How to manage your mental health as cabin crew

How to manage your mental health as cabin crew

A recent psychological study conducted by German scholars has unveiled that the mental health of airline workers is deteriorating day by day. This study particularly points out significant symptoms of depression, anxiety, and high-stress levels in cabin crews. 

Service industry workers have typically been exposed to a significant amount of emotional stress. The pressure of having to keep smiling even after a hectic schedule is quite problematic. It is why service workers are more susceptible to depression than the general public.

Flight attendants and cabin crew pose a specific problem of a subset within the larger circle of the service industry. The risk factor associated with the cabin crew job and the finality it presents makes for a unique emotional state. 

 

Why are cabin crew more susceptible to mental illness?

A 2018 study reported significantly more sleep issues, apprehension bordering on anxiety, depression, and exhaustion amongst cabin crew. Several issues came up in the analysis of the problem. 

Most cabin crew, especially on domestic flights, have much longer shifts. They usually start early and continue well within the night. Lack of sleep interrupts the biorhythm of the workers. The irregularity of their shifts makes it impossible for their bodies to adjust to a specific schedule.

Ultimately, these act as stressors that result in profound exhaustion and fatigue. A more underlying issue is that of anxiety. Almost 40% of cabin crew experience some type of anxiety during take-off or landing of the flight. 

 Finally, lack of job security is pretty standard. The air travel industry is particularly competitive, with many seemingly established airlines going out of business from time to time. It makes the cabin crew vulnerable to market fluctuations.

The pandemic is a prime example that has left many people jobless and adds to the depression. But these things will not happen when you join exclusive concierge services as they take care of both the customer and their employees well. 

 But until you join such services, know how to manage and prevent the said problems. 

 

1. Keep up with the conversation around mental illness

The first and perhaps primary step towards alleviating mental illness is to recognise it. You have the best chances to identify that your mental health is in jeopardy. But to do so, you need to know what to look for. The internet provides an array of resources that speak about mental health problems. 

Cross-check the legitimacy of these resources and keep yourself up to date with the developments. Some of the common symptoms are:

  • Feeling lonely or sad
  • Not linking to communicate with anyone
  • Deficient energy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Rapid mood swings

If any of these symptoms persist for more than a week, go ahead and seek help. 

 

2. Go to therapy

Most people believe that therapy is like a medicine that you need to take when you are ill. That is not the appropriate attitude to resolve this problem. Therapy is more like vitamins that you take all year round to stop yourself from getting sick. 

Therapy gives you valuable insights and helps you recognise unresolved problems. It becomes a steady support system from a professional trained to recognise symptoms. Ultimately, being in therapy can prevent aggravation of existing mental health problems. It resolves deep-seated issues and is a great preventative measure that more people should look out for. 

 

3. Practice mindfulness

The pivotal solution for stress management is to quieten the mind. Practicing mindfulness is a step towards achieving that very goal. To do this, all you need to do is take a moment for yourself and focus on the task you are doing now wholly. Yours is a world of relentless distraction. Your meals are accompanied by your phones. 

To be mindful is to remove any thought of the past and future by solely focusing on the present. Not only does this help with stress relief, but it is also an excellent exercise to calm your anxiety. You will end up spending a lot less time on tasks once you immerse entirely in them. However, it is not an easy process, and it takes time to perfect the practice. 

But by committing to do it more and more times, you will see a marked difference in your focus, attention span, and even mood.

 

4. Stop chasing productivity

The world that we live in works like a rat race. You know the idea of productivity from a very young age. While hard work is a universal virtue, to fall into the trap of constantly having to outdo others is unhealthy. There is no end to the illusion of being more productive.

You could consistently achieve more and do better. It is, however, a toxic process of undermining one’s self-worth that can cause severe depression. It eats away at a person’s self-confidence and is overall very harmful to mental health. 

So, set yourself a routine and do your work within that time. Do not bring any work pressure to home. Once work is over, do something you like, such as listening to music, spending time with family, reading books, or watching television.

 

5. Exercise and eat properly

Lastly, you cannot deny the importance of eating a balanced diet and exercising every day. Studies have shown that foods rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals keep health in good condition and positively impact the mind. Thus, include lots of fruits, veggies, cereals, whole grain bread, brown rice, chicken, cottage cheese, tofu, fish in your diet. 

