Life takes on a different rhythm for Hrachya when he puts on a pilot’s uniform. Nothing and no one can distract him from that rhythm. 20 minutes to prepare for the flight, 40 minutes to fly. Everything is fixed in minutes, which allows to fully enjoy the favorite work, from arrival at the airport to landing.
Hrachya Avagyan works at Fly Arna, Armenian national airline. The pilot, who has worked in the airlines of different countries, says that working in the national airline is a pride, which he has not felt during any of the flights he has made so far. Speaking with Mediamax, Hrachya shared about his professional path and the advantages of working in the national airline.
Decision to become a pilot
Before me, we already had a pilot in the family. It was my father, who was not very happy with my choice (Hrachya remembers with a smile – auth.). I remember I was 13 and was flying to Tbilisi with his friends, they took me to the cockpit, I got in and I couldn’t hide my smile, even though I was trying. I sat near them, got familiarized with the environment, saw how they worked, communicated with flight attendants and airport workers. It was an unforgettable day, I came home with the same smile on my face and said that I am going to become a pilot. They said: no, how come? What a pilot?!
When I was already graduating from school, my father told me to go to any university and study whatever I want except for aviation. I passed entrance exams to five universities in different countries, and chose one of the universities in Lithuania. I started majoring in economics. The university building was located close to the road taking to the Vilnius International Airport, and every time I saw airplanes above, I thought: what am I doing here, I must become a pilot. After only three months of studying, I decided to change my university. At that time, my father offered me to take a flight in a simulator to understand whether I really like it or not. We went. Upon entering the cockpit the smile of the 13-year-old me came to my face again. It was then that I finally decided to become a pilot.
Work and Fly Arna
Again in Vilnius, but this time I entered an aviation academy operating there. After studying, successfully passing exams and training flights, I received a certificate.
I started working in an airline operating in Moldova and after gaining some experience I moved to Greece, then Moscow, then Vietnam. I worked for the Vietnamese Vietjet Air, which was a large international organization giving the pilots quite good promotion opportunities. However, that period coincided with the coronavirus pandemic, and I managed to work under normal conditions for about 6 months. After that the lockdown began, and we had very few flights. I came back to Armenia. For about 6 months I was thinking and looking for where to work. It was then that I learned about a new Armenian national airline that was being established together with the Air Arabia Group. I received an offer to apply for a job in a newly opened company. I had a great desire to work in the national airline, so I applied. I was called to Sharjah for exams, which consisted of several stages and were quite difficult.
The exams were followed by the interview, which was too equally full. It was followed by the the simulator exam, various exercises related to emergency situations for them to understand how we will be able to manage such situations and risks. After passing all this, I returned to Yerevan and some time later I received a congratulatory letter that I passed and in a month I must go to Sharjah again to participate in trainings. My father and my friend were also with me. They were also going through the same stages to work at Fly Arna.
The training period lasted about three months. During them we had both room and practical training. Then I made flights for several months in Air Arabia to get familiarized with their experience, to meet the company’s standards, and returned to Armenia to work at the national airline and contribute the experience I have acquired.
Work at the national airline
There was a clear demand to have an Armenian national airline. While working in different countries, I always wanted one thing: to work in Armenia one day. When I had my first flight with Fly Arna, I had an inexplicable feeling of pride that I had never felt during any flight I had made before.
When I was not living in Armenia, I had a great desire to work and live in Armenia, to be next to my family and friends, to contribute to the development of our country as much as I could. The opening of Fly Arna contributed not only to that, but also to making another very important decision in my life: creating my family in Armenia.
Working at Fly Arna allows not only the pilots, but also the entire airline staff to have high work standards. This is due to the advantage of being a member of an international airline group. In other words, being a national airline, Fly Arna is also a member of the Air Arabia Group, which allows us to bring international experience, localize it and lay a solid foundation for the success of the Armenian national airline.
There are representatives of different countries among the aircraft crew, pilots and flight attendants, who also have a lot of experience. This is also very important, because sharing experience in aviation helps to constantly educate and develop. Another advantage of being a member of the Air Arabia Group is having training every six months in Sharjah conducted by experienced pilots and other top professionals in the field of aviation. I am very happy that our national airline follows international standards, develops and always gives us the opportunity to grow and learn.
Photos by Emin Aristakesyan