Our series of interviews with women in the aviation industry continues next with VOLUXIS’ Cabin Services Director, Annabel Brown.
How and why did you get into private aviation?
I was working for a commercial airline and my now-husband was helping out at [now VOLUXIS] whilst training to be a pilot. The owners invited me to freelance as a flight attendant and I loved experiencing private aviation alongside my commercial role, so I began working alternate months for both companies.
I feel very fortunate to have been given this opportunity so early in my career as it’s now much harder to enter the private sector, even with commercial experience. Commercial flying has changed greatly over the years and for me only the private sector still truly captures the “art of travel”.
How can we encourage more women into aviation?
Flexible rosters and more part-time opportunities would help attract both women and men with families to a career in aviation. Companies should also try to appoint more women in senior-level roles and include female employees in decision-making processes. All of these measures would help to tackle issues that still hold women back in the industry.
What advice would you give to women interested in an aviation career?
Get as much experience as possible in your preferred sector. Commercial experience is a good foundation for private aviation, followed by a commercial-to-corporate course. Persevere with interviews – even if you get knocked back, it shows your passion and determination to succeed in your chosen career.
I still love going to work after more than 30 years in aviation. As well as travelling the world, I’ve worked with a wide and varied crew. I look back on my work life and feel very lucky to have followed this path – to me it’s more a lifestyle than a job.
What has been the proudest achievement in your career?
I can’t say there has been one particular moment. As corny as it sounds, I feel proud whenever I receive amazing feedback from clients who have enjoyed their flight. Ultimately, I was very proud to be offered the role of Cabin Services Director at Voluxis and particularly in current times feel very fortunate that I still have a job I love so much.
VOLUXIS is a worldwide AOC holder of over 40 years with a diverse fleet of Embraer, Dassault, Bombardier and Hawker aircraft available for private charter. In addition to private jet charter, VOLUXIS also offer aircraft management and aircraft charter sales and marketing services with offices at London Biggin Hill and Farnborough airports www.voluxis.com