Etihad Airways is seeking to hire as many as 1,000 new cabin crew with the airline launching recruitment events in 10 countries including Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Greece, Lebanon and Romania. Recruitment events will also be held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The restart of cabin crew recruitment is seen as a major turning point for Etihad after the pandemic decimated its business and the airline was forced to make thousands of staff redundant.
According to the latest figures released by Etihad, the number of cabin crew currently working for the airline have more than halved compared to pre-pandemic levels. As of June 2021, Etihad employed 2,248 cabin crew. Just before the pandemic, nearly 5,000 flight attendants were working for the airline.
At one point, Etihad is believed to have temporarily laid off so many crew that only 1,500 flight attendants were actively working flights.
“I am pleased to say Etihad is in a position to be able to start hiring cabin crew again,” commented Etihad’s Head of Crew Performance and Support, Jihad Matta on Monday.
“The last 18 months have been incredibly difficult; however there is much to be positive about as travel restrictions ease and we ramp up operations to meet growing demand. A critical part of this is rebuilding our cabin crew team.”
Matta continued: “For those interested in joining, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of something special, where no two days at work will ever be the same and you will be supported to grow your career every step of the way.”
Etihad has been accepting applications for a couple of weeks and these need to be submitted via the airline’s official recruitment website. To comply with COVID-19 rules in different countries, candidates must be invited to an event after being selected from their online application.
As well as looking for new cabin crew, Etihad has also put the call out for laid-off cabin crew who were made redundant during the pandemic to apply for their jobs back.
The offer has been made through Etihad’s alumni programme but some cabin crew say their applications to rejoin the Abu Dhabi-based carrier had been rejected with no explanation. Etihad did not provide details on what criteria were being used to select rejoiner applications.
“We hope to attract diverse, talented men and women globally, to inspire and help them kick-start a tremendous career opportunity and life experience in the UAE,” Matta said as Etihad officially kicked off its recruitment campaign.
Cabin crew live in shared company-provided accommodation close to Etihad’s headquarters near Abu Dhabi International Airport. New hire cabin crew will also enjoy a tax-free salary, transport to and from work and concessional travel benefits.