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18 September 2009

FESTIVE RAMADHAN MONTH – NO LIMITS IN BEING THE BEST

By Satwinderjit Singh

It is been a month of Ramadhan been practice by Muslims around the globe including Malaysia. The auspicious celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri will be commencing this weekend. Therefore, many Malaysians of all races will take the opportunity to return to their lovely hometown around Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak in celebrating Hari Raya Aidilfitri and also spending the precious holidays to be with family members. Therefore some may choose to drive, using public buses and trains as their choice of journey. Plus, the low cost fare by Air Asia sure will be the top priority of ASEAN community of transportation to return to their lovely hometowns too. No matter which part of the globe we are, Air Asia sure will be the top choice of flying back home to Malaysia to celebrate the auspicious Hari Raya with family members. Therefore, is been a top priority of Air Asia in producing top service and quality to each of it’s passengers who are flying with Air Asia during this Ramadhan month.

By this at Air Asia, as the service and the quality are always been the highest priority been practiced by Air Asia staff no matter what race or religion, they are always being the best in serving to their passengers flying with Air Asia. Therefore, the Muslims staff of all positions and departments do not take the advantage practicing Ramadhan fasting in lacking their routine responbilities and commitment in serving the best for the most honored name, Air Asia carrying the slogan “ Now Everyone Can Fly.”

As a Malaysian, I am proud of the brand name of Air Asia been spread around the world. With the recent touchdown in United States of America by Air Asia X’s Airbus A340, it has proof that the world is opening their doors to Air Asia to spread their wings higher and wider globally. Therefore, I would like to share some of Air Asia’s Muslims Crew experience on how they had been providing the best service in this festive Ramadhan fasting month. These crew who have chose their heart to follow their dreams and passions in their life but the most importantly to share their experience will be a honor to share with all no matter who we are.

Ramp Crew, Mohd Nor Firdaus

He is well known with the name of “Bob” among Air Asia crew which is totally a suitable name for a tough and passionate person like him to be a ramp crew. Mr Firdaus handles the safety measurements in handling ground operations when an aircraft taxi at the tarmac. This includes maintaining a good alliance with the flight operations such as maintenance, towing aircraft, loading and offloading luggage, attending request of each aircraft, supplying man power and many more. With the unpredictable weather conditions no matter rain or shine, the responbilities been taken is not easy and simply challenging to handle it. With having numerous years of experience, Mr Firdaus and the other fellow crew handles it professionally and always been in ready mode physically and mentally.

When asked of his experience as a ramp crew, Mr Firdaus stated that being a ramp crew is simply challenging and adventurous. Why does he say that? Is because the normal routines and task cannot be forecast in a predictable order or schedule due to various technical issues being occurred for the ground crew such as ramp to be precise on how heavy luggage they will be handling, the efficiency of performing maintenance on aircraft, the logistic request been entertained and most important task performing safety duties in different types of weather conditions. In short, each of them should be ready to multi task in a short time of notification.

So with the heavy task in his shoulders, fasting is not the reason why he should least his daily task. This year, Mr Firdaus will be on duty on both Hari Raya celebrations for the 4th year in a row. Even though it is something beyond he could expected, he said that job is job when ever the company needs you to fill in no matter any days in a year. He would not be celebrating the Raya celebration along but there is also some of his colleagues who are Muslims are also been assigned to be on duty too. He also stated that might be a small celebration within the crew will be held in order not feel sad but to boost up the team spirit.

There are few interesting situation occurred while performing normal routine while fasting but he calmly stated that is all the real challenge in daily routine that he is use to handling it. It meant by, everyday is something interesting to share about. Fasting month also do influence the real patience being as a ramp. This is because frustrations do build up very often due to task had been done will bounce up to re-do all over again. Mr Firdaus was kind enough to share an experience just occurred on the day before I met him which is when a flight is ready to be take off, the numbers of passengers and the amount of luggage listed after checking-in is more than the number of passengers in the aircraft. That shows there is few passengers had not board into the plane. Therefore announcements had been made in terminal but the missing passengers did not turn up and the flight had been delayed due to missing passengers. The captain of the flight had instructed the ground crew to remove the luggage of the missing passengers in order to catch up the delay timing.

For Mr Firdaus, Air Asia always cares for its staff with over helming support in fulfilling religion responbilities. He is also glad all his non Muslims crew members really supports each other in filling up duties while the Muslims prepares for break-fasting and “Sahur”(the meal before sun rises). They even share the precious time by having meals in a big group no matter any religion you are in as mutual understanding always has been practiced well in Air Asia

Pilot, Nadira Ramli

After the post of “This one’s for the girls” by Dato Tony Fernandes in his blog, many blog readers are inspired with the concept of having female pilots in Air Asia despite of not many major airlines do really have female pilots. It is believe that Air Asia has the most female pilot in ASEAN and also having the first female Captain Pilot in ASEAN too. Being a pilot is always a passion for Nadira. She had graduated from a local flying institution and has been flying for Air Asia in her young age. With the experience that is building up in her wings, she also have her dream to be a Captain and also obtaining more experience in flying long hour routes.

