Jonathan Bacon

a sky high career

Airline travel has become an everyday event for many people and airline safety is increasing all the time. Nevertheless, accidents do happen, and the consequences can be tragic and expensive. Jonathan has spent the last eight years mastering the technicalities of protecting airlines around the world to keep them flying high.

While studying history at the University of East Anglia, Jonathan did an internship at Liberty Specialty Markets, an insurance company. Unusually he had always known he wanted to work in the industry. “My father works in the market, so I saw someone who loved what he did, travelled often and met a lot of great people. Unlike many people who think insurance might be dull, I saw what a dynamic and fun place to work it could be.” Once he graduated, he was offered an entry level underwriting role in the aviation team at Liberty.

Jonathan focuses on airlines all around the world– both passenger and cargo, and the sector requires some in-depth technical understanding but, as Jonathan says, “There is a lot of analysis that needs to be done for each risk, but once you get underneath the skin, it really takes off.” Covid-19 inevitably caused considerable turbulence for airlines as global travel came to an abrupt halt. “Other than the live events industry, air travel was probably the sector hardest hit by the pandemic. Our first objective was to consider financial support for our clients and help them identify the new risks they faced with all their aircraft on the ground”. Obviously, there were fewer accidents because aircraft were not flying but lots of planes parked at airports (or other locations), and not being used for an extended period, created a whole new set of risks. Airlines are also at the front of the climate change debate as significant consumers of fossil fuels. Jonathan continued “The technology is not there yet for airlines to switch to biofuels on a large scale, but it will be fascinating to see the changes that are coming happen at scale.”

Jonathan’s expectations of his career in insurance have been met, “London is unique, so many experts all within 500 metres of each other all doing something that helps society to thrive, makes it a fascinating place to work”.