Moreover, work out daily. Take a walk, jog in the park, swim, or even dance to make both your body and mind fit. 

 

Conclusion

The journey of mental health is not one of linear progress. It takes a person to go through many ups and downs to come to a point where they are at peace with themselves and their surroundings. For some, it takes months, and for others, years.

The most important thing to keep in mind during this process is to be gentle with yourself. And also, follow the five ways mentioned above and stay well in the long run!

 

Author Kimberly Clark is a content marketing specialist – Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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How to become Cabin Crew with no experience

How to become Cabin Crew with no experience

Airlines are more likely to hire candidates with previous experience, but there are things which you can do to ‘get your foot in the door’ if you have no experience. The travel, lifestyle, salary and perks make it one of the most popular careers out there. That means...

5 Steps to becoming a commercial airline pilot

5 Steps to becoming a commercial airline pilot

Piloting is a unique, exciting, and rewarding job, but when it comes to preparing for this career, there’s more to it than finding out how much pilots earn. Whether you’ve wanted to become an aviator since you were a child or the decision to pursue this goal is a recent one, understanding all there is to know about the requirements and expectations related to the piloting career is essential.

Contrary to popular belief, being an airline and a commercial pilot are not the same things, so make sure to research this difference well beforehand. Advancing to the position of a respected commercial pilot may not be as easy as one-two-three, but here are the five steps you must take to become eligible for the job.

 

Phase 1: Evaluate the requirements

When it comes to dedicating yourself to a new career, preparation is the step you should never omit. To find out the basics about the job you’re interested in and learn how realistic it is to be good at it, experienced essay writing service UK contributors specialising in education recommend checking the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for relevant data.

Before moving on to any concrete actions, make sure to inspect what the website has to say about the airline and commercial pilot careers: what sort of education and training is required, which licenses and certifications you’ll need to obtain, as well as which skills you should work on to raise your chances of success in the field.

Once you’ve gathered all the important data in one place, assess how much needs to be done and in which time frame you’ll be able to accomplish it all realistically.

 

Phase 2: Acquire the mandatory flying licenses

Once you’ve got a solid grasp on what needs to be done, it’s time to hit the books and pass the exams required for the job. Getting your commercial pilot license will probably seem quite challenging, mostly because there are many differences between various certificates. Still, with proper resources, you’ll learn to distinguish the license types in no time.

Although there’s some hard work ahead of you, managing to do all there is and proving to yourself that you can do it will be worth the effort. Choose a renowned, trustworthy aviation school and you are ready to go.

 

Phase 3: Get an appropriate medical certificate

Medical certification is an important part of the process of becoming a commercial pilot. If you haven’t acquired a necessary permit while getting your flying licenses, you’ll need to do so afterward.

Rules and regulations for medical certificates are a bit overwhelming at first, but understanding them is a must to move on. To put it simply, they are labelled as first-class, second-class, and third-class, and are generally designed as follows: first-class is necessary to become an airline transport pilot, second-class if you’re interested in the career of a commercial pilot, while the third-class is reserved for students and recreational and private pilots.

As you can see, the difference between these certificates plays a huge role in your future career, so mind which one to get before moving on to the next step.

 

Phase 4: Get ready to start practicing

After you’ve successfully gone through the preparatory phases, it’s time to get into the cockpit and start flying under supervision. In case you ever wondered how long it takes to become a pilot and be able to fly on your own, the answer isn’t as straightforward as would be desired: it all depends on your pace, dedication, and focus.

The additional time-consuming requirement is having to clock 250 hours of flight time before becoming a certified pilot, and this can take from 6 months to 2 years to accomplish, depending on your skills, experience, available time for practice, and many other factors. Once you’ve completed all the items on this list, you are good to go.

No matter how challenging these practice runs can be, they are also a great source of excitement for most future pilots. 

 

Phase 5: Apply for entry-level commercial airline jobs

Once all of the licenses and certificates are obtained and you’ve successfully tested the skies in the requested amount of practice hours, you can take a deep breath: your mission is finally done. The time has come to test all that you’ve learned and gain experience in the field you now know and love.

