[Covid-19] I Wish Flights Godspeed and Safe Return Amid Pandemic

25/03/2020 13:58
Russia had announced the closure of its borders to foreigners since midnight of the 17th of March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Chief Purser Nguyen Tran Tho 3 experienced unforgettable feelings when the last SVO-HAN flight took off or when listening to his coworkers’ concerns. He hopes and wishes that flights amid the pandemic will return safely.

Adapt to any sudden change

After a nine-hour flight from Hanoi to Moscow, I spent my time sleeping at a hotel. Three hours later, I was woken up by my phone:

- Hello… hello… I’m listening

- There’s a change of plan

- Yes…

- The whole flight crew will return as soon as possible…

- Right now? – I couldn’t believe my ears as I was still sleepy after a long night of serving passengers. As previously planned, we would stay in Moscow for two nights.

- Yes… - the dispatcher’s voice echoed in my ears.

- Because of Russia’s border closure that starts at midnight on the 17th of March 2020, your flight crew will return to Hanoi on the flight numbered VN62. The flight schedule has changed. I repeat, the entire flight crew arrived in Moscow this morning will return immediately. Gather your coworkers and contact drivers to get to the airport…

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Chief Purser Nguyen Tran Tho 3. (Cre: Nguyen Tran Tho 3).

- Yes, I heard you, loud and clear.

- Oh my god! So, all plans have been changed due to the pandemic.

I quickly got out of bed and grabbed my phone to contact my coworkers. Luckily, our work has trained us to have rigorous discipline and adapt to any sudden turn of event.

After contacting all members of my flight crew and informing them on the meeting time at the reception area, we swiftly collected our belongings to first leave the hotel and then Moscow. To ensure the total safety of the flight crew, the Leaders had arranged for us to leave Moscow immediately before the border closure took effect.

Traveling during this time is truly challenging, especially for those working in the front line of the aviation industry.

A challenging phase for the “Lotusmiles warriors”

Yesterday I worked with a flight attendant whom I had met for the first time. What she said made me think a lot: “Today is the first day I’m back on duty after self-studying at home.”

Previously, she was assigned two off-duty months to improve her English. However, the day before yesterday, she received a sudden request from the office to put her study on hold and return to work as her coworkers had to stop working and go into quarantine as per the Ministry of Health. Even though she could turn down the request as she had to study, the thoughts about her friends and coworkers who need someone to share and shoulder the work made her decide to return. Her husband fiercely opposed her decision. They have two children and the husband is working in science research. If she were to be quarantined, he would also be and it can affect the work that his entire office is working day and night on. She spent the whole night thinking about her situation and then chose to work that morning. She asked someone else to take care of her children and would self-quarantine after the flight.

This small woman’s decision made me admire her resilient will. And I know that not just her but thousands of my coworkers are still ready to take on their tasks as the whole society is struggling to fight the Covid-19 pandemic while bearing their burden.  

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Chief purser Nguyen Tran Tho 3 believes that people choose their jobs and vice versa. (Cre: Nguyen Tran Tho 3).

Are they worried? Yes, they are. They worry about their family, their loved ones. They worry that people around them could potentially be affected if they were infected. Are they afraid? They certainly are as the media has kept constant updates on the number of affected cases and deaths which are on the rise in nations across all continents. Then how could my coworkers be so brave amid this difficult period?

They work because they know that there are thousands of our countrymen waiting to return to Vietnam, where our government is doing a good job at controlling the pandemic.

They work because they know they’re well supported and protected by the backline. Masks, gloves, and antibacterial alcohol have been provided to them ever since the pandemic was just looming. Now, protective suits, encouraging words, and the care of the Leadership are always with them.

They work because of the passion for their jobs is burning in their chests.

People choose their jobs and vice versa. This is a challenging time for the flight attendants, the “Lotusmiles warriors.”

Yet, the call has been made, your countrymen need you. The aircraft once again take off to distant lands… to epicenters of the pandemic…

I wish my coworkers Godspeed and a safe return amid the pandemic!

Nguyen Tran Tho 3-Crew

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