The Dubai-based airline Emirates has started a massive hiring blitz with plans to recruit as many as 3,000 cabin crew and 500 customer service agents based at its hub in the United Arab Emirates.
The recruitment drive comes just over a month after the airline started to recall thousands of cabin crew and pilots it laid off at the height of the pandemic last year.
Emirates was forced to completely ground its fleet for several months as a result of Covid related travel restrictions and despite Dubai’s early reopening last July, the airline has been hit hard by continuing travel bans.
The airline never revealed exactly how many employees it made redundant when it had to “right-size” its workforce last summer, although it’s estimated that at least a third of its cabin crew (7,500 employees) were laid off, as well as many hundreds of pilots.
In August, redundant cabin crew were told to register their details for potential recall based on a “positive trend in demand”.
Recalled flight attendants haven’t been guaranteed their job back but Emirates is looking to quickly bolster its crew numbers after a slew of travel restrictions were rolled back and travel demand spiked.
Emirates didn’t reveal how many laid-off cabin crew had applied for their jobs back or whether the headline number of 3,000 new cabin crew is on top of those flight attendants who are claiming their old jobs back.
“Emirates has gradually restored its network operations in line with the easing of travel restrictions around the world, and over the past months, it has been recalling pilots, cabin crew and other operational employees who were stood down when the pandemic forced a drastic reduction in flights last year,” the airline said in a statement on Thursday.
The recruitment drive will take place over the next six months as Emirates restores connectivity with 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic network. By the end of the year, the airline says it hopes to have restored around 70 per cent of capacity, helped in part by the reactivation of more and more Airbus A380’s.
In the last couple of months, Emirates has received a massive boost by the decision to ease travel restrictions on travellers from the UK and India – two of the airline’s biggest markets. Emirates is also hoping to massively capitalise on the Dubai Expo 2020 which is set to start a year late in October.
With summer holidays never taking off as much as the travel industry had hoped, Emirates will also be hoping that the success of vaccination campaigns will encourage more travellers to seek winter sun vacations in the Middle East.
As ever, Emirates is opening its cabin crew recruitment drive to nearly every single nationality with candidates encouraged to submit their applications via the official Emirates recruitment website.
It’s still not clear, however, how Emirates will carry out assessments and interviews as the airline previously sent recruiters to conduct in-person events in cities around the world. Pandemic restrictions might still prove to be a headache.
All of Emirates’ cabin crew live in Dubai in accommodation provided by the airline, although married couples have recently had ‘live-out’ allowances restored after Emirates cut the benefit to save cash.
In recent months, Qatar Airways has started recruiting cabin crew externally, while flydubai has recalled flights attendants that it placed on unpaid leave.
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.