The content originally appeared on: The Anguillian Newspaper

Captain Jerome Willock

Anguillians the world over have demonstrated our spirit of resilience through incredible accomplishments on the biggest of stages. We have yet another reason to celebrate, as once again a member of our small-island community is making his mark on the global society. Mr. Jerome Willock, as of 15th May, 2022, is now a captain for Flydubai, an international airline based in the United Arab Emirates.

Captain Willock, son of James and Zenith Willock, grew up in Anguilla with his parents and six siblings. He attended The Valley Primary School, then moved on to high school at the ALHCS. Shortly after this in 2002, he began working at the local Contact Centre, doing work as telephone operator, internet agent, and dealing with faults, amongst other duties. He then moved on to the Cable & Wireless main office in 2003 as a sales clerk. He would eventually go on to have his first stint in aviation by working for Lloyd’s Aviation – beginning in 2005.Jerome’s professional journey as a pilot formally began with flight training in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in 2007. He then worked with several local, regional, and international airlines, namely Trans Anguilla (2008-2011), LIAT (2011-2014), Copa Airlines (2014-2016) and, most recently, Flydubai (2016-present).

His entry to Flydubai was as a first officer, and now as captain he is in command of the Boeing 737-800 and 737-900 aircraft. He gets the opportunity to fly to many exhilarating destinations, with his favourites being Sarajevo in Bosnia, Zagreb in Croatia, Naples and Sicily in Italy, Zanzibar in Tanzania, Miami International in the USA, Malé in the Maldives, Cancún in Mexico, and Bangkok in Thailand. His list of favourites also includes Kiev, Ukraine, before the war, where he says has the world’s best chocolates.He has also listed his most interesting and challenging places to fly to, such as Mexico City due to its high elevation and inundating terrain, Quito, Ecuador, with one of the highest elevations of any airport in the world, as well as Chile, Peru, Brazil, and Bolivia, all also in South America. He goes on to name Kabul, Afghanistan, as a challenging approach through mountains to a high elevation airport amidst a warzone. In fact, he has transported US military operatives at the Kandahar and Bagram airfields also in Afghanistan.He finds further interest and challenges in flying to Tehran in Iran, Baghdad in Iraq, Tel Aviv-Yafo in Israel, Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, Hargeisa in Somaliland, Moscow in Russia, Alexandria in Egypt, and Quetta in Pakistan, which has been previously known as one of the most dangerous places in the world.Jerome Willock is a well-travelled, seasoned pilot, who deserves all praise and recognition for his career accomplishments, especially on his new journey as captain. May he continue to fly high.

– Contributed by Shamar G.