British Airways says it wants to create the “most diverse” cabin crew workforce in its more than 100-year history as the airline reopened cabin crew recruitment for the first time in more than 18-months.
The airline is preparing to hire as many as 3,000 cabin crew in time for the next Spring and wants to fast track the entire process as travel restrictions are quickly lifted around the world.
The first assessments will take place next month with plans to start the first training courses as early as January 2022. Going by that ambitious timescale, the first new cabin crew will start flying by March 2022.
The Heathrow-based airline has already been in contact with ex-employees who left the company at the height of the pandemic to see if they want their jobs back. The offer has drawn the wrath of the cabin crew union who claims these workers are being invited back on vastly reduced pay and benefits.
British Airways says new joiners will be able to earn up to £28,000, which includes tax-free subsistence allowances. The airline is also waiving the usual six month probationary period to access deeply discounted concessionary travel benefits.
“After 18 long months of closed or restricted borders across the world, we are finally seeing a demand for travel return as countries start to open up and ease their restrictions,” commented British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle.
“This means that we can finally get back to doing what we do best – flying our customers around the world. As we look ahead to next summer, we are excited to start welcoming brilliant new people and former colleagues back to the British Airways family.”
“Everyone is welcome at British Airways; we have an opportunity to give people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to see the world and help shape the future of our airline,” Doyle continued.
British Airways recently merged its different Heathrow-based cabin crew teams, meaning that all crew fly both long-haul and short-haul routes across the entire airline network.
The Unite union, which represents BA cabin crew, remains unhappy with the airline’s decision to reopen recruitment after slashing its workforce last year.
“Last summer, British Airways became the first major employer to embark on the abhorrent practice of ‘fire and rehire’, sacking thousands of dedicated staff,” blasted Unite general secretary Sharon Graham earlier this month.
“Now, fewer than 12 months later BA is championing its intention to recruit thousands of new staff, insultingly even asking those crew it sacked needlessly last year to re-apply on substantially reduced terms and conditions.”
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.