While many have abandoned their seemingly unfulfilled childhood dream of becoming a flight attendant and are spending years in the office, sitting in front of a computer and dreaming of flying, Armenian national airline Fly Arna offers a real way to make that dream come true.
Airline’s flight attendant Araksya Gevorgyan and flight attendant Taron Sholinyan shared with us about their path of becoming flight attendants, what benefits they have and what rules are applied on the plane.
Work at Fly Arna
Araksya: Prior to working at Fly Arna, I worked as a flight attendant in Belgium. At first I chose a completely different profession. I decided to become an interpreter, but ended up in the field of aviation quite by chance. I started working at the airport since 2014, and then became a flight attendant at one of the airlines in Belgium. I continued my work in France as a senior flight attendant. I was not even 22 at that time. A few years later, in 2020, I took a job in Chicago at Miami Airlines. A few months later, coronavirus pandemic broke out: borders were closed, no flights were operated. It was then that I decided to fulfill my long-standing goal – return to Armenia and live here.
I loved the job of a flight attendant, and after returning to Armenia I thought I would never have the opportunity to do it, but fate had a different solution. My work as a flight attendant did not end, I was to continue it in Armenia.
My relatives learnt about opening of a national airline. They convinced me to go and take part in the open house event. I went there and after registering me, they interviewed me right away. Then I took a written test in English and math. A few days later I called them and they told me that I was accepted and could participate in the training. The training period lasts about a month: 2 weeks in Armenia, 3 weeks in Sharjah.
“That’s it, I am staying in Armenia”
Taron: Unlike Araksya, unfortunately, I did not want to live in Armenia. After graduating from Vanadzor Pedagogical University, I opened a guesthouse in my hometown Alaverdi. The moment came when I decided to leave the country, and the most convenient option was China. I had absolutely no intention of living here. Last December I decided to come and spend New Year with my parents and return to Beijing.
When I arrived, one of my friends told me that a newly launched national airline was looking for flight attendants. I wasted no time, applied online on December 27, got an interview, and felt that it was going to be good. After a while, I received a congratulatory email saying that I could participate in the training. I was so happy that day, I said: that’s it, I am staying in Armenia.
Training and the probation period
Araksya: Air Arabia Group provides international standard trainings for Fly Arna crew. The two-week training in Armenia prepare us to properly and quickly pass the next phase and probation period in Sharjah, which is followed with the most difficult period – the exams. We take exam in 5 subjects and must get at least 80%. In case of failure, we have a chance to retake the exam.
Attending a course from scratch is mandatory, because every airline has its working style. Experience as a flight attendant does not matter here. I had six years of experience, but I took the same courses with those having no experience.
It turns out that you can acquire a new profession in a month, but, of course, every year you have to retake what you have learned.
Taron: The training is followed with test flight phase. We have three test flights, and the fourth flight is called a check flight, during which the senior flight attendant decides whether you can fly on your own or not.
My main job at Fly Arna started on October 1. Before that I had flights in Sharjah at Air Arabia. Since we are in the same group, our flight attendants also have the opportunity to have flights there. This is a very big advantage, because besides getting experience of working with people from different cultures, you also make friends and connections in different airlines.
Safety rules and listening to the passenger above all else
Taron: At the trainings, in addition to the key duties of a flight attendant, we study many other issues related to aviation: how a plane flies, how weather conditions affect flight, what causes turbulence and what to do during it.
We also learn everything related to first aid, up to how to take delivery.
Araksya: One of the most important preconditions in this case is to be able to listen to the passenger. If he/she has a complaint, we have to listen, understand, explain. If he/she is happy, satisfied, we have to listen again, but there are words and phrases that we must not use, we must communicate with gestures as much as possible.
The benefits of being a flight attendant
Araksya: I get a lot of messages asking about how to get a job as a flight attendant. Today Fly Arna offers an opportunity to make the dream of becoming a cabin crew member come true or achieve the goal of acquiring a new and very interesting profession. The company values its employees and does its best to ensure the best working environment and opportunities to advance our careers wth Fly Arna.
All those who have passed the interview stage and have the opportunity to participate in joint Fly Arna and Air Arabia training receive a stipend and accommodation. After getting the job, in addition to the basic salary, we and our family members have the opportunity to travel more often and under special conditions.
The issue of getting a visa is also organized without complications. And which is most important, this job gives us the opportunity to travel and see new countries.
Taron: Being a flight attendant is a completely different way of life. The teamwork is also very important here, like deciding who announces what on the plane. And my favorite announcement is: “Our plane has landed at Yerevan Zvartnots Airport.”
Fly Arna recently launched a new recruitment drive for cabin crew. Interested candidates can know more about the requirements on Fly Arna’s career page. CVs can also be sent directly to HR@flyarna.com. Fly Arna will continue to receive applications until December 15, 2022.
Photos by Emin Aristakesyan