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Pilots remain positive while taking on entry-level roles after Covid-19 layoffs

Many pilots who lost their jobs amid the Covid-19 pandemic are keeping positive as they pick up entry-level roles to get by,

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Many have picked up entry level roles. Source: 1 NEWS

Murray Vincent used to fly Boeing 737s across the Tasman for Virgin Australia.

Today, the captain and pilot of 35 years is sorting packages off the line at New Zealand Post.

Mr Vincent said after losing his job, he just had to dust himself off and “get on with things”.

“You've really got two options haven't you? And I choose to just sort of look upwards and onwards.”

He said his new job was keeping him fitter than when he was sitting in the flight deck of a Boeing.

But, Mr Vincent is still occasionally glancing up to the heavens.

“That's certainly my passion, that's where I've come from and where I'd like to go back to as well,” he said.

“Not today, not tomorrow, but when the time is right. 

“I look forward to hopping back in the flight deck again one day.”

New Zealand Post day shift operations leader Kirsten Binney said Mr Vincent was a great addition to the team.

“Murray's brought a lot of leadership and positive attitude," Ms Binney said.

Former Virgin Australia pilot and New Zealand Airline Pilots Association representative for the airline Mike Kenyon said many pilots have pivoted.

“We've had people who are delivering pizzas, packing onions … and everything in between,” he said.

“And we've had a few people that I know of that have been able to find semi-management roles.”

Experts say the grief of losing a job, especially a long-held one, can be severe. It can be accompanied by emotions ranging from confusion, fear, anger and disappointment.

Heather Henare. CEO of Skylight Trust, said people should celebrate any wins they achieve after being made redundant. The trust specialises in providing support for loss and trauma.

“What's really important for that person to feel is to actually feel proud of what they're doing, to actually say, look at me, I’ve got a job.

“I've actually come out the other side and I'm okay,” she said.