IT’S really sad driving by Palma airport and seeing all the planes parked up.
The airline industry is suffering probably worse than most, and it’s the main reason I’m here. My partner and I came to live in Mallorca at the start of the year with his job as a pilot for Jet2, but he hasn’t worked a single day since!
No one could have predicted when we welcomed in a new year what was about to descend on us. When we arrived at the end of February we were so excited to be starting a new life in Mallorca. But just three weeks in we watched on the news the growing threat of coronavirus before Spain went into lockdown.
Since then, Paul doesn’t think he will work until at least the start of the summer season in March 2021 and has joined the long line of people on Erte, which has been somewhat unpredictable when it’s come to payments.
So, whilst I’m doing my best as a writer, forget PR for now because the budget for that was one of the first things to go! It’s tough!
The pressure for a lot of couples having to endure lockdowns together is already a real tester of their relationship. Add to that the loss of income and job uncertainty and what you’re left with is another layer of stress. After nine months of not working, the hardest thing for Paul is filling his day.
Whilst many of our friends and family are envious of what appears to be our permanent holiday in the sun. They’re not privy to hear, or witness, the 5 am angst-ridden conversations we have when one of us cannot sleep with worry. Annoyingly for him I tend to knock on his chest asking if he’s awake.
Well, if you weren’t, you are now! It’s not just about whether he’ll still have a job next year but the impact of that on our future because we live here now. And with all the will in the world, it’s really bloody hard to find an alternative job during this crisis when you don’t speak Spanish!
I believe many men all over the world are secretly struggling. It doesn’t matter what business you’re in because every last one of them has taken a hit.
Whether you’re an airline pilot, a restaurateur, or sales assistant, this virus has screwed everyone. People are just trying to keep their head above water financially to safeguard their families. But aside from the financial support our governments are trying to give, there isn’t much mental support.
We hear about the impact of mental health that this situation is causing, but are we really listening to those closest to us? Having had heartfelt conversations with Paul, I know he’s struggling. Yes, he’s down, understandably, but I’m scared he’ll fall down the rabbit hole if he isn’t thrown a career lifeline soon.
The airline industry has no idea what will happen next year because so much rests on air bridges being restored and on people’s confidence to travel. Holidays may not seem like a necessity, but the global airline industry makes in excess of $800 billion.
Hopefully with the recent announcement of vaccines this may help reverse the current situation. But look at EasyJet ‘s £1.3billion (€1.45 billion) loss, the first in its 25-year history, and flights constantly being cancelled. Those planes need to get off the ground, and soon, if the whole travel and tourism sector is to be saved!
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