The chief executive of British Airways, Alex Cruz has revealed plans by the Heathrow-based airline to recruit around 2,000 new cabin crew during 2019. Applications are currently open on BA’s official recruitment website for cabin crew positions at Heathrow and Gatwick, as well as for experienced crew to join the airline’s ‘World-class’ programme.
The news was announced at an investors conference yesterday where the different airline brands which are owned by IAG – including British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus – give a sneak peek into the state of the brands and what plans they have in store for the next 12-months.
Cruz told the audience that British Airways was looking to hire 3,000 new staff next year – two-thirds of which would be cabin crew. Successful candidates will be placed in a Holding Pool and will start training courses at the airline from March 2019 onwards.
Part of the reason for the delay in new joiners actually starting with the airline is because British Airways is introducing a new training programme in which candidates will effectively become apprentices. We’ve covered that news in a lot more detail here.
We’ve also now learned that the initial training course will be five days longer than what recruits currently experience – going from around four and a half weeks to five and a half weeks long. That’s part of a big push by British Airways to improve the level of service cabin crew offer – existing crew, we’re told, we’ll also have an extra day of service training in 2019.
Cruz also spoke of “simplified procedures” and new technology to improve service – although he wasn’t able to provide any further details on these initiatives.
Despite mounting concerns about the risks of a ‘no deal Brexit‘ in which flights to and from the UK could be grounded, British Airways and its owner IAG doesn’t seem to be too bothered. Willie Walsh, the CEO of IAG says he thinks a deal will (eventually) be hammered out without any disruption being caused to British Airways.
If that is the case, this is a pretty good time to be considering a cabin crew job with the airline. The carrier now serves 34 destinations in North America and has announced new routes to Pittsburgh, Charleston and Osaka in Japan. In the last few days, the airline even started to fly direct to Durban, South Africa.
By next July, British Airways will also have taken delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000 – Featuring a brand new and eagerly anticipated Business Class seat.
New Heathrow-based cabin crew become part of the airline’s so-called Mixed Fleet group of employees. Unlike longer serving crew, Mixed Fleet staff work both short-haul and long-haul routes although there has been criticism of the airline’s remuneration package for these staff in the past – strike action last year ended in the airline boosting pay and benefits.
Meanwhile, cabin crew numbers at Gatwick are set to get a big boost as British Airways continues the integration of ex-Monarch slots which it acquired from the bankrupt airline last year. Gatwick-based crew work more short-haul routes as well as long-haul leisure routes, including many to the Carribean.
If you have at least two years of flying experience, you could also apply to become a ‘World class’ crew member – essentially, the most focused and customer orientated cabin crew who have some supervisory responsibilities.
Last year, the airline received over 25,000 applications from prospective cabin crew – less than 10% were eventually recruited by the airline. Get the low down on the British Airways cabin crew recruitment step-by-step guide 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.