Persistence and willingness to learn opens many doors in life. That is the motto and belief of Antonia, a mother of two and a woman who dedicated more than 30 years to aviation and found her place at Avion Express to share her lifelong passion, commitment, and experience to the profession of the skies. Antonia is a Cabin Safety Officer at Avion Express. Love for aviation led her to the career she absolutely loves and can give all her knowledge and dedication to.
Antonia Christodoulou is from Cyprus and started her career journey at aviation 35 years ago. She began working as cabin crew in national airline when she was 19 years old. Antonia was and still is a true aviation devotee, therefore she was working for her national airline for 30 years. Unfortunately, in 2015 the company closed down.
“It was a tragedy for Cyprus. The closure of the company affected many families” Antonia recalls. She was also faced with the challenge of finding a new job. When Antonia tried to apply for another company as a flight attendant, she wasn’t accepted. At that time the new airlines in Cyprus didn’t approve of her age. A. Christodoulou loved her job as a cabin crew and haven’t imagined doing anything else.
“But when I faced difficulties in Cyprus because of age, I temporarily withdrawn away from aviation. I decided to relocate after my daughter graduated and left to study abroad. I was determined to continue my career as a cabin crew member and began looking for opportunities. That’s when I discovered Avion Express,” says the Cabin Safety Officer.
In 2017 Antonia did an interview and was hired soon. “My manager told me that the age is not a problem for them, they were looking for experience and knowledge” Antonia remembers. She was grateful for the company who appreciated her dedication to aviation. “They saw that I was caring for Avion Express, and they really respected that. I really value this approach” A. Christodoulou adds.
Antonia was promoted to Line Instructor not long after. The woman discovered that she really wishes to pass the knowledge to other people, and she didn’t want to keep it for herself. A. Christodoulou was a passionate Instructor and wanted to offer the best that the experience has taught her. “Very soon I got the offer to become a Cabin crew CRM Instructor (Crew Resource Management). This position is heavily based on human factors, and they needed a person who not only knows the theory, but has a lot of practice in this field. Up to now, I love this role” Antonia tells.
“Later on, when Avion Express started expanding, I was offered a role of Instructor of First Aid and Safety. This made me really happy because I love to train people and I was enjoying every little second of my job“ A. Christodoulou continues. She successfully raised in career and felt grateful for her job. But even then, it did not stop.
“After some time, I stumbled upon an advertisement for Cabin Safety Officer role. When I was reading through the job description, I thought to myself: this is exactly where I am. During my 35 years of aviation, I developed a deep understanding about safety and safety management system. Together with my practical experience and the instructor qualifications that I had, I believed it was a solid foundation for this position” shares Antonia.
Cabin Safety Officer position at Avion Express is all about maintaining exceptional safety standards and includes duties like investigating cabin safety occurrences, identifying the hazards, and following risk assessment, providing recommendations and corrective actions to mitigate the possibilities of mistakes, and participating in safety promotion.
Antonia speaks passionately about her daily responsibilities and, as a people-person, loves to transfer her knowledge to others: “I have very good understanding of the human factors. We are all humans and mistakes are inevitable, we will never stop doing them. Our responsibility is to make sure we minimize the possibilities for mistakes to occur. In this position I see how these human factors are affecting our performance. We have our limitations, we have our capabilities. That is why I really like it. I want to help people and offer the best I can” she tells.
Antonia feels grateful to be in this company and never hesitates to share her appreciation: “Avion Express feels like a family and I really mean it. This company opened the doors for me and possibilities I didn’t believe I will have. I am happy to be at this position, but it’s very important what kind of people I have next to me to guide me. I am learning from the best. People that surround me are truly committed and amazing at their jobs. One of them is my Safety manager Jurgita Baleviciene, who is truly exceptional, I learn a lot from her”.
Cabin Safety Officer also adds that she is given plenty of opportunities to grow personally and professionally: “As Avion Express is an ACMI company, it gives many opportunities to travel all around the world. I visited Asia, Africa, North America… countries that I could never believe I would visit. Culture and environment are also something that I like. We are around many nationalities. Also, I am continuing to expand my knowledge and experience in the field of the safety even further. Learning never stops”.
For those who are looking for opportunities in aviation, Antonia advises: “There are three most important things: willingness to learn, dedication and a positive attitude. They can open many doors”.