Name: Gavin Pereira | Designation: Aircraft Maintenance Programme Engineer | Company: FlyDubai | Place: Dubai
(October 05, 2023) As Gavin Pereira neared the end of his engineering degree at the Don Bosco Institute of Technology in Mumbai, he along with his batchmates dreamed of landing a well-paying job in the IT sector. Fate smiled upon him and he received an offer from a prestigious tech company. However, as he made his way into the world of information technology, Gavin realised it wasn’t for him.
Career transitions are never easy, yet Gavin was sure he needed to move out. “It was around that time that I spoke to a friend who was working with Jet Airways. He told me about the aviation industry; it appealed to me. As I began researching more about the profession it became a passion and I began applying for jobs with the airline. When I finally got the interview call, I was happy. I joined them as an aircraft maintenance engineer and enjoyed every bit of the job,” he says, adding, “Sure, I joined them at a lower salary, but following my passion was more important to me. In the long run, I’m really glad I made the move.”
Currently working as an aircraft maintenance programme manager with FlyDubai, a sister concern of the Emirates group, in Dubai, Gavin has carved a niche for himself in his chosen career. “During my graduation in Mumbai, I studied Electronic and Telecommunication engineering. However, when it came to campus placements, I became one among the crowd and took up an IT job; they were the most well-paying ones and hence the most lucrative placements. I took it up because I needed to get on my own two feet, not out of interest. I was good at it, but didn’t like it. Predictably, it didn’t last long,” he says.
Ever since he made that shift back in 2008, Gavin says it has been a roller coaster ride of learning and growth. After having worked for five years with Jet Airways, he moved to Kuwait with Kuwait Airways before moving to Dubai two years later to join FlyDubai. Eight years since, he has carved a niche for himself in the aviation industry and has built a happy life in the emirate where he now lives with his wife and kids.
As an aircraft maintenance programme engineer, Gavin makes the entire maintenance program for different aircraft types. “It is essentially a list of all scheduled maintenance that happens in an aircraft and could consist of nearly 2,000 tasks at various intervals,” he explains, adding, “It is a lot of responsibility as it entails aircraft safety and that is paramount in this industry.”
“On a typical day I try and get in a walk or jog in the mornings depending on the weather here. I’m usually at work by 8 am and usually wrap up by 4.30 pm. After that it’s time for my kids and wife. I usually take the kids to the neighbourhood park or for swimming and football before winding the day by spending some quality time with my wife.” He adds that he’s fortunate to have found a job that affords him good work-life balance.
He also makes it a point to stay abreast of the latest aircraft technology and how maintenance of these are changing. “We do have type-rated courses on aircraft where you learn the entire system of the plane. However, it’s very important for me to stay updated with the latest technological advancements of these aircraft and how to deal with their maintenance in the best possible manner.”
Given that he is working in Dubai, he says, he is exposed to multiple cultures and ethnicities. “The aviation industry, in general, has a lot of diversity and it is interesting to work with such diverse teams. It certainly opens your mind to a lot of different cultures and brings you out of your bubble; you become more accepting of other people and cultures,” he says.
This extends to his family as well, as he ensures they travel as often as they can, exposing the kids to multiple cultures and lifestyles to broaden their horizons. “Being in the aviation industry helps since we get tickets to different destinations. Besides, it’s easy to travel from Dubai given that it’s a hub. We love to explore the world as a family and assimilate different cultures.”
A Goan, who was born and raised in Mumbai, Gavin makes it a point to travel back to India as and when possible. “It’s not like I do something specific to keep my Indianness alive; you remain Indian no matter where in the world you might be. And I’m proud Indian, who’d love to eventually return to the country,” the Global Indian says, adding, “I have a lot of memories of my life back in India, especially of travelling within the country, especially to Goa. Plus, the monsoons… that’s something I miss here in Dubai. The monsoons were a beautiful part of my childhood in India.”