Delta Air Lines has been flooded with job applications from more than 35,000 people who sent in their resumes in the hope of being selected to become a flight attendant. Delta only reopened its flight attendant application process a week ago following an extended pause in new hire recruitment due to the pandemic.
The Atlanta-based airline is looking to find 1,500 candidates to join the carrier over the next 18 months despite worries that travel demand is likely to wane over the winter months as business travel fails to return after the Labor Day weekend.
The latest recruitment drive is on top of the 1,500 positions that were already filled just before the pandemic hit. Those candidates, however, had to wait patiently for more than a year and a half before Delta was in a position to start post-pandemic training courses.
In 2016, Delta received more than 150,000 applications for just 1,200 positions – making it easier to secure a place at Havard than to get a job as a flight attendant with Delta.
The biggest airlines in the United States are now competing for the best candidates as both United and American Airlines go on flight attendant hiring sprees.
JetBlue is also looking for as many as 2,500 flight attendants in one of the biggest recruitment drives currently being run by the industry.
Delta’s flight attendant training program takes place at the airline’s Atlanta headquarters and lasts for six weeks with new hire flight attendants training six days per week in order to earn their wings.
Delta predicted Labor Day weekend travel to hit 80 per cent of pre-pandemic level with as many as two million Americans traveling with the airline over the holiday. Chief executive Ed Bastian warned on Thursday, however, that business travel levels were still lagging at just 40 per cent of 2019 levels.
As a result of the delta variant (or what Bastian likes to call the B.1.617.2 variant), he now believes it will be another three months for the business travel recovery to build further. Bastian had previously hoped for a business travel resurgence after Labor Day.