Cabin Crew in the aviation industry seems to have taken the bull by its horns to sound it loud and clear that the challenges they face on the job were taking a toll on their profession.
At the gathering of cabin executives at the just concluded Cabin Crew Fair in Lagos, convened by Mamaj Aviation Consult Limited, the cabin attendants say if they were determined to reposition this all-important profession to an enviable one, they would no longer shy away from saying it the way it is.
Speaking on the theme of the Fair, “The Cabin Crew Profession, Our Challenges”, the Cabin Executive Manager, Aero contractor, Kudirat Bello said the happiness and glamour associated with the profession has been lost because of the challenges they face on the job.
According to her, with the closure of many airlines many of the crew have been throughout of jobs, adding that because of this the existing ones were capitalizing on the high unemployment rate of the cabin crew to employ them and pay them peanuts.
“Considering the fact that, so many airlines have folded up recently
leaving so many crew members jobless. Gone are the days when you will be so happy, thinking about the glamour, the job of being a flight attendant, now you just want to secure a job because you don’t want to be like your fellow crew member that has been left out of the job you want to retain whatever you have and regardless of the fact that the pay is not that interesting but at least you are earning a living”.
She added, “Another thing out of the challenges is remuneration, even those that are in the system right now they face the challenge of salaries not being paid in some airlines that are not doing so well and other airlines are facing the threat of being shut down like Aero, Arik and so on due to the economy in the country. Because of this, most of the ones that are working, take advantage of this and start engaging in all things, shaded activities that give a bad name to the profession.”
Other challenges Bello highlighted include observing bonds which required that the females do not get pregnant within certain years while working.
According to her, even when the bond elapses, these ones often find it difficult to get pregnant due to certain factors like flying different aircraft with different pressurization among others.
“Not only that, some face the threats of losing their pregnancy even if at the end of the day they are able to conceive because of the pressurization in the cabin and one thing is for you to be pregnant and fly from point A to point B and step down another thing is for you to do it on a daily basis for a living, so that is its own side effects.”
Convener of the Cabin Crew Fair, Joy Ogbebo listed other challenges to include misconception about the profession, lack of professional body, age limitation, lack of jobs and lack of salary payment.
“Lack of defined career path, lack of insurance for work-related injuries and many other”.
According to her, “Guidance/mentorship, poor remuneration, lack of exit plan, slowed career progression, lack of legislation protecting practitioners” were also major contributory factors.