Just as with many other jobs, it’s vital to remember that starting small is perfectly normal. Flying is serious work that carries along a lot of responsibility, so start researching where you could start your career and advance as time passes by.

Never give up on your dream: patience and dedication will take you where you want to be.

 

Author Jessica Chapman is a writing editor from Chicago, passionate about sports, politics, and travel. She’s the first person to reach out to if you ever find yourself wondering “Where can I find someone to help me write my college essays?”

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How to get a pilot licence

How to get a pilot licence

There are three accepted routes to obtaining a pilot licence which will enable you to fly for an airline. They are commonly known as, Integrated, Modular and Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL). The Integrated and Modular paths lead to exactly the same licence, while the...

Aviation trends that emerged because of the pandemic

Aviation trends that emerged because of the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted world governments to decide to limit travel significantly. As a result of all this, airlines are now struggling to fill their flights. But along with the bad news (from job cuts to airline bankruptcies), a crisis is always fertile ground for innovation, since effective problem-solving means generating ideas.

The importance of innovations was stressed out by Secretary-General of the ICAO Dr. Fang Liu, who said that “innovation will be crucial to how we build aviation back better in the months and years ahead”. 

In 2019, aspirant pilots had little reason to worry. The dilemma of whether to buy an essay paper or write one yourself seemed like the last hurdle to getting a pilot’s license and starting a new life stage. And then 2020 happened, affecting the lives of millions of aviation workers and passengers. Nevertheless, it is what it is. And the whole aviation world is trying to adapt to this new reality.

So, let’s take a look at some of the pandemic trends, which are shaping the present and the future of the aviation industry. 

 

Flying for the sake of flying

In the Asia-Pacific region, airlines have started flights with passengers on board in both directions, but without a final destination. This is because travelers just want to fly – never mind that the journey will end at home.

The founders of this trend were Qantas, China Airlines, Hong-Kong Express, and EVA Air, which organised a flight from Taipei in the style of the Hello Kitty cartoon. Three Michelin-starred Motokazu Nakamura served food on board. Australian airlines Qantas were not left out of the trend either.

The first sightseeing flight took off from Sydney and landed there 7 hours later. During the flight, passengers were able to enjoy some of the iconic sights from above. The flight, which, according to the airline spokesman, sold out in record time in the history of Qantas airlines – in 10 minutes. The airline sold 134 tickets worth from £314 to £1513 pounds.

 

No refunds

Since the pandemic in most of the world has no sign of going away, and airline debts are only increasing, many carriers stop refunding for unused tickets. A prime example of this is the low-cost airline Ryanair.

When Britain announced a second lockdown in November 2020, the company said it would not make refunds on the flights, even though the U.K. government has banned all but the most essential travel. And most airlines insist on refunding vouchers rather than money for tickets. Thus, consumers are unwittingly keeping the industry afloat by investing from their own pockets.

 

Selling in-flight meals

It’s funny how people not only miss flying but also the unexpected details of air travel, such as in-flight meals. Some airlines have noticed a demand among regular passengers for in-flight meals. Thai Airways started the trend back in April 2020, selling boxes of food from the Bangkok airport and then offering in-flight meals at the Royal Orchid Dining Experience.

Of course, this innovation isn’t enough to save an airline from bankruptcy, but it could help keep passengers loyal. And Finnair has decided to sell ready-made meals from its business class menu in Finnish grocery stores. In the kits, you can find local delicacies: venison meatballs or Arctic char, for example. These dishes are designed by Finnair’s chefs and cost 10 – 13 euros per serving.

If the experiment is successful, Finnair plans to expand the production of the kits and establish sales in other places. Cathay Pacific and Garuda Indonesia are also trying to get in on the trend, and Gate Gourmet, an airline catering company, is selling frozen meals directly to the consumer from its warehouse in Sydney. In general, they are doing the best they can.

 

Antiviral interior solutions

Disinfection programs have become the number one priority for airlines, but in the coming months and years, they will give way to thoughtful, safe interiors made of antiviral and antibacterial materials. American Airlines pioneered the development of special coatings, introducing the special substance SurfaceWise2, which is applied to surfaces by electrostatic spraying.

