Meet the former airline crew flying high amongst plants and cats

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The pandemic has seen the loss of jobs in so many industries but aviation has been hit particularly hard.

Thousands of people have been made redundant not only from our airports but also within the airlines.

So with planes and careers grounded what happens after life in the sky?

  • From pilot to plant expert

Nathan Raab worked as a pilot for four years Credit:

Nathan Raab's first world was 'plane'.

"I always, always wanted to be a pilot."

The 23-year old did just that, at least until the pandemic hit.

For four years he worked from both Gatwick and Heathrow flying tens of thousands of miles.

After losing his job he turned a hobby of looking growing mango's into a business which has proved rather successful.

Over the last year orders haven't stopped at 'Pointless Plants' base in Chichester.

Customers include Tom Daley and Bake Off's Candice Brown.

Jane Fear works alongside Nathan at Pointless Plants Credit:

Working alongside him is Jane Fear, who used to be cabin crew but took redundancy as her airline was looking to cut jobs because of the pandemic.

Jane says, "I'll never forget my years flying it was so, so wonderful, I had such a great time.

"We're really throwing ourselves into this now and helping to grow this brilliant industry that's looking after the world."

Those green credentials mean that for every plant sold, ten trees are planted somewhere in the world.

Nathan says, "Being an airline pilot is quite well paid and if it's an easy day out, nice weather, nice people it can be quite easy money.

"With this you're working hard, it's long hours, you're driving yourself to grow as a business.

"It's also more rewarding, seeing that we plant these trees I get so much more fulfilment than going to Alicante and back."

  • King of the cats

Billy Devitt runs Wisteria Cat Rescue

Billy Devitt from Chatham lost not one but two cabin crew jobs within months.

His first airline collapsed and the second made redundancies because of Covid-19, and while he misses his colleagues he's certainly being kept busy by hundreds of cats.

Billy started Wisteria Cat Rescue, a charity that's looking after cats that can no longer be cared for by their owners, particularly because of the virus.

Since he setup the organisation he's looked after 140 felines providing lots of love and care.

Billy says, "Cats are still gonna be breed there are still gonna be cats that are abandoned people are still gonna pass away.

"The cats need to go somewhere. It keeps me busy, after flying that's a job you're always doing something, so this keeps me busy."

  • How social media is helping former crew connect

Not Just Crew has helped thousands of former airline staff find other work Credit:

For the for airline crew at a financial and emotional loss thousands have turned to 'Not Just Crew'

It's a Facebook group that allows people to share employment advice and tips and has already helped thousands of people find new roles.

Simon Costello is one of the creators of 'Not Just Crew' and says it's 'spine-tingling'

"We're showing them to take stock, you're not redundant , your job has been made redundant but you are not redundant.

"When they get back in touch with you and say they've managed to get that job, it's spine-tingling."