The chairman and chief executive of Dubai’s Emirates Airline announced on Tuesday that the carrier has already hired more than 6,000 new cabin crew and put nearly 60 per cent of the airline’s flagship Airbus A380 superjumbo back in service as it continues its recovery from the pandemic.
Emirates was forced to ground its entire fleet in early 2020 when the government of the UAE slammed the country’s borders shut and restricted movement to combat the first wave of the pandemic. At the time, the very future of the A380 looked to be in doubt.
The airline was only allowed to restart operations in July 2020, but like many other airlines, Emirates only started to witness a proper recovery earlier this year when travel restrictions the world over started to tumble.
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum says Emirates had been planning for a surge in travel demand by building back its workforce after making thousands of layoffs at the onset of the pandemic, although the airline didn’t supercharge its recruitment activities until May when recruiters were sent on a “whirlwind” global tour of 30 cities to hand select new cabin crew.
Recruiters are still scoring the globe in search of new cabin crew who are being lured with the promise of a tax-free salary, free accommodation and generous travel benefits.
In the next couple of months, the airline will send recruitment teams to more than 54 countries in search of new talent.
“We have restored more than 90% of our network, and more than 80% of the seat capacity before the pandemic,” Sheikh Al Maktoum said on Tuesday. “All our Boeing 777 aircraft (151 aircraft) and more than 70 A380 aircraft are in service right now,” the Sheikh continued.
Emirates has a fleet of 121 Airbus A380s and many remain in storage at Dubai World Central Airport. The airline has not confirmed when the entire fleet should be all operational.
“We have employed 6,000 flight attendants in less than one year, and hundreds of pilots and airport workers in Dubai and across our network, and in our various operations,” Sheikh Al Maktoum continued.
Such is the pressure of so many recruits passing through the Emirates training college close to Dubai International Airport that the airline says it aims to start training thousands of new cabin crew in the metaverse.
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.