Being so low profile, Nadira discuss about her routes of the day she had flied before I initially meet her. It is understood that Air Asia pilots and Cabin Crew will have to cover 4 routes and sometimes it also rise to up to 6 routes. Even though Nadira performs her duties in her daily routes, her religion teaching of fasting in Ramadhan month is been practiced strictly in her. For Nadira, fasting is being the challenge of being calm in any conditions. When Nadira been asked what it is like to live for your dream as a pilot, she gave a quick response of “Loving It All The Time.” That is something passionate to hear a female pilot love her career with Air Asia.

As a Muslim, Nadira has no problem in fasting while flying an aircraft. She also had informed that even though she flies to various type of routes, she will normally break her fasting following the local time. By this, Nadira point out this is a interesting role to be a Pilot because it has different points of view being a pilot. Pilot Nadira also commented that different human being has it own limitations of fasting while during their normal routine in life. It depends on how an individual can handle a long route during fasting month. She also stated that Air Asia treat all its staff including the Pilots equally. This is because all Pilots are bound to their roster of duties which has he flight that has been assigned to each of them. She is fortunate to celebrate Hari Raya due to given holidays for the celebrations.

Even though being a pilot has it own challenge, Nadira had proven too as every other female pilots in Air Asia that possibilities in handling difficult situation can be manage by both genders.

Senior Flight Attendant (SFA), Noor Waly Abd Wahab

Being a flight attendant requires good personality profile and also being responsible to make sure that safety regulation on aircraft are followed. Every each of the flight attendants also need to do their best to ensure what they can to make sure passengers is comfortable during their flights. Having a passion to have a career as a flight attendant will surely need to undergo intensive training at the top class. As for Noor Waly, she has been a flight attendant for more than 9 years under wings of service in aircraft and had met numerous numbers of passengers on board flight. She is currently a Senior Flight Attendant for Air Asia and also flies for Air Asia X routes too.

As a Muslim Flight Attendant, Noor Waly ensures that there is no problem in practicing religion teaching of fasting in Ramadhan month. According to her, a senior flight attendant is the lead flight attendant and she is to ensure all her crew smiles and serve the passengers in quality hospitality. Even though, Noor Waly flies on routes that occur more than 4 hours of journey route, being tired is not in her mind in fasting month. As well as an experience flight attendant, she always practices being the best of herself in performing her responbilities.

Being a flight attendant, he or she need to be ready for any situations that may occur on board no matter what type situations may arise. When been asked whether she had encounter any tough times while performing her responbilities, she smile and replied that being a flight attendant is always to be prepared for any issues or situations. Most of the time, she and her colleague will encounter dissatisfactory passengers’ climbs on board and throw their anger and scolds the flight attendants.

Achieving more than 9 years of experience being a flight attendant, Noor Waly had been serving for other major airlines for 6 years before being an Air Asia flight attendant for 3 years. She personally believes Air Asia is the best move she had made. This is because Air Asia stress free and also happening company to work with even working during Ramadhan month. She also had shared her moment of break-fasting above 15 000feet in air with her colleagues. To ensure all her crew breaks their fasting, she ensures they do it in pair as they should not neglect their responbilities to the passengers. She always practices that passengers always be the top priority while breaking her fast.

That is how well a flight attendant performs his or her responbilities in any circumstances and also ensuring the name Air Asia been fame into higher level in the aviation industry.

Guest Service Assistant, Hayati Mustaza

First, what does a Guest Service Assistant in red (for females) and black (for males) is all about? Do their uniform is the same as the flight attendants? It actually plays a big role to Air Asia as each crew of Guest Service Assistant is the front liners. According to Hayati, being a Guest Service Assistant is about being able to multi task at the same time. They normally perform the responbilities of checking in passenger’s luggage, performing at CBTO (Control Baggage Tracking Office), boarding passengers and more. Being able to perform the responbilities of a Guest Service Assistant by Hayati during the fasting month had entourage each passenger with being strong and patience in her.

Guest Service Assistant such as Hayati deals with various types of passengers from all ASEAN countries and also European passengers who travel to Malaysia with Air Asia. Therefore there are a lot of verbal communications with passengers while handling at the check in counters. Ramadhan month has been the most significant test of patience that been taught in her as a Muslim. In this situation of handling various task in a same time may cause great thirst and hunger as a lot of energy been used in handling front line task and also the working hours.

Even though Ramadhan month has been challenging for Hayati, she endorse that being a Guest Service Assistant is always being a good interest and also fun to work in. Multi tasking is always been practice by her and her colleague without any excuses during Ramadhan month. Being able to perform great working spirit in Ramadhan month, Hayati had proved that people’s concept of working in Ramadhan month is tough to bare with is exactly not true. The support been given to her from Air Asia also made her to perform the best performance and productive passengers handling.

