Delta Air Lines has hired a record 4,300 new flight attendants in the last year, and the Atlanta-based carrier says it hopes to smash its own record in 2023 with the addition of as many as 6,000 new hire flight attendants over the next 12 months.
After suspending all flight attendant hiring at the start of the pandemic, Delta opened its first recruitment drive in August 2021 with plans to hire just 1,500 flight attendants, which was meant to see the airline through to the end of this year.
It could became clear, however, that as travel demand soared back, that hiring estimate was way off, and Delta was forced to reopen its recruitment window for the second time in less than six months at the start of this year.
But to keep up the momentum, Delta has just reopened its application process yet again, although the airline says the recruitment window will only be open for a short time and warns that competition will be tough,
“Our flight attendants have a unique opportunity to make a profound, lasting impact on the 200 million customers we serve every year,” commented Delta’s Jennifer Martin, managing director of Inflight Service CX, Learning and Hiring.
“We can’t wait to grow our team of highly skilled, safety-focused professionals who bring the Delta spirit to life on every flight.”
Delta said it was deluged with more than 35,000 applications in the first week after the recruitment window opened last time – although the famously picky airline claims that, statistically speaking, it is easier to land a place at an Ivy League School than a position as a Delta flight attendant.
After slashing their workforces during the pandemic, other U.S. airlines are also trying to hire back flight attendants at record rates. Southwest Airlines hired and trained 3,000 new flight attendants in just nine months this year, and the carrier says it has 7,000 more successful candidates in its recruitment pipeline waiting to be trained.
Both Delta and Southwest didn’t make any flight attendants layoffs during the pandemic but incentivized veteran crew members to retire early.
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.