Dubai’s Emirates to hire 3,000 cabin crew a year after COVID-19 forced layoffs

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Gulf carrier Emirates Airline has begun a worldwide campaign to recruit 3,000 cabin crew after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the Dubai-based airline to layoff thousands of flight attendants and hundreds of pilots.

In a statement on its website, Emirates said it plans to a mass recruitment drive, which will also include 500 airport support staff jobs at its Dubai hub, to “support planned ramp-up operations.”

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The airline said they hope the positions would be filled within six months.

Globally, aviation was one of the industries worst hit by the fallout from the virus outbreak, with airlines forced to lay off staff and seek government bailouts.

In June 2020, Emirates laid off thousands of positions and cut salaries.

One month later, the airline then offered some pilots and cabin crew up to four months of unpaid leave, as it strived to manage the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Reuters reported, quoting an internal email.

“As a result of recent and unexpected travel restrictions imposed by some countries, an opportunity has arisen to offer our pilots and cabin crew unpaid leave. We have elected to offer this option as a short-term measure to reduce our resources,” the email said.

Travel surge ahead of Expo 2020 Dubai

Emirates is now hoping to bounce back from the pandemic amid a surge in traveler numbers to the UAE, which is expected to increase as Dubai prepares to open its doors to the world with Expo 2020.

Emirates said on its website that the new roles are Dubai-based positions and frontline customer-facing roles, and “both jobs offer exciting opportunities for friendly, energetic, and service-oriented people to meet and interact with the world as Emirates’ brand ambassadors.”

A stewardess of an Emirates Airlines flight from London arrives at Dubai International Airport on May 8, 2020 amid the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. (AFP)
A stewardess of an Emirates Airlines flight from London arrives at Dubai International Airport on May 8, 2020 amid the coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. (AFP)

Emirates has gradually restored its network operations in line with the easing of travel restrictions around the world, and over the past months, it has been recalling pilots, cabin crew and other operational employees who were stood down when the pandemic forced a drastic reduction in flights last year.

The airline currently flies to over 120 cities, representing 90 percent of its pre-pandemic network, and it plans to restore 70 percent of its capacity by the end of the year, including bringing back more of its iconic A380 aircraft into active service.

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Dubai’s state airport operator also expects a “surge” in passenger traffic over the coming weeks and months, its chief executive said in August, after the UAE announced an easing of travel restrictions from African and Asian countries.

Dubai Airports Chief Executive Paul Griffiths said Dubai International was “ready to accommodate the anticipated surge in the coming weeks and months” once restrictions ease.

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