Daivik Raj is a First Officer for Air New Zealand, flying the Bombardier Q300 aircraft. He shares his journey from Flight Attendant to Pilot.
I began my career at Air New Zealand in 2013 as a flight attendant on the Airbus A320 aircraft, flying to destinations such as Australia and the Pacific Islands. Starting out I wore the pink Trelise Cooper tie as part of my uniform and a year and a half after that my tie changed to blue when I became an Inflight Service Manager leading the cabin crew on each flight.
My days flying and working for a company which prides itself on looking after its customers were fantastic, but I’d always dreamed about getting right up the very front of an Air New Zealand aircraft.
Before I started at Air New Zealand, I’d gained my commercial pilot licence and while working as cabin crew on the A320 I also juggled building up my flying hours as part of my journey to become a pilot for the airline, doing this on my days off.
In October last year, I was accepted into pilot training with Air New Zealand subsidiary Air Nelson and I graduated at the end of March 2019 after months of intensive flying training, study and exams. I now proudly wear the Air New Zealand pilot uniform featuring a black tie, hat and shoulder epaulettes with three gold stripes identifying me as a First Officer.
I love working on the Q300 turboprop which means I fly to destinations all around New Zealand every day but my journey to the front of the aircraft hasn’t been without its challenges. I couldn’t have done it without the incredible training and support I’ve had throughout my journey – from mentors, my manager and colleagues and my family and wife.
There is often fear associated with switching careers, but I’d encourage anyone thinking about it to get started on the journey, speak to someone about their aspirations and learn as much as they can on the way. I never thought six years ago I’d go from pink to blue to black, but I’m now living my childhood dream.
If you’re thinking about a career as a pilot, check out careers.airnewzealand.co.nz/pilots for more information!