Side jobs help cabin crew weather Covid-19
Flight attendants have turned to left-handed jobs to supplement their lost income as airlines remain grounded due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Chu Hoa, a Vietnamese flight attendant, could not imagine the Covid-19 pandemic that started in February would linger until now. She thought she would return to work in July.

Hoa is still stranded at home in Saigon.

Before the pandemic, Hoa flew about 60-80 hours per month for a South Korean carrier, enough to provide her an abundant standard of living.

Although her airline still pays her a basic monthly salary, the 26-year-old is worried about the company's financial outlook. She also worries that foreign flight attendants like herself would get fired first if the pandemic worsened.

"I used to allocate part of my income toward savings and another to pay off a mortgage. Since my income has been reduced, I now try to spend as little as possible. It will be very challenging for me if I continue to stay at home like this," she said.

Trying to stay optimistic, Hoa sees this as a time for self-improvement. She teaches four paid classes a week on being a flight attendant, including advice on exam taking, for young people sharing the same passion.

"Many friends previously texted me to ask about my experience in taking training tests and my work. But at that time I was very tired. All I wanted to do was rest, spend time by myself and with my family. So I did not have the opportunity to advise them much.

"Since I have more free time now, I want to help others understand this profession better," she said.

Hoa has also taken classes in English and Korean, reads, and does more exercises.

"With this situation, I assume there won't be any flights from now until the end of this year even though I have not received any official announcement from the company."

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