Captain Ali’s story: from Airbus joystick to laundry business
By Ali Andoko
A330 Captain, business owner
I have just entered my third year enjoying the convenience of working as Captain Pilot on the Airbus A330 jet at Asiana Airlines, South Korea. In my previous experience, I worked as Captain on Boeing B737-400, Airbus A320, and A330 at AirAsia X Malaysia for almost 14 years.
My last flight was on February 20, 2020, Seoul-Hong Kong-Seoul. After I finished carrying out the flying assignment, I took my annual leave until the first week of March 2020 for a vacation with my family to New York, America.
At the end of February 2020, I received a notification from my company that all pilots were advised to take 10 days of unpaid leave between March and August 2020. Of course, I chose 10 days in early March 2020, so that I could extend my vacation in America.
It turns out that in the second week of March 2020, I received a notification from the company where I worked that all pilots are recommended to take it without paying until the end of March. Therefore, after my vacation in America, I returned to Malaysia, which is the country where I live with my family. I hoped that at the end of March the schedule would fly out for me, but what came was another notification that my unpaid leave was extended to the end of April 2020.
And so on until the end of June 2020, a notification came out that Asiana Airlines was forced to terminate my work contract because the crisis conditions were uncertain when it would end, even the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak was getting bigger all over the world.
Long story short, because this crisis is expected to continue for a long time in a few more years is uncertain.
Therefore, I have to immediately change my mental and mind that so far have felt comfortable living as a Captain Pilot in a big company. And now I have to be ready to walk down a winding road full of twists and turns, muddy and with rocks because my life and my family must continue. Because of that, I tried to exert my energy and mind, to choose what kind of work I could do to be able to support my family.
Then I decided to learn to do a job that I had never thought of or had done. Namely opening a “LAUNDRY SERVICE” Business in Jakarta, Indonesia, the city in my home country.
It turns out that I can do it and I can make enough money to support my family.
However, I continue to pray that the COVID-19 disaster will end soon so that all aviation business can return to normal, all airlines can operate normally and I can fly again in a good airline company.
What is your experience during the COVID-19 pandemic? Share your Covid story!
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