As he approaches his 90th year, Ireland’s
air freight forwarding pioneer and industry founder Sean Mc Cool, (pictured
above with son, Ian) of International Airline Marketing Limited (IAM)
has been inducted into the All Ireland Business Foundation / AIBF.ie "Hall
of Fame" for lifetime achievements and his contribution to the air
“The accolade,” AIBF said,”
is in recognition of Sean’s outstanding contribution to Irish Industry
and Commerce over the seven decades of his career.
“In our opinion, the pioneering work
undertaken by Sean in the development of the air-cargo sector has made
an enormous contribution to the flow of cargo on and off the island, an
infrastructure which has established Ireland as a major global export
“I am delighted to have been selected
for this lovely award and extend my heartfelt congratulations to the other
accredited companies and to the All-Ireland Business Foundation for its
excellent work bringing business partners together,” Sean McCool
Constants In A Sea of Change
At a time in life when everything is changing,
the McCools, both father Sean and son Ian have collectively been a constant
of the Irish air cargo scene for more than 70 years.
Today their company established by Sean
in 1989, International Airlines Marketing Ltd. (IAM) is Ireland’s
largest Air Cargo General Sales and Service Agent (GSSA), responsible
for over 20 percent of all airfreight traffic from Ireland.
The father and son team, IAM has served
many carriers including American Airlines, Etihad, Air Canada, All Nippon
Airways, and South African Airways and others.
Sean's career began in the 1950s at Seaboard
World Airlines (his first airline job).
Sean later moved on to Brinks (who he introduced
to Ireland) and Aer Lingus commercial cargo, where he was responsible
for the establishment of the highly successful cargo operation in Ireland
Between 1960 and 1964, Sean participated
as an Aer Lingus Executive on the Marketing Committee of the Confederation
of Irish Industries.
Sean is a founding member of the Irish Air
Cargo Institute and the Irish Institute of Freight Forwarders (IIFA),
where he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship for service to industry.
He is a former Council member of FIATA,
the Irish Exporters Association, and a past VP of the European Confederation
of National Freight Forwarders’ Associations (C.L.E.C.A.T), a consultative
body to the EU Commissioner of Transport.
“My first airline job was at Seaboard
World Airways, the pioneering all cargo airline that served Ireland from
New York,” Sean recalled.
“I was responsible for both sales
and operations, and on call around the clock,” he said.
“I’d call the cargo terminal
from home every morning before the night shift left to make sure the transfers
had been made.
“Sometimes, after the flight came
in, I’d get a call in the middle of the night and go out to the
airport to help sort the shipments.
“It was all-hands-on-deck back in
those days,” Sean remembered.
“On the sales side, I spent a lot
of time contacting forwarding agents here in Ireland.
“There weren’t too many of them
back in those days,” Sean said.
“I would also spend several days a
month out on the road converting surface to air.
“That was tough work and could take
months, maybe even a year before a shipper would even pay the slightest
“But I must say that from the beginning
this has been a joyous ride in an industry filled with wonderful people.”
“The training and experience in rolling
up our sleeves and getting down to doing whatever it takes still serves
the IAM team today,” Ian McCool added.
“Despite the current challenges we
shall continue to move toward return to a new normal.
“Right now staying close to the customer
and keeping everybody on the same page is key.
“The best surprise we discover is
no surprise,” Ian McCool said.