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COVID-19 on Job Insecurity and Mental Health of Thai Airways International Flight Attendants
* 1 , 2 , 1 , 1 , 3
1  College of Aviation Development and Training, Dhurakij Pundit University, Nonthaburi, Thailand
2  Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand
3  College of Creative Design and Entertainment Technology, Dhurakij Pundit University, Nonthaburi, Thailand
Academic Editor: Soemsak Yooyen (registering DOI)

Abstract: The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which plunging the entire aviation industry into a deep crisis and putting hundreds of thousands of airline jobs at risk, affects Thai Airways flight attendants, with high stressors towards their job insecurity. As human factors are considered critical aspects that influence safety in aviation, this study aimed to 1) examine the impact of job insecurity on Thai Airways flight attendants’ mental health during COVID-19 disruption, 2) investigate how they managed themselves to regain life satisfaction during the indefinite suspension of all scheduled flights, and 3) measure psychological distress development, a year after the airline announcement to halt all air services. The GHQ-12 (General Health Questionnaire-12), a self-administered instrument, was adopted to screen flight attendants’ psychological well-being. Five male and seven female flight attendants, who had the highest scores, indicating worse conditions between 9 to 11 of total scores 12, were selected for the in-depth online interviews in February 2020 and a year later in January 2021. The result showed psychological strains caused by prolonged stress that can lead to safety-related performance decrements when flight attendants need to perform safety-critical roles in emergencies. Hence, the flight attendants should have a mental health check-up before resuming regular commercial flight operations.

Keywords: COVID-19; flight attendants; job insecurity; mental health