Last week, we reported on the news that a number of cabin crew hopefuls who were waiting to start training courses with Etihad Airways had been told their applications would no longer be progressed. Many of the candidates who had been waiting ‘on hold’ since 2016 were sent an email from the airline’s recruitment team telling them there wouldn’t be any available training courses available for them this year.
The email said Etihad was “no longer in a position” to keep their application in the holding pool, explaining that they didn’t anticipate a start date becoming available in 2018. Candidates who were told the devastating news had already received several emails from the airline telling them to be patient.
But in a twist of events, it turns out that not all candidates in the “holding pool” were sent the so-called ‘regret’ email. There are reports that some applicants who were given a tentative job offer as recently as the end of 2017 are still on-hold and could be offered a training course at some point this year.
The news could also open up the possibility of Etihad restarting its cabin crew recruitment process at some point this year – although sources suggest this is still unlikely.
Etihad currently has a cabin crew workforce of around 5,800, who are all based in Abu Dhabi. However, the airline is in the midst of a massive strategic review which has even led to rumours that Etihad might be about to cancel or significantly change multi-billion dollar aircraft orders from Boeing and Airbus.
When Etihad announced a recruitment drive last year, a spokesperson for the airline said they were actively seeking to hire new cabin crew. Unfortunately, it looks like things developed very quickly and the recruitment team were caught on the back foot.
It would now appear that recruiters are shrinking the size of the holding pool based on what they now believe will be the airline’s workforce needs in the next 12-months. Etihad has been very clear in previous communications that a tentative job offer does not guarantee a confirmed contract of employment with the airline.
We may not know more until the strategic review is complete, although we’ll keep our ear close to the ground and bring you any updates as we have them.