With us from the start
It’s not an exaggeration to say that nobody knows Lufthansa Systems Hungária better than Levente Pátrovics, who joined the Budapest office of Lufthansa Systems in February 1996. We asked him about his experiences.
Levente was the 20th newly hired colleague in Budapest. Over the past decades, he’s been closely involved in the development of several Lufthansa Systems' products and currently, he works as competence lead for IT architecture.
How did you learn for the first time about Lufthansa Systems?
I was in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, at Philips Research where my half-year scholarship as a research trainee was coming to an end. One of my university classmates who knew I spoke German forwarded me the job advertisement of Lufthansa Systems’ Hungarian subsidiary that was just about to be open its office in Budapest.
Can you still remember your first working day?
As the office had just opened at that time, everything was very new and freshly painted. It took some time until we could use our computers: as we were developing Lufthansa’s mainframe applications, we could only work via terminal software over a leased line that had a bandwidth of 16 kbits/sec (!). I still remember that sometimes, when several colleagues were working simultaneously, it took a few seconds until the text we typed appeared on the screen.
What was the most interesting project you have worked on during your career at Lufthansa Systems?
Maybe I would highlight my first one: the FDI (Flight Data Information) project, delivering briefing and weather information for the Lufthansa cockpit. This was the first time for me as a newbie to dive into the great world of aviation, learning about legs, segments, METAR¹s and SIGMET²s and a lot of other things I was not aware of before. I will never forget the light bulb moment on a flight from Frankfurt to Budapest where I was sitting in the cockpit and could see my application being used by the pilots.
What was the strangest or funniest situation while working for Lufthansa Systems? What moment do you often remember?
As a team leader, I had my first visit at Lufthansa Systems’ Hamburg subsidiary to discuss possible cooperation topics. I forgot to set my alarm clock and woke up 45 minutes before the flight was departing. Two minutes later I was sitting in my car (that was a Polski Fiat at that time), rushing to the airport. The Lufthansa colleagues at the BUD airport office were very helpful and got me quickly through the security control, so I could board the plane at the last minute before the doors were closed.
What motivates you to work for Lufthansa Systems? What do you think makes Lufthansa Systems a good employer?
The company had a family-like atmosphere for long years. This has to some extent disappeared since it has grown to several hundred employees, but a lot of it has still remained, for example: the colleagues still greet each other when they pass by in the office or meet in the elevator. I also very much like our non-blaming, supportive, solution-focused working atmosphere. As I was working as a leader in Lufthansa Systems Hungária for long years, I hope that also I had my small contribution to this company culture.
Last but not least, we want to use the anniversary as an opportunity to look ahead: What changes and challenges can be expected in the near future? What is your wish for the company?
The fact that Lufthansa Systems has been deeply integrated into the Lufthansa Group gives us a lot of chances for the future. My wish is that Lufthansa Systems Hungária will be involved in numerous innovative projects connected to Lufthansa’s digital transformation strategy, and we can contribute to renewing the airline IT landscape to fulfill the expectations of the 21st century.
At this place, more of our colleagues will soon be reporting on their many years of experience.
1) METAR (METeorological Aerodrome Report): a standardized message in short form, which reflects the weather observation of a single airfield.
2) SIGMET (SIGnificant METeorological phenomena): a weather warning system for air traffic
1) Levente Pátrovics (© private)
2) Levente Pátrovics at the office in Budapest years ago (© private)
3) Visit in the Lufthansa Systems' data center in Kelsterbach near Frankfurt (© private)
4) Lufthansa Systems celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020 (© Lufthansa Systems)