Mike Bannister - Biography #2

In his British Airways executive management role Mike oversaw the retirement of the airline’s flagship supersonic fleet of seven Concorde aircraft.  Until the final flight of Concorde in 2003 he was also the company’s Chief Concorde Pilot and was instrumental in the aircraft’s Return To Service programme following the July 2000 accident at Gonnesse.  His contributions to that effort included writing the associated corporate Safety Case, the Business Case and multiple dealings with UK and French authorities, governments and manufacturers.  This was coupled with extensive and direct work with Concorde customers – both corporate and personal.  In bringing those programmes to successful conclusions he led diverse teams from across the transport industry. During the final few high profile years of Concorde’s operation Mike acted as Company Spokesman for British Airways working world wide across all channels of communication in promotional, current affairs and documentary areas.  After Concorde’s retirement Mike’s management role was expanded to include General Manager, Gatwick Fleets.

At the age of 55 Captain Mike Bannister reached the then compulsory retirement age for Flight Crew within British Airways.  He retired from the position of General Manager, Airbus, Boeing 737 / 757 / 767, Concorde and Gatwick Fleets.  In that role he was responsible for Flight Operations, technical performance, business performance, and Flight Crew management together with developing and maintaining standards for flying crew on these fleets.  The business for which he was directly responsible included around 1400 Flight Crew, 135 aircraft and a budget of £135m. (2004 value).

Since retirement Mike has used his extensive aviation and general management experience across a broad spectrum of commercial, charity and community activities.  Currently these include:-

  • Aviation Consultancy specialising in Airline Operations and Management, Safety & Security where he travels extensively on a wide variety of UK and international carriers.

  • Services as an ‘Expert Witness’ and ‘Expert Advisor’ in aviation related legal cases

  • Chair of Governors and Trustees at a Surrey Independent School currently leading a team managing a £3m development scheduled to be completed in 2012

  • Trustee of Brooklands Museum, Weybridge with several portfolios including Health & Safety, Concorde simulator operations and Business Development.  In the latter role he is part of the team working on the Museum’s £10m+ capital improvement projects.

  • Lay Chair of the PCC of the Parish of Staines and part of the Finance Committee managing their £250k+ budget.

  • General Committee Member at The Wentworth Club and ‘Team Manager’ within the Seniors’ Section.

In other aspects of his career he is, or has been:-

  • Chief Pilot of Merlix Air – a UK based aircraft charter company

  • Senior Pilot for the Red Devils – the UK’s and British Army’s leading parachute team

  • Master of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators – a City of London Livery Company with over 1700 members world-wide

  • A very active member of a wide number of UK aviation and CAA committees, both regulatory and advisory

  • An in demand consultant on aviation and Executive Management matters across the World – particularly in the USA and Europe

  • A senior airline advisor on aviation safety and legal matters

  • A widely acknowledged expert public speaker with engagements in the UK, USA and Europe

  • A well respected and experienced commentator and / or corporate spokesperson in all channels of media covering aviation and non-aviation matters

Since the retirement of Concorde Mike has contributed significantly to the raising of over £200,000 for good causes by lectures, signings and personal contributions etc. Wishing to “Put Something Back” he is very active in the Voluntary / Third Sector including having taken on roles as a Chair of School Governors of an Independent School in Surrey, Corporate Non Executive Directorships, Anglican Church Lay PCC Chair and as a Trustee of a number of organisations, including Brooklands Museum. Mike also runs an Aviation Consultancy specialising in Airline Management, Operational, Safety and Security matters across a wide range of aircraft types and geographical locations. For the last 10 years he has been extensively involved as an expert witness and lead technical advisor in the ‘Air France Concorde Trial’.

In his relaxation time Mike plays golf at the Wentworth Club, where he is a General Committee Member, loves cricket at all levels and travels extensively on a wide variety of UK and international carriers. Mike  currently resides in Middlesex, UK, with his wife Christine, a former British Airways Cabin Service Director.  He has three children: James, Robert and Amy.