Baltic Outlook introduces you to some of the most important people at airBaltic – its flight crew members, who have some of the most interesting hobbies.

In her first month as a student at the airBaltic Pilot Academy, Elīna Štēbele was still performing in concerts with her dance group. ‘I sometimes even arrived at rehearsals still in my uniform,’ she laughs. ‘But I had to quit dancing before my first exams, because school was so time-consuming.’
‘At the age of six, my parents took me to Zita Errs’ ballet studio. She was a very popular ballet dancer in Latvia at the time,’ Elīna says. ‘I danced there until I was 13, when I started doing different sports. But I returned to dancing at age 16. I started dancing contemporary jazz at Līga Liberte’s dance theatre, which had just been established.’
And she continued dancing up until the moment she began her studies at the Pilot Academy. Although she dances less often now, Elīna says that when she has more free time, she goes to the dance studio to relax and recharge as well as to work out, because dancing is a good workout for the whole body.
‘My teacher Līga still runs the studio. She’s a very motivated and passionate teacher who still works with young dancers,’ Elīna says. ‘But to acquire these skills and also to maintain them, you have to dedicate time to it.’

Before becoming a pilot, Elīna worked in airBaltic’s marketing department for a year and a half, where she managed the social media department. In her interview for the marketing job, she had confessed that she dreamed of being a pilot. However, working in the marketing department at airBaltic changed her perception of what the pilot’s profession is: ‘I had assumed it was something so unattainable, like becoming an astronaut. But now I was meeting pilots who took the same bus to work as I did, ate the same lunch as I did, and I saw that they’re not astronauts (laughs).’
Then airBaltic opened its Pilot Academy. Those same pilots Elīna had met while working at the airline encouraged her to apply to the school.
Now Elīna not only flies, but she has also started teaching theory to aspiring pilots at the airBaltic Pilot Academy, the same school she herself graduated from. Now that some time has passed and she is actively flying, Elīna says that her expectations regarding the profession have come true. It is indeed a dynamic, interesting environment. Some things have been easier than she imagined they would be, others more challenging.
‘What has changed the most is my impression of pilots,’ Elīna laughs. ‘I thought we were all cut from the same cloth and that we were all the same type of person. But we’re not. We’re very different, and you can see that in this section of Baltic Outlook every month just by reading about how we each got into this profession. Different personalities, different approaches to life and work, but that’s what makes this job so exciting, and that’s why I can say that I have really great colleagues.’

Words by Ilze Pole

Photo by Gatis Rozenfelds (Picture Agency)