Pilot who lost job because of Covid-19 works as Grab food delivery rider

A pilot has swapped jumbo jets for motorcycles to work as a food delivery rider after losing his job during the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanun Khantatatbumroong had been flying Airbus A320s and A330s around Asia before the pandemic struck causing flights to be cancelled.

Without his pilot’s salary, Thanun was left struggling to pay his monthly bills and debts in Bangkok, Thailand.

He enrolled as a delivery rider with an app and took his BMW GSA 1200 motorcycle onto the roads to run food from restaurants to people staying at home during the lockdown. 

Thanun, who worked for Thai Lion Air before the crisis, said: “Many people thought that I would have enough savings, as I’m a pilot and that it would be sufficient for me to live comfortably throughout this pandemic.

“But that’s not true. I used to have a restaurant but it had to close down due to the situation so I have numerous debts and I have to work to pay for them.

“I don’t earn much from working as a food delivery rider but it is better than doing nothing. I am proud of myself for not letting my ego stop me from providing myself.”

Thanun added that he wanted to encourage other people not to give up hope, especially if they are struggling financially. 

He said: “Everyone has been affected by this crisis, so I want to encourage them to find a new opportunity during this time.”

Thailand has imposed strict measures to stop the spread of the Covid-19  pandemic, which have hurt the economy – particularly in sectors reliant on tourism.

Many domestic carriers have suspended flights until May at the earliest and government bosses have banned international flights and new tourist arrivals. Train and bus services between regions have also been reduced or cancelled and there is a 10pm curfew which carries a maximum fine of 40,000 baht or up to two years in prison.

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