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Navigating career turbulence as a commercial pilot

AVIATION NEWS | Airspace AfricaOver the past year, the aviation industry has witnessed a drastic reduction of the active global airline fleet as a result of a dramatic decline in demand as well as the accelerated closure of airlines around the world. In the wake of the pandemic, many who had dedicated their entire careers to the industry are having to reconsider their options and in certain cases, completely reinvent their careers.

Arpad Szakal, a London based former aviation lawyer who now works as a career & leadership coach offers his advice and guidance to aviation professionals battling to cope with the effects of losing their jobs. He spoke to Airspace Africa to share his experience coaching flight crews in career transition globally.

Airspace AfricaThe Covid-19 crisis has caused pandemonium throughout the aviator sector. As fleets are grounded, airlines across the world have had to lay off pilots, technicians and others. Briefly describe the psychological process that a pilot would go through having been told that they can’t fly and are now forced to take voluntary retirement or face retrenchment.

AS: Pilots are arguably more affected than most as the impact on the air travel industry generally and on job security specifically, has been profound and is likely to remain so for some time to come.

It is particularly difficult for pilots because they very often don’t just lose their jobs/uniforms but indeed their whole identity. It is much more than a job for them. It is a passion and something that is very close to their heart.



Airspace Africa is a pan-African media platform dedicated to the African aviation industry. The latest news, views, opinion and analysis from the African continent

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