United follows closely behind: it has created a similar antimicrobial coating, Zoono Antimicrobial Shield, for parts of the aircraft cabin. This coating creates an invisible barrier on surfaces and physically destroys virus cells. This protects passengers and staff from the surface transmission of the coronavirus, especially in the areas most commonly touched – seats, armrests, trolleys, and litter covers.

 

Isolated class

The interiors in business class at many airlines have always been of the highest quality. But in the pandemic era, priorities have shifted: the luxury for which airlines can charge top dollar is not nice seats, but isolated cabins.

Airlines that already offer passengers separate “suites” should be doing well. Examples include Air France La Première and Emirates’ upgraded version of first class. Most other airlines do not yet have full-size partitions.

 

Biometric terminals

The adoption of biometric technology has accelerated noticeably because of the pandemic. More and more airports are now being equipped with contactless gateways that can be opened with a smartphone and biometric systems – facial and iris recognition.

At Dubai International Airport, Emirates has equipped a continuous “biometric track” that allows travelers to check-in for flights, complete immigration formalities, enter the Emirates lounge, and board the plane simply by following the route at the airport.

Emirates also became the first airline outside the U.S. to receive U.S. Customs and Border Protection approval for biometric boarding.

 

To summarise

Sure thing, there are a lot of other trends which arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And of course, there going to be a lot of new trends, which could make airlines and air travel look like something we won’t be able to recognise at first.

At the same time, as more and more people across the world get vaccinated, there is hope that one of the aviation trends of late 2021 (or at least 2022) would be returning the industry to the state as it was in 2019.

 

Author Taylor Brouwer is an experienced author, majoring in transport and economy. Used to work in transportation companies across Virginia, USA. Currently works as a content writer at writemypaperbro.com. – Photo by Lukas Souza on Unsplash 

 

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Aviation trends that emerged because of the pandemic

Aviation trends that emerged because of the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted world governments to decide to limit travel significantly. As a result of all this, airlines are now struggling to fill their flights. But along with the bad news (from job cuts to airline bankruptcies), a crisis is always fertile...

What it is like to be a woman in the aviation industry

What it is like to be a woman in the aviation industry

A woman in aviation 

We recently spoke with Jordan Milano Hazrati an MSc Student, full-time Human Factors Specialist, and student pilot to discuss what it is like to be a woman in the aviation industry. Jordan kindly shared her thoughts on what could be improved and advice for women aspiring to join the industry.

 

Why do you think there aren’t many women in the industry compared to men?

I believe the reason that there are much fewer women within certain areas of the industry than men, is deeply ingrained within society. It does impact different sectors of the industry differently.

For example within the cabin crew rank, there is more crew who identify as female than male, and within the flight deck, there are more pilots who identify as male than female. Disproportionately so. For example, in the UK, only 4.77% of pilots are female (Air Line Pilots Association International Trade Union), and this statistic is even lower for Captains/ Training Captains.

Historically, men and women are encouraged and expected to follow different paths within their lives, for example, it was considered socially acceptable for men to work as engineers, whereas women were expected to follow careers of a more caring nature (i.e. nursing, teaching), and balance this with raising a family.

These expectations are embedded into society through generational expectations, the hidden curriculum (i.e. what is taught to our younger generations through subconscious bias), and representation (through what women can see as opportunities open to them).

Moreover, if I had a penny for every time someone said to me ‘women like you aren’t interested in engineering or being a pilot’ I’d probably never have to work again, and it’s these assumptions that need challenging and changing.

 

How do you feel this could be improved? 

The beautiful thing about history is that the course of such can always be changed. And there are so many incredible organisations and people out there working hard to improve diversity not only in aviation but also in the workplace in general. In my personal view from my experience in the air, and as an educator, visibility is key.

Young people need to be able to see that people like themselves can have successful careers in the flight deck. Schools, colleges, and community groups need to have access through organisations within aviation who would be willing to come into educational settings and talk to young people about their ambitions and provide advice/mentoring.

This ties in with social media as well. Like it or not, it’s here to stay and is one of the biggest sources that influence our young people’s minds. By ensuring that those pilots that are of a minority have a platform to speak and connect with young people, we can reach out to a whole new cohort of future aviators by simply saying ‘hey, I’m like you, and you can do this too’.

“…there are so many incredible organisations and people out there working hard to improve diversity not only in aviation but also in the workplace in general.”

