British Airways is preparing to open a new international cabin crew base in Hyderabad, India in order to better serve Telegu speaking passengers on its daily service to and from London Heathrow. The airline already has cabin crew bases in both Dehli and Mumbai but these crew members predominantly speak Hindi.
“India is a diverse country with different languages spoken across cities. Opening an additional base in Hyderabad means we can offer customers the language skills and familiar culture they value for a comfortable journey,” explained Moran Birge, BA’s head of sales for Asia Pacific and Middle East.
According to Business Traveller, the airline hopes to recruit the new cabin crew in time for them to complete their training and take to the skies by early next year. Once the recruitment drive is complete, British Airways will have at least two members of local cabin crew on every one of its 53 weekly flights between Heathrow and India.
Last April, British Airways also announced it was doubling the number of local Chinese cabin crew who are based in Beijing and Shanghai on its China services. At least a third of all crew onboard it’s 17 flights per week to China now speak Mandarin in order to support non-native English speakers.
But while India and mainland China have seen a boost in international cabin crew numbers, other bases have been given the chop. Last September, BA faced a backlash after closing its Hong Kong cabin crew base with the loss of 85 Cantonese speaking cabin crew. Additional crew bases in Singapore, Brazil and Argentina have also been closed in recent years.