A former EasyJet worker who was made redundant by the budget airline during lockdown has relaunched his career at the Tyne and Wear Metro.
Chris Clements, who worked as cabin crew for seven years, has shrugged of the disappointment of losing his dream job after becoming a Metro Customer Services Manager.
Chris, 26, of Backworth in North Tyneside, flew right across Europe with EasyJet before the pandemic plunged the travel industry into crisis.
He was one of the 1,900 UK based staff who lost their jobs when the airline closed its bases at Newcastle, Stansted and Southend.
But the chance to make a fresh start and join the Metro’s frontline customer services teams was just the tonic for Chris.
He said: “The job at Metro is a fresh start for me and I’m loving every minute of it. I started in EasyJet cabin crew when I was only 18 years old, it was my dream job, but that was all wrenched away by the pandemic.
“We were furloughed at first and then the company said they were starting a big consultation on job losses. I’d never experienced anything like that before. It came as a massive shock to be made redundant. When something is taken away from you and you can’t control then it is quite tough.
“I had seen there was a customer facing role at the Tyne and Wear Metro and I decided to apply. EasyJet had offered us the chance to carry on flying out of Edinburgh instead of Newcastle but that wouldn’t have worked for me.
“It was great just moving from planes to trains, and having used the Metro all my life, I jumped at the chance to work for such an iconic and fantastic local brand.”
Since joining Nexus, the public body which owns and operates Metro, Chris has taken on a team 110 customer service staff.
And he was thrown straight into becoming one of the faces of a new marketing campaign to welcome more customers back to Metro as lockdown eases.
He said: “I’m really passionate about doing well in this role. It is an exciting time to join the Metro, what with the new train fleet on the way and more customers starting to return. There are more people travelling now that lockdown has eased and thing are looking a lot better than they were.
“I can’t wait to get the chance to get involved in delivering Metro services for major events like stadium concerts and the Great North Run.”
Lynne Dickinson, Head of Station Delivery at Nexus, said. “As soon as I met Chris I knew his bubbly personality would be a great addition to the Metro customer services team. His enthusiasm and commitment to providing great customer service was just the ticket for us.”