We need to fight the belief that women aren’t interested in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) when it simply isn’t true. Women have historically been engaged in aviation, including working as test pilots and flight instructors during WW2, and therefore this view isn’t accurate.

Instead of accepting this, we need to tackle the barriers that stop women from pursuing a career in the flight deck. We also need to be prepared to challenge any discrimination that is seen or heard. By doing this we begin to break down the stigma surrounding gender within the industry.

This involves providing education and support around financing training, ensuring that organisations are trained and supported to allow those who choose to have a family to do so (there’s long-standing research that demonstrates that women believe a career in the skies is unavailable to them as a mother).

Providing networking opportunities and events to women to allow them to gain the necessary social capital. I read something once about equality that stated it’s not about lowering any standards; it’s about removing obstacles that may exist.

When it comes to increasing diversity in the flight deck, I think that this summary couldn’t be more accurate. I’m still learning, and educating myself in this matter, but I will strive to do all that I can to improve diversity and broaden the range of possibilities of the young whilst in my role.

 

What challenges have you faced as a woman in this industry?

I just want to say that I have never been treated any differently in my career, education, or training due to my gender. I am incredibly grateful to have been treated fairly and equally at all points and I barely put a second thought to the fact that I may be a minority until I was once asked ‘what’s it like to be a woman in your field?’.

This itself shows we have a long way to go yet. I have heard the occasional comment made such as ‘you women can’t drive, let alone fly a plane’.

When I was working as cabin crew and we had a female pilot, passengers would sometimes remark ‘oh is she any good?’ but these sorts of comments are normally made from those outside of the industry.

I believe it’s important within my position to challenge these types of comments and provide understanding as to why it’s not an acceptable thing to say.

Most people that I work alongside and have met through the industry, whether it be my managers, flight instructors, or fellow cabin crew are fully supportive and aware of the need to increase diversity within the industry.

 

Advice for other women looking to join the aviation industry?

Don’t be put off by being the only woman in the room. I promise you, if you have the skills, ability, drive, and determination to go after whatever role it is you want, and believe in yourself, you’ll get there anyway.

You’ll likely find yourself surrounded by people cheering you on and supporting you all the way, and even if not, reach out to fellow female aviators via social media or aviation organisations and we’ll all be there for you!

“Don’t be put off by being the only woman in the room.”

Immerse yourself in the world of aviation. Speak to fellow aviators, those aspiring, and those who’ve been successful, and share experiences. Read, and read lots. You can never know enough and there is always something else to learn.

Study hard and prepare to make sacrifices. Finally, I’d say embrace the fear, the nerves, the apprehension…. And do it anyway. Remember the saying ‘’What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?’.

 

What is your end goal as a woman in aviation?

My end goal ultimately is to have a long, successful, and progressive career within the aviation industry. One where I can combine my love for flying as a pilot, with my research interests within Human Factors, and promoting positive mental health and wellbeing within the aviation community.

I’ve always believed that the people that make up the industry are special, and I’m so privileged to have a role where I can make a true difference to these people. Now I’m also incredibly interested in outreach with young people on following careers into STEM subjects within aviation.

Stepping back and seeing where life takes you can sometimes be the beautiful beginning that comes out of a painful ending.

 

Image sources: Jordan Hazrati – Find out more about Jordan here: FacebookLinkedInTwitter

 

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Aviation trends that emerged because of the pandemic

Aviation trends that emerged because of the pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted world governments to decide to limit travel significantly. As a result of all this, airlines are now struggling to fill their flights. But along with the bad news (from job cuts to airline bankruptcies), a crisis is always fertile...

Meet Jordan an aviation human factors specialist

Meet Jordan an aviation human factors specialist

Introducing Jordan Milano Hazrati

We recently caught up with Jordan, Jordan is a Human Factors Specialist from Newcastle, she has some pretty amazing aviation experience. From cabin crew to human factor specialist as a result of the pandemic to now also a student pilot.

 

Tell us about your aviation career so far?

My career so far has most certainly not been a straightforward path! Despite falling in love with everything ‘aviation’ from about the age of 4 when I took my very first flight (to PMI- Mallorca!), it took until I was 21 for me to begin my journey within aviation.

