The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it necessary for many airline staff to seek new sources of income to offset the significant downturn in flight operations. A number of AirAsia Allstars have been applying their talents in other areas such as product sales and services, and many have found exciting new supplemental jobs and some have even started their own businesses. Let’s take a look at some of the enterprises launched by Allstars over recent times.
First Officer for Thai AirAsia X, Thanwa Jumpapha, is now an owner of famed croissant bakery Maesalong Croissant. He explained that with international flights being suspended last year he had to find a new source of income and decided to start with something he was already passionate about. With a fondness for croissants and the discovery of a favorite bakery in Chiang Rai, he decided to learn the craft of croissant making and was soon able to open Maesalong Croissant.
Maesalong Croissant is a small bakery located in the Samsen neighborhood of Bangkok. Started in December 2020 by four pilots, the bakery exploded in popularity through word of mouth and online sharing alone, growing to achieve completely unexpected sales volumes. Thanwa says the shop is now developing new offerings and is looking to both expand its business line and to open new branches to meet strong demand and to reach even more customers.
“This bakery has really become another career for me and helped me to get through this crisis. Even once the situation improves and we’re able to go back to flying, I know it will continue with Maesalong Croissant, because we have created a system for it to run on its own,” Thanwa said.
Senior Cabin Crew for Thai AirAsia X, Wipasani Wongpipit, is now known online as Maemorjik100 Reviews. She explained that she turned to the world of astrology after her friends lauded the accuracy of her fortune telling. Things became serious during the most recent Miss Universe pageant when she was able to predict the finalists. After word spread of her skills, Wipasani began building up an extensive list of clients. From telling fortunes during her down time to predicting the future full time, Mae Mor Jik now has many bookings for her skills, through to October.
“I use three fortune telling methods, birth dates, tarot cards and oracle cards. Each session is 30 minutes long and customers can ask any question they want. After the session, they can choose to come back for more guidance. This has given me a lot of repeat business; my clients feel like the sessions are very worthwhile. I believe that every Allstar has their own personal talent and will be able to make the most of it when the time comes” Wipasani said.
Captain and Flight Safety Manager in Thai AirAsia’s Safety Department, Parawee Vasikasin, is now the owner and operator of wreath provider Lead Boon. Parawee pointed out that wreaths have developed considerably in modern times both in terms of design and service with the main aim of many providers nowadays, being to focus on waste reduction, a matter in which she has been personally interested for some time. She established Lead Boon under the concept of “Reuse,” with customers able to order arrangements at fair prices and then have those arrangements retrieved by her company for recycling. Operating within a 40-kilometer radius around Laksi district, the service donates revenue to the departed, meeting the needs of customers who both want to pay their respects to those who have passed and to the environment.
Parawee said that with the increased time allotted to her due to the scaling back of flights amid COVID-19, she was able to start her business in September 2020 and has maintained it ever since. Lead Boon now offers up to 80 different types of wreaths with each being able to be reused 10-20 times through careful maintenance.
Ramp Team Leaders for Thai AirAsia, Krirk Sawatsri and Ekachai Buayang, founded 78 BUG Service, a home termite and insect extermination service that offers both one-time and yearly plans. The company has been serving individual homes and residential projects for three years now, which started out as a second job for the two, on their days off. With flights ground to a halt however, the business has now become the main revenue source for them,, who now also regularly employ their fellow Allstars during busier periods, helping them to also overcome the persisting situation.
Krirk and Ekachai said that with high competition, they set themselves apart with a team of well-trained professionals and a systematic approach to extermination certified by Kasetsart University. Providing service with quality and trustworthiness, both highly value honesty and punctuality, principles they adopted from serving AirAsia customers.
“We are glad to have found a livelihood so close to our lives and that we enjoy. If you’re looking for a second job, just keep on trying and developing different skills. Keep hoping and stay ready for when you’ll be able to return to your usual work” Krirk said.
Apart from the supplemental work Allstars have been able to find for themselves, AirAsia has also continued to upskill and find placements in other parts of the business for affected staff so that they may continue to make a living while flight operations are limited. We hope to sustain our staff, so they are fully ready to return to normal duties when our flight operations resume.
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