Feature

Former Flight Attendant Turns To JetSet Flea Market To Support Family

‘Flying for so many years, the crew members were very resourceful. We have been exposed to things abroad and now we are thinking outside the box’.
01 Jun 2020 14:53
Former Flight Attendant Turns To JetSet Flea Market To Support Family
Samuel Kumar at VotCity/JetSet Flea Markets in Votualevu Nadi. Photo: Waisea Nasokia.

Being a flight attendant for 25 years has contributed to Samuel Kumar’s positive attitude.

The 47-year-old operates a stall at the VotCity/JetSet Flea Markets in Votualevu, Nadi.

He was among the 458 flight attendants whose jobs were terminated by Fiji Airways last week.

Originally from Tavua, the father of three children chose to be a vendor to help support his family.

“Flying for so many years, the crew members were very resourceful. We have been exposed to things abroad and now we are thinking outside the box. At the moment I don’t allow myself to be hindered by the current situation, but find other options for our survival,” Mr Kumar said.

“This is my lifeline. If there was no flea market, I would be packing and go back to Tavua.”

Mr Kumar said his job had contributed a lot of resourceful ideas, which helped sustain him through the crisis.

“What we have learnt in the profession is now put to good use like customer services and food handling where I am selling food as well,” he said.

Mr Kumar said it was a huge relief that all his children were grown-ups.

“I am renting in Nadi and I still have to pay rent and I have big mortgages on my house and my car,” he said.

He has been selling second-hand clothes, Playstation 3 games and food at the flea market for the past three days.

“Everybody has different challenges. For me, I was not pressured compared to the young couples who have been working for a few years. But we were there for each other and we received a lot of encouragement.”

Flea market manager Vili Finau said the idea of a flea market benefited hotel workers and flight attendants who were unemployed because of the crisis.

“This keeps the economy of Nadi alive,” he said.

He thanked the support from the Nadi Town Council.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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