COVID-19 is challenging the aviation industry like nothing we can remember. If you find yourself in the situation where you are furloughed or laid off this page will continually build to serve you as a resource in 3 key areas:
- Information on how you could maintain your skills despite not working or flying actively.
- Support for those who might be considering other careers or options until the situation in the aviation industry improves.
- Information on the different organisations that are available for practical help and support.
Wellbeing Resource Hub - Careers Support
The first part of the Resource Hub was launched in November 2020 to provide a comprehensive careers training package aimed at providing advice and skills to help individuals transition, once again, into gainful employment. You can access that below.
Organisations who can help and sources of information
There are lots of amazing people working to provide practical help to the aviation community. Here are links to the ones we are aware of. If you are involved in any type of organisation or activity that you think others would benefit from, contact us on email@example.com.
A pilot's view point - Stephen's story
There I was, getting ready for my flight to Austin, while the talk was not about the flight itself. It was about COVID-19, countries were starting lockdowns. And here we were, about to fly thousands of miles away to another country. During our layover more countries went in lockdown. But after a positioning adventure in the US, a flight with our company to the UK, followed by another flight and an hour drive, I managed to make it home.
Colleagues of mine were still flying, being escorted by heavily armed police to their hotel, not to leave their room. And I did what I learnt to do. Because this was a non-normal situation and as pilot's we train to deal with those, so why not apply it on this one? I started looking at the facts, followed by (possible) options, their risks and benefits, and made a decision what to do (FORDER). My first FORDER (from the FOR-DEC process courtesy of Lufthansa and the German Aerospace Center) I did when I was still in Austin looked like this:
- FACTS: I still have a job, my airline is still operating quite normally.
- OPTIONS: Keep my job, extent of COVID-19, was not known yet.
- RISKS and BENEFITS: My job may be compromised, may incur some income loss.
- DECISION: Do nothing yet, continue as normal. Expect operating to base or positioning.
- EXECUTE: Meet the crew in the lounge for a game of monopoly. (which was a great idea and we had an amazing evening).
- RE-EVALUATE: When new information is available start FORDER again.
To fast forward a bit and combine every FORDER into a flowchart it looks like this (leaving out the RISK and BENEFIT analysis):
Coping with being furloughed and keeping up your skills
I've been in this situation before in my career a number of years ago, albeit for different reasons. Whether you find yourself in the situation of being furloughed or losing your flying job, there are a number of things that I have found helpful - I summarised these in this article about being furloughed and keeping up your skills.