Around the world, life is not the same. Many countries are in lockdown or have imposed some form of restricted movement order. For those in the aviation industry, the biggest challenge at the moment is probably the dozens of borders that are closed – resulting in flight cancellations, grounded aircraft and suspended operations.
Here in Malaysia, where the Dviation Group is headquartered, line maintenance stations continue to operate, amidst the nation-wide Movement Control Order (MCO). While a large proportion of inbound flights have been cancelled, the Dviation line maintenance crew are still required in handling essential flights landing (transiting) at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). No doubt, operations have changed drastically – so here is a first-hand look at a day in the life of the aviation frontliners during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Q: What is your work schedule like, now that there is an MCO is in force and flights are limited?
A: Our work schedule is mainly based on aircraft transits. As long as there are aircraft flying it, someone needs to attend to those arrivals. Our crew is divided into those who are working on office tasks and paperwork, and those who are posted to our line maintenance station. Those working on office tasks are currently working from home, in line with the MCO rules, while those who are carrying out essential tasks that need to be done in the office are working from our headquarters – of course, with measures in place to ensure the utmost safety of all staff. These schedules are set in a rotational basis, so every member of our crew will alternate between working on aircraft and working on office tasks.
Q: What do you do at work these days?
A: Even though there are still inbound aircraft, this number has greatly reduced because of cancelled flights and closed borders. So, we are working on a minimum number of aircraft transits. Those who are working on office tasks, as mentioned earlier, are responsible for work that improves our line maintenance office facilities and equipment.
Q: What are some major differences at work due to Covid-19 and the MCO?
A: Apart from now having to wear masks at our line maintenance stations, there are a few major differences. For some of us, traveling to work has become a bit more difficult due to roadblocks. At the airport, the most obvious difference is the drastic fall in number of aircraft coming in. We have less aircraft to work on now. Previously, we were often busy with handling a large number of daily transits, so we did not have much time to focus on office tasks. Now with less inbound aircraft, our crew has more time to work on such tasks.
Q: What do you miss most about work?
A: Obviously, we all miss working on aircraft. We miss the times when we would have transits from early in the morning, right up until the evening. And then the second shift would come in and receive aircraft up until midnight. We’re all hoping for daily aircraft to come in; hoping to be able to work on aircraft daily.
Across the global aviation industry, hundreds of thousands hope for an improvement in the current situation. The Dviation Group wishes to reassure you that you are not alone. Working together, we can emerge from this pandemic, bigger, better, and stronger. In the meantime, check out these tips on how to bounce back in your aviation career post-Covid-19!