Anniversary Interview: Vitali Kisseljov

Magnetic Maintenance

Vitali Kisseljov, a seasoned professional with over three decades of experience in the aviation industry, is currently celebrating a major milestone in his career. As he has reached his 30th work anniversary with Magnetic Group, where he works as a Project Manager in Base Maintenance, we had the privilege of conducting an interview with him to gain insight into his illustrious journey and the many changes and advancements he has witnessed over the years.

How did your aviation career, specifically in Magnetic Group, start?

I started at Estonian Air on 08/20/1992 at the age of 28, already having experience in aviation. Still, I started from the very bottom.

What has changed and advanced in the last thirty years? How would you describe your experience working here?

Nothing remains from that time, absolutely nothing. Well, except just people. We have quite a few people from those times. I can say that the whole Magnetic MRO, as it is now, was made before our eyes and with our direct participation.

There has never been stagnation here – political and economic life has set new realities and tasks. We have always moved somewhere. That’s right; it’s not dull.

What are the most significant achievements and projects to which you have given your input?

The end of 2005 and 2006 was the most important and challenging for me since I started as a Base Maintenance Project Manager without engineering support; there was one for the whole company for all projects non-stop. Nonetheless, every year or season is different from the previous one.

Additionally, I’ve been a part of quite a few turning points, such as the start of 1992, the changeover to Boeing in 1995, the start of Maersk Time in 1997, the situation in aviation after 9/11 and the decision on base maintenance in 2001, the difficult formation of Base Maintenance between 2001-2006, the return of Sergei Shkolnik to the position of Maintenance Manager and turn to calculated planning and evaluation in 2006, the development of consolidation as an independent company since 2010 (BaltCap), and the creation of Magnetic as a brand together with Jonas Butautis in 2014.

How do you like to spend your after-work hours? 

I don’t have much of a hobby. Everything is always different. Light hiking in good weather during late spring, summer and early autumn attracts me. Work takes a lot, so I think that I don’t see enough with those who are dear to me. I try to meet with them as much as possible.

Sergei Shkolnik, Base Maintenance Director: "Thirty years ago, being 21 years of age, I had my first day of practical training in the Estonian Air technical department, and I’d been patiently waiting on the staircase of Building No. 8 for the Production Manager to pick me up and bring me to the base maintenance shift. Another ‘suspicious subject’ was hanging around there, probably waiting for the same. This so-called ‘subject’ was older than me and looked very serious. How could I’ve known then that I’d spend the good next 30 years working hand in hand together with this ‘subject’ whose name is Vitali Kisseljov? I am very grateful to Vitali for these long, challenging and same time gratifying years! Vitali has been a reliable friend, excellent specialist and great colleague. A lot has been done, plenty yet to do. I wish my best to Vitali and look forward to the good years ahead of working together."