Malaysia Airlines Faces Criticism for Hiring New Cabin Crew, Three Years After it Made Thousands Redundant

Malaysia Airlines Faces Criticism for Hiring New Cabin Crew, Three Years After it Made Thousands Redundant

In 2015, Malaysia Airlines was forced to cut 6,000 jobs as part of a massive restructuring plan at what was at the time an ailing airline.  Now, Malaysian is recruiting again – several cabin crew jobs fairs have taken place in February and other vacancies have been announced as well.

But a union which represents staff at the airline is not entirely impressed.  The National Union of Flight Attendants (NUFAM) has said Malaysian should instead be looking to rehire the staff it made redundant – saying that many of those who were let go, don’t have full-time jobs at the moment and could easily return to Malaysia Airlines.

In a statement, NUFAM has been quoted as saying: “It is only right that Malaysia Airlines take experienced staff because hiring new people would lead to a waste of money.”

“With the new Malaysia Airlines CEO being a former pilot, I hope he takes our request into consideration,” the statement continued.

According to FMT Today, the airline has not said how many cabin crew it intends to hire but that the decision had been made due to a “significant increase” in the number of flights Malaysian was operating.

The news site quoted an airline spokesperson as saying:

“Malaysia Airlines recently began a recruitment drive for pilots and cabin crew to fulfil current operational needs.”

“Since 2016, the airline has expanded its network by adding several destinations and increasing frequency, as well as up-gauging its services to wide-body operations.”

Last September, the airline announced a deal to purchase 16 brand new planes from aircraft manufacturer Boeing.  That included eight Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s and eight 737MAX aircraft.  Malaysian has also recently taken delivery of two Airbus A350 aircraft.

Malaysia Airlines was left in turmoil after two major accidents in 2014.  The disappearance of MH370 resulted in the loss of 239 souls onboard – the aircraft, a Boeing 777-200, and its passengers and crew have never been found.  Several months later, MH17, was shot down over Ukraine with all 283 passengers and 15 crew members killed.

The airline has also faced intense competition from local and regional low-cost rivals as well as full-service Gulf carriers.

Last year, the airline was criticised by NUFAM following allegations it was firing cabin crew who were considered to be overweight.  An internal “grooming manual” suggested the ideal weight for cabin crew was a mere 67kg.

Mateusz Maszczynski

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.

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