Our beloved aviation industry has always enjoyed the privilege of connecting people. Whether it be for family or business, flying tourists from remote Van Zylsrus to Bloemfontein in a Cessna Caravan or connecting loved ones to New York from Johannesburg in an A340-600, there’s always been that satisfaction as a pilot of a job well done, along with that everlasting camaraderie that connects and identifies us.
“I turn on the radio, I switch on the tv, I click on News 24 … just another devastating report regarding the precarious future of our airlines and aviation industry adding to my uncertainty and anxiety. There’s anger and frustration too! Family and friends call offering support and checking to see if I’m ok and what my plans are. I see the worry in my partner’s eyes. I can’t pretend that this tightening feeling around my throat again, the vague headache, the sinking feeling in my stomach and tension in my shoulders and neck muscles aren’t there. I am short-fused, I sleep restlessly, my mind’s preoccupied and I am tired all the time. But I pretend that I’m fine … I can’t afford not to be”.
The aviation industry is in unprecedented and turbulent times. Overnight, our flight path has suddenly changed from routing to our planned destination to diverting to an alternate with no guarantee we will ever reach the place we had originally intended to go.