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Clouds Loom on the Horizon at Etihad but Cabin Crew Recruitment Continues

Clouds Loom on the Horizon at Etihad but Cabin Crew Recruitment Continues

Etihad cabin crew recruitment - Etihad A380

What does the future hold for Etihad cabin crew recruitment?

Etihad Airways, once known as the world’s fastest growing airline, has taken a slower, steadier and some might say, professional approach to cabin crew recruitment in recent years.

But in spite of its many successes all is not well at Etihad as reports come out of Abu Dhabi that the airline intends to lay off some staff to stem mounting losses.

On Sunday Reuters reported that Etihad would be “cutting jobs in some parts of its business as a part of its restructuring” in an attempt to cut costs.  A spokesman for the airline claimed that the majority of losses would be made through natural attrition.

Job losses confined to back office staff – For now

The job losses are said to be significant with as many as 1,000 – 3,000 staff to be cut from Etihad’s total headcount of 20,292.  Unnamed sources cited by Bloomberg claimed that job losses would be most keenly felt in the Information Technology, Commerical Sales and Human Resources departments.

In an emailed statement to Bloomberg the airline stated it was undertaking “organisational reviews and restructuring” to “reduce costs and improve productivity and revenue.”

Both Etihad and Emirates are aggressively promoting lower fares in an attempt to address overcapacity in the region.  A recent National Sales day held by Etihad offered up to 45% reductions on fares to all of it’s 45 global destinations.

The turmoil of 2016 takes a bite into Gulf carriers profits

And just like at Emirates, Etihad is not immune to the broader slowdown affecting the aviation sector.  The Gulf airlines have been particularly hard hit by the fallout from tumbling oil and gas prices along with other factors that have made 2016 an unusually tough year; over capacity, international terrorism and faltering exchange rates in key markets have all contributed to the airline’s headaches.

Etihad has also had to contend with losses at several of its partner airlines that it holds minority stakes in under its Etihad Airways Partners programme.  As recently as April Etihad remained hopeful that the Italian flag carrier, Alitalia, in which it holds a 49% stake would turn a profit by the end of 2017.

Significant resources have been pumped into Alitalia and sources suggest that Etihad staff had to forego a bonus in 2016 to fund the chic new Alitalia uniform.  But the gamble hasn’t paid off, yet – the latest forecasts suggest that Alitalia won’t become profitable for at least 2-3 years.  Job cuts and further investment from Abu Dhabi are on the cards to help turn the situation around.

Air Berlin, another Etihad Airways Partner has also had a troubled history which has required vital additional funding from Etihad.  In a particularly complicated deal designed to get around complex European rules, Etihad has managed to pump an additional €300 million into the German airline by buying Air Berlin’s stake in Austrian leisure airline Niki Airways at 4 times its market value.

Etihad Airways in midst of organisational review but cabin crew recruitment continues

In an attempt to shore up its fortunes Etihad intends to increase passenger capacity by just 1.5% in the first quarter of 2017 along with the aforementioned job cuts and other as yet unspecified efficiency savings.

In spite of these mounting concerns sources from within Etihad suggest that the airline will continue to recruit cabin crew for the foreseeable future.  In fact, it is believed that crew recruitment has been stepped up a notch in recent months.

You can apply for the flight attendant position through the Etihad Airways recruitment website.

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Photo Credit: Etihad

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