By RoxanneB 15 Jun 2022 6 min read

Chief of Flight Instructors at Avion Express: “32 years later, I am still in love with this job”

Efstathios Tsagaratos, Chief of Flight Instructors and Examiners at Avion Express: “32 years later, I am still in love with this job”

What could be better than having your hobby for a job? Efstathios Tsagaratos, Chief of Flight Instructors and Examiners at Avion Express, became a pilot because he refused to be “grounded” and decided to pursue the career of his dreams.

He is happy he chose this exciting profession and shares his career journey, dreams, and challenges. Efstathios is glad to be providing service to an international company now, which lets him spend his free time with family in Greece and always keep up to date with the highest professional standards of aviation.


What is your current role at Avion Express? 

I joined Avion Express 6 years ago and after a while, became a member of the training department, initially as a Line Training Captain (training the newcomers), later I provided services as simulator instructor (TRI) and examiner (TRE) on top of my day-to-day line duties as a captain. I am now the Chief of Flight Instructors and Examiners of the company.

My main responsibilities are supervising and managing company policies, rules, procedures, and instructions governing the standardisation of Flight Instructors and Examiners. 


What do you like most about your job at Avion Express?

Flying for an ACMI company is different. It is a unique style of operation compared to a regular airline operation. We are flying all around the world. Very often we operate in new airports, allowing us to gain more and more experience compared to other pilots flying only in a region.

We have a chance to visit and stay for a while in counties we never thought we would visit. We make friends from all over the world. I can easily say that I never get bored with Avion Express.


What positives do you find about working here?

What I do like here in Avion Express, is that even though the company is based in Lithuania, we are an international company. Having colleagues from all over the world helps in the multicultural and multinational philosophy of the company.

Avion Express offers an attractive pilot roster. I am Greek and I love to spend consecutive days with my family and friends in Greece during the summer. I have never had this opportunity when I was working for other airlines. Here I can!

Non-punishment culture in the Safety Department is something that I cannot ignore. The approach of the Safety team here is so professional. The point is to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. And this is the behaviour of the people in our Safety Department. 

We are also expanding day by day! This expansion gives opportunities to pilots to upgrade.

If you ask me, if I would encourage someone to become a pilot, the answer is so simple. YES!!! It is one of the most fascinating and attractive jobs. Imagine being seated in the captain’s seat, inside the cockpit of a modern airliner.

You are at 39.000 feet travelling at 900 km/h and you have the wonderful Mother Earth beneath your window. You may observe part of the amazing globe by having a nice hot cappuccino coffee on your movable table in front of your seat. The sun is shining and playing with reflections on your dashboard. The only thing you can say is: “THANK YOU DEAR LORD for letting me become a pilot!”


Get to know Avion Express more!

“Avion Express has a very powerful and extensive training system with simulator centers. People who work here are extremely professional. They are good at what they do. I‘m very excited to be part of this organisation“ – David Sheehan, Chief Pilot.


“As a member of the Avion Express team for over 8 years, I‘m proud to say the company has fair assessment, professional training, good accommodation and nice destinations. Worth to join!“ – José María Fernández, Deputy Head of Flight Operations.


“For me Avion Express was the ideal company to start my aviation career with and still is an ideal company – both for professional growth and for an exciting lifestyle. Very friendly and open environment with highly experienced aviation professionals, it‘s the place where I want to be“ – Ruta Pleike, FDM Officer.


Avion Express is expanding and invites passionate and bright individuals to become their flight crew members. All those interested in career opportunities in the skies are invited to APPLY here