“Wet lease” airlines have been around for some time but in the last year, we’ve seen these little-known carriers appear at more and more airports around the world. And one of these airlines has just hit the headlines after taking delivery of a second hand Airbus A380. Not only is it the first A380 of its kind but it’s also been adorned in a unique ‘save the coral reefs’ livery.
Hi Fly is a Portuguese wet lease airline which operates an all Airbus fleet of aircraft – from 153-seater single-aisle A321’s to the mammoth A380 with a capacity of 471 passengers. The airline also operates dual-aisle A330 and A340 aircraft – updating some of its ageing fleet with brand new models of the long haul A330.
But what is a “wet lease” airline? Simply put, carriers like Hi Fly don’t operate their own schedule and they don’t sell tickets – instead, they provide a service to existing airlines on what’s known as an ACMI contract or Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance, and Insurance.
For example, when an airline has to increase its capacity for just a short period, or when they’re own aircraft are grounded for maintenance, then they look to companies like Hi Fly. Say when an airline wants to lay on extra Hajj services or the recent Boeing 787 engine problems which have seen airlines forced to ground their own aircraft.
With global air travel booming, companies like Hi Fly are doing a good job of providing additional capacity for commercial airlines, as well as providing special one-off flights for governments, businesses and even sports teams.
With its main base in Lisbon, Hi Fly is still accepting applications for more cabin crew to join its team after holding several Open Day’s earlier this year. As a European airline, the opportunity is only open to candidates who already have the right to live and work in Europe although Hi Fly is looking for both new and experienced candidates.
You’ll also need to meet the following minimum requirements:
- At least 21-years old
- Female candidates must be at least 160cm tall and male candidates must be at least 170cm tall
- Educated to at least High School level and fluent in English
- Medically fit, with good swimming skills
Hi Fly says its ideally looking for non-smokers who don’t need to wear corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses. Candidates who speak a second language are preferred (although it’s not a necessity) and you’ll be expected to have excellent communication skills, impeccable manners and a customer orientated mindset.
Bear in mind that cabin crew who work for normal scheduled airlines can have unpredictable rosters so imagine how working for a wet lease airline might be different. At Hi Fly, cabin crew are expected to be very flexible and might be required to travel overseas for long periods at a time.
Further information can be found on Hi Fly’s official recruitment website here.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.