Mateusz Maszczynski is a serving international flight attendant with experience…
American Airlines is set to recall all remaining flight attendants from long-term leaves of absence and is poised to restart new flight attendant hiring to head off a crew shortage as the rebound in travel demand continues unabated. The Dallas Fort Worth-based carrier is even considering vacation buybacks as its struggles to match employee scheduling with its planned operation.
Late last month, the airline was forced to pro-actively cancel hundreds of flights through July due to a slew of issues including a labor shortage. A spokesperson said cutting its planned schedule by around 1 per cent would bring some much needed additional resilience and certainty to its summer operations.
According to reputable Twitter source @JonNYC, American will shortly send out notices cancelling all remaining leaves of absence for flight attendants. The notices are expected to be sent by the end of this week with flight attendants told to return to work from November 2021 through to January 2022.
The insider also claims AA wants to start hiring new flight attendants as soon as possible. Last month, the airline told employees in an internal memo that while it would soon restart new flight attendant training, the company wasn’t yet ready to start the hiring process.
American suspended new flight attendant training in early 2020 and several classes were sent home as the pandemic wiped out the airline industry. Affected flight attendants had their hiring status maintained and are now being invited back to the airline’s training center in Dallas to restart their courses.
Even with those measures, the insider still says AA may struggle to staff its planned schedule early next year and will offer flight attendants vacation buybacks from February through April 2022.
American furloughed thousands of staff at the height of the pandemic despite receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer-backed payroll support funding to keep employees on their books and ready to support the industry when travel demand returned. While the payroll support program has been hailed as a huge success, it has failed to completely insulate the industry from disruption.
By the end of this month, American will offer just 5 per cent fewer seats than it did before the pandemic. While the recovery has been largely driven by domestic demand, AA also hopes to restore as much as 80 per cent of international capacity by the end of the year.
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.