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SOURCES: Emirates is Still Short of Cabin Crew by at Least 800 – Are They Expecting Too Much?

SOURCES: Emirates is Still Short of Cabin Crew by at Least 800 – Are They Expecting Too Much?

Emirates is Still Short of Cabin Crew by at Least 800

Despite a massive worldwide recruitment drive, Emirates is still said to be short of cabin crew by at least 800.  The Dubai-based airline reopened recruitment earlier this year after a near 12-month hiatus but based on the latest information we’ve gathered from insiders at the airline, Emirates doesn’t seem to be in a position to close the application window anytime soon.

The figure was shared with pursers by Thomas Ney, the airline’s head of service delivery at a cabin crew forum held in the last few days.  Ney is said to have told those present that the airline was struggling to find the right “type” of cabin crew that Emirates is looking for.

Unfortunately, Ney declined to elaborate on what he meant by that statement but it goes way beyond the minimum criteria that is needed to join the airline as cabin crew.  At the very least, Emirates is looking for “open-minded, helpful, friendly and service-oriented candidates” although there are believed to be other criteria which aren’t widely advertised.

This information most definitely isn’t a reflection on anyone who has applied to join Emirates as cabin crew – whether you succeded or were rejected.  As we’ve previously reported, there are believed to be other criteria used by Emirates’ recruiters that candidates have little control over – Ney’s comments would once again, suggest this to be a continuing trend.

We already know that Emirates uses strict quotas on the ratio of male and female candidates hired, a quota on the number of more mature candidates hired and a quota on what nationalities are hired (with Filipinos and certain African nationalities still locked out of the running).

Emirates now flies to 160 destinations across six continents operating an all wide-body fleet of Airbus A380's and Boeing 777 aircraft. Photo Credit: Emirates
Emirates now flies to 160 destinations across six continents operating an all wide-body fleet of Airbus A380’s and Boeing 777 aircraft. Photo Credit: Emirates

On top of that, we know the recruitment process can be very subjective – individual recruiters are given a great deal of autonomy to decide who they think will be a good fit for the airline.  A seemingly good candidate on paper no matter how well they present themselves might be rejected for exactly this reason – and why it’s always recommended to keep on trying.

Just like any company, Emirates is looking for candidates with a certain personality and a certain temperament that fits the ethos and personality of Emirates.  And with the costs of flying someone out to Dubai, providing free accommodation and paying for a five-digit training course, recruiters are at pains to be overly cautious – you just have to wonder whether they are expecting a little too much?

This might all sound a little disheartening but this information can actually be used to your advantage.  Once again, really consider what recruiters are looking for – remember, Emirates cabin crew are some of the hardest working flight attendants in the entire aviation industry.

They’re expected to report for flights 24-hours a day, work ultra-long-haul sectors, have quick turnarounds, and often notch up in excess of 100-flying hours a month.  They provide an exceptional level of service to an incredibly diverse range of customers, flights can be challenging but a member of Emirates cabin crew will always be expected to remain calm and gracious.

At the same time, they need to follow strict aviation safety rules, work closely with a multi-national team of colleagues and adapt to company imposed changes quickly and without fuss.

Make no mistake – it’s tough.  You need to demonstrate that you have the personality, temperament and attitude to thrive in this kind of environment.


While official figures are hard to come by, insiders currently claim that around 30-40 members of cabin crew are submitting their resignation every day.  This is due to a number of reasons, although it clearly affords aspiring Emirates cabin crew a unique opportunity to join the airline.

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