Having been academic at school, and a lover of dance and the arts, I decided to take my earliest steps into the job market as a performing artist. Despite enjoying this, I couldn’t shake the thought and feeling that I was supposed to be in the skies.

I was still obsessed with aircraft, couldn’t stop watching re-runs of ‘Airline’, and it was during a visit out to Alicante at the end of the first year of my undergraduate degree that I finally decided to follow my heart and plough all of my energy into becoming part of the industry.

I landed the position of cabin crew with a short-haul leisure airline based out of MAN, and after working out how I could manage my full-time University studies around a full-time flying roster I began my training to fly as crew. Around this time my parents had gifted me a trial lesson in a Cessna 152.

I didn’t know what to expect, but I was excited to become further immersed in the industry that I loved. During that first lesson, we worked through all the basic elements of flight such as how to control the pitch of the aircraft. Local landmarks were pointed out to me, we flew over my house and university, and suddenly, I had a whole new perspective on the world.

“There was also the underlying sensation that this was exactly where I was supposed to be in my life.”

The only way I can describe it was a feeling of total freedom and clarity that I hadn’t experienced before. There was also the underlying sensation that this was exactly where I was supposed to be in my life, and I still get that feeling every time that I fly now. Probably around 15 minutes into the flight, I knew that I was going to start saving towards my flight instruction… and luckily, I had dropped on the perfect job to do that.

At the airline I worked for, we had a commission-based pay structure, that we were paid on top of our salaries. I put all my commission into a savings account during the period in which I worked at this airline, and within the time it built up nicely… although I wasn’t going to end up using it until Autumn 2020.

I had the time of my life working at my first airline (where I also trained to work on the lease provider we had a partnership with, providing me with my first experiences of wide-body aircraft), and I thank them for giving me the foundations and teaching me so much about the industry, as well as giving me friends for life.

However, the opportunity came up to go for a role with a legacy long-haul carrier out of LHR, and unexpectedly, I landed the role. Whilst it was sad to say goodbye to my home base in the North, I knew it was something I wanted to experience and so at the start of 2020 I moved South and began training for my long-haul life.

 

How has COVID impacted your career?

This is where COVID-19 suddenly began to wreak havoc on not only my career but the entire world. What was merely just a whisper of a virus in January 2020, had grounded pretty much our entire fleet by mid-March.

I flew several milestone flights during this time, including the last flight to leave South Africa before they shut the borders, a repatriation flight that departed a couple of hours after Boris Johnson’s official lockdown announcement, the first cargo flights to operate with medical supplies onboard and every single passenger and their story will stay with me for life.

I operated a JFK several weeks into the pandemic, and whilst sitting in the flight deck, I had this feeling that that was the last flight I would operate for a while… However, I had no idea that it was going to be the last flight I operated before I faced redundancy along with thousands of incredible colleagues.

My world and life plan shattered overnight. Luckily, I found non-aviation work quickly to ensure I could sustain my lifestyle, but I knew I needed to formulate a plan to be ready for as and when the industry eventually picked up. 

So, I applied to study for an MSc in Human Factors in Aviation at Coventry University and was thrilled to be accepted. I’ve been fascinated with Human Factors, CRM, and Fatigue since my very first initial training. It’s hand on heart one of the best decisions I have ever made and provided me with new connections, opportunities and, possibilities.

More importantly, it is also the main reason why I am in the role that I am today. Although new to the role within this major European airline, I’m truly enjoying every second of working in a completely new side of aviation ..people say I’m a lucky girl but I have worked tirelessly to get to where I am today, and it is a representation of hard work pays off.

The pandemic also granted me so many opportunities to connect with and help the wider aviation community. I became a volunteer for Project Wingman, a mentor for Resilient Pilot/Crew, a writer in the form of my aviation/travel blog, and have been super fortunate to have been asked to write several pieces for different magazines, and websites.

I write about anything and everything to do with the industry, from my experiences as a student pilot, women in aviation, my favourite destinations I’ve traveled to, life as crew, and mental health within the industry. I’ve raised money for Aviation Action and worked at a vaccination centre to help the NHS and the UK move forward past the pandemic.

