London based 19-year -old Alex Macheras is tasked with travelling the world in style on aircraft deliveries as he reports for broadcasters on the latest aviation industry news.
Being an aviation analyst is really fantastic job. Just imagine gliding through an airport to board an aircraft as one of its first passengers. You’re greeted with a glass of champagne, a sprinkling of VIPs and the distinctive smell of a new plane. As the glamorous airliner jets through the skies, you have a chance to try out every seat and suite, including the crew rest area before anyone else.
Mr Macheras noted: ‘Before take-off, we often have to spread ourselves out in the cabin as the plane is so empty, we need the correct balance for take-off!
‘When the doors are closed, the flight crew typically “rock the wings” after take-off – a waving gesture involving tilting the aircraft from left to right in order to rock the wings to wave “goodbye and thank you” to the hard workers at the factory.’
A self-confessed aviation enthusiast who has even taken flying lessons himself, Mr Macheras relishes being the first to experience glamorous new cabins and high-tech features of the latest planes set to wow the industry.
‘I can sit in Seat 53A and tell a listener of the radio show why that seat is the one they should book to Hong Kong next year. You’re crossing time zones constantly and different people in various countries are waking up and tuning in as you fly over.”
While exploring the plane, he can also check the cabin crew area in search of the best WiFi spot and can also be present in the galley watching how crew is getting ready with a food for a special party on board. Some routes include the access to the flight deck.
He explained: ‘On some flights, including a test flight with Bombardier C-Series aircraft, it’s legal for the cockpit door to remain open. The cockpit views beat any window view – it’s little perks like this that make the job so special.’
Depending on the time of the arrival, Mr Macheras can go to bed either in a suite and very rarely he make his bed across an empty row of seats, when there is no premium class available. Sometimes the plane might make a stop on its way to the final destination to present the plane somewhere else.
He said: ‘Last month, on a delivery to Kigali, we stopped in Entebbe to show the aircraft to the locals. They boarded, took photos, left and we were back in the skies.”
The analyst has been all over the world, making long and short distance flights, but more often he can be found in Airbus A350 XBW, as he describes as the “creme de la creme” among the aircraft due to its quiet engines and large size.
During his working experience he had a chance to see how the plane was assembled in pieces at the factory and watch how designers were testing every single element inside the cabins.
Musing on how fast the design of passenger jets is evolving, Mr Macheras said: ‘Just a couple of weeks ago we were celebrating the 10,000th Airbus aircraft to ever be delivered – a Singapore Airlines A350, an aircraft that boasts a business class seat larger than most people’s living room sofa!’
He added: ‘10 years ago – lie-flat beds were only found in first class, today we don’t expect to find a business class cabin without one.’
Whatever the next invention is going to be in the aviation Mr Macheras is going to be right in the center of the events, holding a glass of champagne and trying out the seats ,while flying amidst the sky.