Finnair is rather unique in that it is one of only a few major European airlines that hires cabin crew who don’t speak its home language – And it just so happens that Finnair is currently accepting applications for new cabin crew. The odds, however, are very much stacked against you.
Internal documents reveal that over 8,000 candidates submitted an application with Finnair to become cabin crew last year. Just 290 of those candidates were eventually picked to work for the Helsinki-based airline – a pass rate of just 3.5%. And while the ability to speak Finnish isn’t compulsory, it will definitely be an advantage – in fact, 88% of those lucky new hires came from Finland.
A surprising number of Spanish and Italian candidates also applied to work for the rapidly growing airline – 234 and 294 applications respectively – yet only 10 candidates from each country were selected. And while male candidates accounted for around a quarter of applications received in 2018, only 11.2% managed to pass the tough assessment process.
So what does it take to become a member of Finnair cabin crew?
Well, for this application round, you must hold a valid European passport or already have a visa that grants you the unrestricted right to live, work and travel in the EU. You’ll also need to be at least 18-years old and meet the following minimum criteria:
- Educated to at least Secondary level
- A minimum height of 160cm and able to reach 218cm
- Physically fit and healthy
- Able to swim at least 50 metres unaided
- Visual acuity using both eyes 0.7 or better
You’ll also need to be fluent in English and as we’ve already established, the ability to speak Finnish is an absolute definite advantage. Other language skills will also be beneficial.
You don’t necessarily have to live in Finland for this role but you would be expected to pay for your own flights to attend an Assessment Day in Helsinki, as well as for the training course and commuting.
Why choose Finnair
Finnair has expanded a lot in the last few years and the airline is currently aiming to serve 20 million passengers per year by 2030. As well as operating regional and European short-haul flights, Finnair has become particularly well known for connecting Europe with Asia – Helsinki’s northerly location makes the flight time shorter than many cities across Europe.
At present, Finnair is recruiting both full-time and part-time cabin crew. A full-time employee would expect to work an average of 110-hours per month, whereas part-time crew work reduced hours in the autumn, winter and spring and then work full-time during the busy summer months. The airline says this role is particularly good for students.
The selection process
Applications are being accepted up to August and can be submitted via the official Finnair recruitment website which can be found here. All candidates will be contacted whether they are successful or if they don’t get through to the second stage.
From August onwards, shortlisted candidates will be invited to take part in online assessments and a video interview and then a medical survey would be requested. If you pass these two stages, you’ll be invited to an in-person assessment centre (currently scheduled to take place between September – October 2019).
Finally, if you’re offered the job, you would need a more formal medical check and then training will take place at some point in Autumn or Winter 2019.
If you have questions, Finnair has a really useful help facility where you can ask questions and receive an answer from a recruiter in a matter of hours. You can access to question and answer database here.
What other options do I have?
Okay, so this opportunity is only open to those who have the right to live and work in Europe but with such a big presence in Asia, Finnair does have a number of other cabin crew bases.
At present, Finnair isn’t recruiting for any of these positions but keep an eye out on the OSM Aviation website (Finnair’s third-party recruitment partner) for opportunities that might arise in the future.
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 used by some of the biggest names in journalism.