Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
SWISS International Airlines is reportedly offering its newest flight attendants a one-off payment of 1,000 Swiss Francs (USD $1,050) for them to quit their dream job rather than being forcibly laid off. Like many other airlines, SWISS has been hammered by the devastating effects of the Corona crisis and is likely to have more cabin crew than it needs for at least the next couple of years.
Attempting to reduce its cabin crew headcount with voluntary exits before forced redundancies, SWISS is said to have made the severance offer to brand new flight attendants who were still in initial training when the COVID-19 pandemic struck Europe and flights were grounded across the Continent.
As an added sweetener, flight attendants who accept the offer to quit of their own accord will then be placed in a ‘holding pool’ of eligible ex-employees who will be invited to rejoin the airline if travel demand returns within the next three years. For staffers who don’t accept the offer and instead wait to be made redundant, the holding pool will be off-limits.
We may never know how many flight attendants accept this one-off deal, however, because insiders claim the offer comes with a gagging clause attached.
A spokesperson for SWISS was reported to have confirmed the move, saying on Monday evening: “Unfortunately, given the current dynamic circumstances, it is hopeless to be able to offer prospects to graduates who have not yet completed their basic training as cabin crew members and have therefore not yet had any flight assignments.”
New joiners have been “offered the option to terminate the contract” but so far no redundancies have actually been made the spokesperson explained.
SWISS, which is owned by the German Lufthansa Group, recently reported an operating loss of CHF 84.1 million for the first three months of 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lufthansa Group says that up to 22,000 employees could be made redundant across the business, including up to 2,600 flight attendants.
By the autumn, SWISS is nonetheless hoping to fly to 85 per cent of the destinations it served before the pandemic, including 17 long-haul destinations by October.
Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience at a major Middle East and European airline. Mateusz is passionate about the aviation industry and helping aspiring flight attendants achieve their dreams. Cabin crew recruitment can be tough, ultra-competitive and just a little bit confusing - Mateusz has been there and done that. He's got the low down on what really works.