The story of the day: from the pilot Thomas Cook Airlines to the owner.
Joe Townshend, one of the youngest captains at Thomas Cook Airlines, couldn't even imagine that one day his life would change completely. After he lost his job when Thomas Cook Airlines crashed in 2019, joined Titan Airways in January 2020, just two months before the pandemic broke out.
Joe's career in aviation began more than 15 years ago. He says he was very lucky at the beginning of his career as an airline pilot. Having qualifications for the Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft, Joe planned to continue his studies and get involved in pilot training.
"I was very grateful that my job was the same as my passion […]. Before the pandemic, I had just joined a new airline after losing my previous position as an airline pilot at Thomas Cook. I managed to get a new job in January 2020 at Titan Airways, based in the UK. I was hoping to have a long career working for their company. ”
"I couldn't believe that in such a short period of time I had to look for a new job."
Joe says the most inspiring thing about his job was being part of the aviation community, where he found a fantastic atmosphere that prevailed even in difficult times. Unfortunately, it all ended in just a few months, in March 2020.
"I remember thinking that I could not believe that this would happen again after such a short period of time. Three months had passed and I was very excited to start working in a new job. I couldn't believe that in such a short period of time I had to look for a new job. And this time it was not just one company affected, but the entire aviation. ", said Joe.
After losing his dream job, Joe needed a stable job to support his family. As the chances of finding another job as a pilot diminished significantly, he began delivering shopping for a UK supermarket.
"I was grateful I had that job and some income."
However, the former captain tried to broaden your horizons. In addition to his new job as a delivery man, Joe decided to start a business in the coffee industry. After nine months of work and preparation, he launched his own coffee brand called "Altitude Coffee London" and immediately attracted the attention of customers.
"It was something I always dreamed of doing and, in the situation where I didn't have a job anyway, I thought of trying my luck. I spent the year building the space and creating the brand. Now we sell to our customers, which is fantastic. They have responded very well so far, with many orders and many positive reviews for our products. So I'm very happy. It's a fantastic experience. " said Joe.
"I had two jobs, working day and night in the last year. It was quite tiring, but full of satisfaction. "
However, it is not an easy task to have a business, make deliveries and be the father of two small children. The pilot emphasizes that the difficult part was not spending enough time with his family.
"I had two jobs, working day and night in the last year. It was quite tiring, but full of satisfaction. I didn't spend much time with the two children. It's hard. I'm gone a long time. The last year has been hard for my personal life. ”
Now, Joe is looking forward to the future, a future where he could fly again and where he can run his business. Moreover, Joe wants to grow his business and aims to expand.
"For now, I will focus on my coffee business and I hope I will turn it into a real success. I will maintain this business and I hope that I will be in a position to have staff to run it, and I will be able to manage things while piloting aircraft. That would be the perfect scenario. "
"My passion will always be aviation. And I would take the first opportunity to get another job as a pilot. ”
"MY COVID STORY" - a brand project www.aerotime.aero which airlinestravel.ro supports and we are happy to take these stories further.