January 2020, we see more and more the now famous word ‘COVID19’. Every news is talking about this virus that has hit China. At first, we were laughing, thinking it will be over soon. Who could have predicted what just happened during these last two years? Absolutely nobody.
Planet Earth was not rotating anymore, everything was closed, cruising ships were docked, events were cancelled, planes were grounded, we were on lockdown. I remember saying to my roommates: ‘if we are not flying in June (2020), we will be fired. Guess what? June arrived and nobody was flying, the whole airline industry was frozen. So, the inevitable arrived and compagnies started to speak about redundancies, reducing fleets, closing bases and so on. My company finally said the same thing, causing a higher stress level that will become permanent accompanied with this “pain” in the stomach. The fear of losing everything that we worked for.
To stay busy during the lockdown and the months that followed it, I’ve learned to cook lots of pastries, bread, and some easy recipes which by the way were all good. I’ve also learned to do few cocktails that we enjoyed a lot while eating a BBQ in summertime. While staying at home, I did some gardening, planting vegetables and fruits. Finally, I needed to do some sport, so I’ve learned kitesurfing; It was so much fun!! It was a bit expensive so I couldn’t keep the pace of every learning session, but I plan to get better at kitesurfing in the coming years. It helped to keep my mind at ease but not totally.
At the end of 2020, 15 000 pilots in Europe were already made redundant or about to be, and just like them I was sitting home (my parents’ home) hoping for some good news that didn’t come.
Unfortunately, I got the bad news towards the end of the year and that was it. No more airline for me, no more A320 family to fly, but most importantly no more salary and future perspective. I had to leave the city where I was based, give back my apartment, my credentials and all this kind of annoying stuff. It was over and we didn’t know how long it will take to recover.
My last flight was on 14th of March 2020, to Faro. I had no idea at all that it will be my last flight… I’ve tasted the job of my dream, a job that I really loved, I was so happy to fly. It was too short to be over. Will it be forever? In aviation you never know what will happen next, it can move quickly in both ways (good or bad). And with this pandemic going on, who knows how much longer we will have to wait. All I knew was that I will not give up; I’ll be flying again, I have to!
2020 ended in stress, sadness and mental pain but there is always a rainbow after the storm!