Sinica Eterovic, the Airbus A320 Captain at Wizz Air Abu Dhabi, is one of a few lucky aviators who kept their aviation jobs during the pandemic. The pilot believes that the key to stability during uncertain times is a person’s ability to adapt to any ongoing situation. “You cannot always be what you want to be. Sometimes you have to adapt. We cannot count that aviation will be like it was before. Business does not have patience, and we have to be ready for re-start immediately”, Sinica says and discloses how the Covid impacted his life.
Prior to the pandemic, Sinica had spent six years flying for his airline from a base in Romania. When the Covid-19 struck, the company reduced operations frequency and Sinica received an unpleasant letter regarding his redundancy. However, the experienced pilot was lucky enough to be called back to join the company’s venture in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
“Luckily, [the virus] did not affect me a lot because nobody from my family was infected and I was quite lucky in this regard. Of course, being made temporarily redundant had a direct impact on my life stability. I did not let this affect me much because I have a different understanding of my own life,” Sinisa says and points out that the majority of aviators who were laid off during the pandemic, should change their attitude to the ongoing situation.
“Nobody can take your dream from you, you can’t lose the job because you do not own that job. You are the Captain of your life, you are in control, and it does not matter how unpleasant a situation is,” the Captain thinks.
The adaptivity, ability to react immediately and a positive mindset are the keys that could help aviators to overcome the crisis easier, Sinisa says. The pilot tried to take all possible advantages of the pandemic and spent more time with his family and kids instead of grieving a temporary job loss. He used the time to learn a new language, gain new knowledge, and start new sports activities while improving other skills that could be useful for his future.
“I did not let anything impact my dream [of being a pilot]. I continue to adapt myself to the new situation. […] I was neither thinking about how I lost my dream job nor crying about my previous cozy Captain’s life. I feel sad somehow when I see pilots posting on social media how they lost their jobs like something that was taken from them, something that belongs to them. But people cannot lose jobs, because they never had a job. They had the skills to complete some tasks they were paid to do. The skills are the most important.”
“This is only a part of your life. You cannot always be what you want to be, sometimes you have to adapt. Maybe the era of aviation is just finished, and we cannot rely on aviation being there the same as before. It is not about giving up, it is about putting yourself in a different venture, job, project, or other activity.”
“This is my dream job. Do not get me wrong, I just love it. But if something is not working, it’s not working, and nothing is granted. Only you can keep your destiny in your hands, and you are controlling your life like you are controlling an aircraft,” Sinisa says.
Along with a job in the airline, Sinisa also runs a few small family businesses including apartment rental and a small advisory company. The aviator outlines that everything has slowed down during the pandemic, but the businesses still work well and bring Sinisa and his family some stable income.
“I know that aviation probably won’t recover this year, but it will recover later. People should be ready for that time. The business does not have patience. When it starts, it will start immediately and we have to be ready for this new beginning. You should not let yourself drown in apathy because you will not be able to learn and prepare for those times.”
The pilot has learned that a person should react less emotionally during unpleasant life situations and be prepared for unexpected changes in advance instead of sticking to a comfortable aviator’s lifestyle. Sinica also encourages everybody to think about skills they could improve.
“Whatever happens in your life, you shouldn’t take it personally. Some people are taking everything way too emotionally and too personally. People should learn that everything is changing: life, time, jobs, businesses. Everything is just in constant motion. […] Every professional should continuously work on his self-improvement.”