Like Mother, Like Son

Even if we do think of our Mums 365 days a year, this Sunday’s still a pretty special day: it’s Mother’s Day! And that’s why we want to celebrate our mothers and share a very special story with you today – because we’ve got Mum Roswitha to thank for the fact that Tristan is now a part of Austrian Airlines.

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#Dreams come true

Tristan is completing his training with Austrian Airlines today. It was his mother who originally inspired his choice of job – she too works for Austrian Airlines, and allowed him to take his first glimpses into the cockpit at an early age. Tristan has had just one desire ever since: to be a pilot for Austrian Airlines!

We met Roswitha and her son, and chatted to them about the pros and cons of such domestic bliss in the workplace.

Where are you based at Austrian Airlines these days?

Roswitha: I work at Station Accounting VIE; the interface between the ticketing desk and Accounting, you might say.

Tristan: I’ve been a trainee pilot on the AUA 3 course since 1 August 2017. I’ll be starting to fly on scheduled routes from this autumn onwards.

Which aircraft will you be piloting?

Tristan: That’s still unclear at this point. The way it looks, either Airbus or Embraer.

Did Mum’s job have any effect on your own choice of profession?

Both laugh.

Roswitha: Absolutely!

Tristan: Of course it did! Because Mum works for Austrian Airlines, we travelled a great deal when I was young, of course. My first “encounter” with the industry was… how old would I have been at the time? Five? That was the first time I ever saw a cockpit from the inside. It was on the way to America, and I’ve wanted to become a pilot ever since. On top of that, there was the fact that I knew from Mum just how good the atmosphere at work was. It wasn’t a difficult decision for me to take in the end.

Roswitha: It would never have come into question to go to another airline.

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Wouldn’t your Mum have let you go to the competition?

They both laugh again.

Tristan: So becoming a pilot was my primary destination. Austrian Airlines was by far my first choice, of course. I would have been pretty disappointed if things hadn’t worked out.

Roswitha: Quite. Originally Tristan studied medicine for three years, as pilots weren’t being selected at the time. We made a deal then: my husband and I would finance a private pilot’s licence, and he would finish his degree in return. Pilots started being selected again shortly afterwards, and he applied immediately – successfully, as it turned out! That meant his medical degree turned into history, of course.

Did you have any concerns about working at the same company in those early years?

Tristan: No, none at all. If Mum were a pilot as well now, it would be different. I would certainly have concerns if that were the case.

Roswitha: Quite. I was slightly shocked to begin with when he told me he was stopping his medical degree, but I understood his motivations, of course.

Is work a major subject of discussion at home nowadays?

Tristan: Of course. I’ve been abroad a great deal thanks to the training, and rarely at home, so we talk a lot about it when I’m with my family, of course. But there’s plenty to talk about, obviously.

But don’t these issues get on the nerves of others in the family – those of you who don’t work for Austrian Airlines?
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Roswitha: Well, my husband’s a judge, and Tristan’s younger brother’s a legal specialist as well. As a result, we can’t participate in their legal debates, but then again, they can’t do so in our airliner discussions.

Tristan: You might say we have two teams in the family – the lawyers and the airliners.

Roswitha: Luckily, though, we all really love to travel, so there are always enough different issues to talk about.

Any tips for other families sharing a workplace?

Tristan: If you do talk a lot about work, you need to be able to accept a variety of different opinions and standpoints, or it can continually cause discussions.

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