 

Time to commit to flying 

Fast forward to September 2020, still very much mid-pandemic, and I couldn’t help but feel something was missing from my life and that it was time for me to commit to flying. My whole ‘wait for the right time’ theory had been blown out of the water, meaning that I was starting to see that there was no such thing as the ‘right’ time.

I had enough money saved and whilst it scared me that I could be spending my security if things were to take a turn for the worst again, it was a risk I weighed up and decided to take anyway. I started flying again in October 2020. Within 5 minutes of the first lesson at Fairoaks, I knew I had made the right decision.

I often say that flying is my therapy. The two hours of my day where I don’t think about anything else other than the task at hand, which is to focus on the lesson and fly the aircraft. I have no regrets for choosing to go after this dream of mine, at what was on paper the worst time of my life, but in reality and looking back now, was the best time to have done it.

It hasn’t been simple though. During this time, we faced two further lockdowns, lockdown 2.0 in November was slightly easier, as we were granted permission as an educational establishment to keep training student pilots, under the premise that we followed strict COVID-19 protocols. Lockdown 3.0 was very difficult.

From mid-December, up until the 12th of April, we were not permitted to fly at all as students due to the severity of the pandemic. Since re-starting to fly I’ve since done my first solo and been working on the navigation component of my PPL which whilst is challenging, I’m enjoying it.

That brings me to today! MSc Student, full-time Human Factors Specialist, and student pilot. 

 

Tell us about Project Wingman?

Project Wingman was the saving grace of my Summer in 2020. It consists of airline workers, volunteering to create ‘first-class lounges’ in NHS hospitals to support the key workers with donated food, drinks, and peer support during what was a super challenging period of their working life.

Airline workers were the perfect people for this, given that most of us were grounded due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, our ability to provide top-class service and, our skills regarding human factors. We understand the value of communication, listening, and support as we rely on this day in day out to perform our duties to the best of our abilities.

I have worked now with Project Wingman for nearly 14 months, in the local hospital, the London Ambulance Service, and on their Mobile Bus ‘Well-Bee’ as well as having worked with the crewing team to ‘crew’ the bus with staff, and I can’t thank them enough for providing me with a purpose during this hardship of the pandemic.

What has been a highlight of your career so far?

My first Wings ceremony (when you essentially graduate from your cabin crew training) as it was the start of everything that was to come.

The first time I sat in the flight deck for landing will always stay with me as well, as that inspired me to achieve my PPL. 

Looking to my right for the first time and not seeing my instructor sat next to me…. Just wow. Like I DID THAT!

As well as this, I must mention my first solo flight. I had no idea it was going to happen on that day, but when it did it truly was the most amazing feeling. Looking to my right for the first time and not seeing my instructor sat next to me…. Just wow. Like I DID THAT! I was trusted to manage an aircraft by myself and when I’d landed and turned off the runway, I did cry happy tears.

 

Your hope and plans for the future of aviation?

I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I cannot wait for the day that travel becomes unrestricted again, and connecting loved ones and, allowing dreams to come true. I stand in solidarity with the airports, airlines, and collaborating organisations at this time pushing for the re-opening of the skies, and for further support for an industry.

As an industry, we have gone above and beyond in adhering to and ensuring the safety of our people and passengers, and with the success of the vaccine programme within not only the UK but many other countries, I truly believe we can follow the data and science and safely reopen the skies.

I hope that every displaced worker within the industry who wants to return, every aspiring aviator, and those still working within the industry find themselves in roles that fulfil, support, and encourage their dreams. 

I also hope that we will see an increasingly diverse and equal industry going forward, and that’s something that I am actively working to promote. I hope we learn something from the pandemic. I’d like to think that human factors will continue to be of prominent importance, with the understanding that people are at the heart of the industry, and to look after your people will ensure a thriving business.

To ensure that mental health and wellbeing become more open and talked about topics, which can only lead to a safer industry. It’s been a pleasure to connect and work alongside those from different airlines, and I hope we keep this collaboration to continue learning from each other for the time to come.

 

Image sources: Jordan Hazrati – Find out more about Jordan here: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter

 

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Aviation trends that emerged because of the pandemic

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The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted world governments to decide to limit travel significantly. As a result of all this, airlines are now struggling to fill their flights. But along with the bad news (from job cuts to airline bankruptcies), a crisis is always fertile...