Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Grounded Thai pilot now does motorbike food deliveries

Published

 on 

PHOTOS: CNN Travel

I have my motorbike, so I found my part time job. And now I am a food delivery man.”

With many of the world’s international airlines grounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, many in the aviation industry, including even pilots, have been forced to find other ways to make a living. Here in Thailand, a ban on international arrivals remains in place, and with domestic air travel currently limited, some aviators have shifted from the skies to the roads, taking jobs as motorbike delivery drivers or as with ride-hailing apps.

One such airman is co-pilot Nakarin Inta, who has been a commercial pilot for Thai Lion Air for about 4 years. He now delivers orders in Bangkok for Line Man, a local food delivery, taxi, messenger and parcel app. For now, Nakarin has traded in the skies for a Scoopie.

“Some airline staff have been on leave without pay. And for most of us, income has been cut by more than 70%. I still have expenses every month, so I had to find something on my own.”

Like in major cities around the world, food delivery service apps in Bangkok have exploded in popularity due to lockdown measures imposed by the government in March. Following the example of a fellow pilot, Inta realised he could generate a small income to support his wife and four year old daughter by delivering food on his motorbike.

“I thought, I cannot just sit here and wait for help. I have to fight for my family. I have to do something.”

The 42 year old always dreamed of a life in the skies but, fearing economic instability in the industry, held back on pursuing that dream for years. But about 5 years ago he decided to go for it. Seeing the rise of low cost carriers in Thailand, he studied for his commercial pilot degree and was soon hired by Thai Lion Air.

“To be a pilot was always in my dreams when I was a child. The best thing is travelling around the world and seeing so many people; I see the passengers smile when I dress up and go to the airport. I see their smile when they meet each other or they’re travelling to their vacation to beaches or mountains. And, more than everything, I can earn money to support my family.”

As a pilot, Inta says he would normally earn between 187,000 and 249,000 baht a month. Now, grounded mid-March, he says making 1,000 a day would be a big win for him.

Inta says he knows of more than 50 Thai pilots, including  personal friends, now working as food delivery men, ride-hailing app drivers or food vendors, while waiting to resume their regular jobs. He and his friends have not been laid off, but their salaries are based on their flight assignments.

“I think everybody was impacted by Covid-19, everyone in the world, but look at the one beside you, your loved ones. You have to fight for them and fight for yourself. I miss every moment of my career. I miss my colleagues, my captain, my cabin crew and dispatchers and all the staff since we have worked together as a team for many years. And, mostly, I miss my office in the sky.”

Grounded Thai pilot now does motorbike food deliveries | News by Thaiger

SOURCE: CNN Travel

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Chon Buri11 mins ago

Faulty wiring, poor construction, unsafe materials in Mountain B fire

Chon Buri11 mins ago

Mountain B: Owner out on bail, Bangkok club inspection, viral moment

Central Thailand2 hours ago

Thai woman murders her abusive boyfriend in front of a monk

Sponsored9 hours ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

North East2 hours ago

UPDATE: Sexy Thai model fined 5,000 baht for dancing topless in club

Thailand2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Poll says 64% Thais had enough with PM Prayut

North East2 hours ago

10 year old killed & 5 injured after pickup hits motorbike sidecar

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Crime3 hours ago

Court releases Mountain B owner on bail for 300k baht following fire in eastern Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Thailand has 5 BA.2.75 antibody-resistant Covid-19 sub-variant

Tourism3 hours ago

UK student conquers mountain in Thailand blindfolded

Home Services4 hours ago

Top 5 reasons to get a maid service in Thailand

Cambodia4 hours ago

Nigerian monkeypox case who fled Thailand is banned from Cambodia for 3 years

Thailand4 hours ago

Red Shirts lead rally against Thailand PM on August 23

Bangkok5 hours ago

Emirates is recruiting cabin crew in Thailand

Thailand5 hours ago

Netizens slam cannabis firm for encouraging underage users

Transport5 hours ago

Drunk driver in 2 hit-and-runs drags motorbike taxi 300 metres

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending