from the right people who helped with all my issues. I’m grateful for all of the challenges thrown my way, because the more challenges I face, the steeper my learning curve becomes. My heartfelt thanks to the people who have helped me throughout my journey. I’m very grateful for all the help and guidance I have received from all my surveyors, who have stood by me in all situations and many people I knew and in the industry who are behind my success.
I work closely with my people by understanding, helping, and guiding and working and showing them in the right direction to resolve all matters. Outside of work, I am easy-going and down-to-earth, friendly with everyone.
Heading to Inspire
Business Planning and Development We are currently in talks with an airline company to provide all training requirements for the development of an EASA Part 147 Basic Training and an EASA Part 147 Type Rating Training. We continue to grow to expand business throughout the world, such as in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, etc. We plan to add additional aircraft types and helicopters such as A350, B737 Max, Bell 412, 139, S76, S92, and A109 to our scope of approval. For all training needs, please drop me an email to email@example.com I hope my life story can be an encouragement, an inspiration and a lesson to people, for instance, balancing your life with hard work, fighting, decisiveness, bravery, etc., etc.
“Success is not just money in the bank but fighting throughout the ordeal with gambling and the difference you make in people’s lives. Failure is not permanent, it is the courage to continue that all matters.”