Speaking of having fun during the working hours is not about skipping any task but being able to meet famous artist who travels with Air Asia. In this wonderful Ramadhan month spirit, she had met many local and international artists who had check in themselves at Hayati’s check in counter. Thus this is a good way being strong and smiling to passengers has also been a top priority of being a front liner. Everyday is something new when meeting various people flying with Air Asia.

Breaking her fast during her working shift is not a problem for Hayati as the understanding among her non Muslim colleague is been supportive to her. Normally a Muslim will break their fasting during sunset and also having their meal which is called ‘sahur’ in Bahasa Melayu before the sunrise up to the sky. This also had been a great moment which Hayati could be proud of which is being able to break fasting with all her Muslim colleague together in a time.

Ramadhan month has not been an influence in Hayati as to lacking the working spirit and performance for being a Guest Service Assistant. This is because the process being done in every duty performance is the same as every other month. Ramadhan has been teaching Hayati to be extra patience and also being calm when meeting various passengers during check in. Being tired has always occurred during working due to dehydration. This is because verbal communications need a lot of energy in physical and also mentally. It is also due to lacking to have a drink during work in fasting month.

For Hayati, the most important been shown in Air Asia is the understanding by every staff in supporting a Muslim like her to be the best during work. Even the task is tough, Hayati always will stand with the work fun as she explores herself as a Guest Service Assistant. She also believes that the holy month of Ramadhan is not an excuse to delay the task been assigned to her.

Engineering Apprentice, Izyan Syazwani Mahfuz

Being a female engineer is actually going beyond of people’s perception and interpretation of heavy job of an aircraft engineer. Syazawani purely wants to live her dreams in being an aircraft engineer as it is her ambition since young. Currently, Syazwani main role is consistently do maintenance checking to all aircraft which taxi into the terminal. Despite the unpredictable weather conditions during this Ramadhan month, rain and shine is not something new for Syazawani as she perform careful maintenance on the aircraft. This is because Air Asia main concern is ensuring high safety measurements on each aircraft.

When been approached about Syazwani living her dream, she gave a wide smile saying that it is not as easy some may think because it is a very interesting and challenging field she is in now. Besides the weather conditions, the supports form her colleagues and also the LAE Engineers made her to be ready mentally and also in physically during this Ramadhan month. She also informed being an engineer is always having good team work. Even the challenge may arise higher by day, Syazwani enjoys her dream path by knowing herself to be a strong girl and also recognizing there are also Muslims individuals perform the religion teaching of fasting just like her.

Being able to give her best during Ramadhan month, the tough times that she encounters would be the weather. Physically dealing with weather is the ultimate test under the conditions of heavy rain, scorching skin and more. She also could not forget the tight schedule in her hands to have a quick ‘sahur’ during night shift. There is a time where Syazwani break her fasting on the tarmac due to technical issue been rise up during all Muslims break their fast when the sun sets down.

The most memorable moments in Ramadhan month for Syazwanie is breaking fast with all the night shift crews together as one. She said that the joyous moment of sharing meals together is the precious time she has been in Air Asia during Ramadhan celebration. Being a female engineering apprentice, Syazwani do endorse that fasting month has a little influence on her. This is due, the hot and sunny weather on the tarmac do really make a girl like her been dehydrated but the working performance is calmly the same as working in non-Ramadhan month. Syazwani loves the concept of understanding from her non-Muslim colleague where by she and her other Muslim colleagues been excused for breaking fast during the time of breaking fast. She believes that the mutual consideration of good understanding may lead a good and harmonious Malaysian brand company, Air Asia.

Being what we are as a Malaysian, I am proud to humble to see all races and religions being one in celebrating and supporting each festive season in Malaysia. Having a multi-racial environment in Air Asia from local and international staff from England, China, Korea and many more do prove that good collaboration with each other will lead Air Asia into a better vision globally.

Wishing all Muslims in Air Asia, Malaysia, ASEAN and also around the world, a very Happy and Auspicious Aidilfitri celebration. Hope the celebration of Aidilfitri among all of us remains a good tradition and culture in leading to a good peace around the world.

Regards,
Satwin Hans

  • Kong Sun

    Admire all of them because they are so dedicated to their work.

    Neway I saw the notebook that the ramp crew is using. very nice.can we get one ?

  • Din Effendi

    Very impressive…highly dedicated & inspirational individuals
    Salam Eid Mubarak to all Moslem staffs @ AA. No matter how small your role is, you can make a difference with your passion to succeed..bravo

  • Satwinderjit Singh

    Hey Kong Sun & Din Effendi,

    Thanks for your comment.I am not sure where to get the notebook as you see in the picture above.

    I believe they implement for the usage for their own staff members.

    Anyways, they are trully dedicated with their daily task as their fleet is growing wider. Wish all of All Stars a happy working life and will be blogging more about them soon.

    Cheers.
    -Satwin-Hans-