Cargo Champion – Larry Coyne
TO DESCRIBE Larry Coyne, chief executive officer of Coyne Airways and its parent company Coyne Aviation, as being “doggedly determined” would be an understatement, according to Pat Roche, who has known him professionally for more than 15 years.
“Things don’t just happen, you have to make them happen and Larry always has,” reveals the international marketing director of Redberry Software.
Coyne is well known for being vociferous on issues he is passionate about, such as the liberalisation of cargo traffic rights and the removal of obstacles to the growth of the industry.
His contribution as president of TIACA between 2001 and 2003 has received much praise.
Daniel Fernandez, TIACA’s secretary general, states: “Larry is one of the air cargo industry’s great entrepreneurs.
“He has also given a great deal of time to progressing industry initiatives that he is passionate about.
“Larry is a deep thinker on the air cargo business and a true visionary who certainly raised the bar during his chairmanship and set a standard his successors have worked hard to maintain.”
Since its inception in 1994, his carrier Coyne Airways, has built a reputation for providing reliable and secure scheduled cargo services to some of the world’s most difficult to reach destinations, pioneering routes into the Caucases (Central Asia) as well as Afghanistan, Iraq as well as the oil-and-gas rich Sakhalin Island (Russia).
So how has he managed to be so successful operating in economies other businesses have been much more cautious about venturing into?
“New markets are always difficult to begin with and just when you think you have them figured out, they start to change,” he admits during an interview.
The Irish-born accountancy graduate obtained an MBA at the Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania (US) before going on to work for an international management consultancy.
Recalling the impact the sudden availability of Soviet-built cargo aircraft had on the industry as the Perestroika era ushered in, Chris Leach, chief executive officer of Air Charter Service, states: “A number of new entrants emerged in the business. However, from this new blood, Larry stood out head and shoulders above the rest.
“Organised, thoughtful, purposeful, a good businessman and a thoroughly good man, Larry quickly became part of the firmament.”
“Launching his virtual airline services into several of the former Soviet republics, he made order out of a relatively chaotic period of change,” he adds.
“A fellow Queens Park Rangers supporter, a quick wit, a gentleman, and, above all, one of life’s contributors, I have all the time in the world and every respect for Larry Coyne.”
Can Coyne turn a minus into a plus? Most likely.