First Officer André Farden

First Officer André Farden

B737, YYZ

“It’s a challenging road – but it’s all worth it. You’ll have some ups and downs getting to where you want to go. But it’s an exciting journey!”

- First Officer André Farden, B737

André always had a passion for aviation, something very different from his family. He paved the way for himself as a pilot without knowing much about it. Here is some insight into his story...

I was always interested in planes since I was a young boy. I would walk somewhere and suddenly stop to look at the latest plane in sight. The more I saw, the more interested I became in airplanes. The funny part is that my family had never worked in the aviation industry – they weren’t even familiar with it.

Fast forward to when I was 18, I was on an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Heathrow with my family. When we touched down, I asked the flight attendant if I could see the flight deck. To my amazement, the Captain let me in and let me tell you – my whole world changed then and there. I knew that I was meant to fly.

Over the next few years, I began taking flying seriously. That meant that while my friends were away at university, I stayed back to get my flying hours in Saskatoon. I had no mentor – I just did it on my own and met other pilots along the way.

After attaining my license, I worked with small charter airlines in Saskatchewan (such as West Wind), where I gained much of my experience. Several years later, I found myself interviewing for Air Canada – where I’ve always dreamt of being!

I have to say, having a career where every day is different is something special. The view never gets old, it’s always different for me and that’s why I always keep a packed suit case the night before. One day I’ll be in Vancouver, and the next I can be somewhere in Europe.

I enjoy what the job comes with, even though I miss out on some major holidays, the pilot community and the people you meet, truly make it special. I remember one year I flew on Christmas day and as I was waving goodbye and wishing passengers a great holiday, this little boy was at the front of the plane waiting to give me a card. When I opened it, the card read “Thank you for giving up time with your family, so that I could have time with my family.”. It’s these moments that make me proud of what I do and why I chose to do it, and maybe one day, my boys will want to become pilots too.

“I had no mentor – I just did it on my own and met other pilots along the way.”