Emirates Group plans 'mammoth' recruitment drive to support growth

International aviation company seeks cabin crew, pilots, engineers, IT professionals and customer service agents

Emirates, the world’s biggest long-haul airline, received 2.7 million job applications in the last financial year. Emirates
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The Emirates Group is planning a “mammoth” global recruitment drive in 180 roles as it boosts its workforce for its next major growth phase.

The Dubai-based international aviation company is seeking to hire cabin crew, pilots, engineers, IT professionals and customer service agents at both Emirates and data, it said on Tuesday.

“We are using the latest technologies such as digital assessments, artificial intelligence and other top-notch recruitment systems to shortlist, select and respond to candidates in the most efficient and effective ways,” said Oliver Grohmann, senior vice president of human resources.

“Our focus is on recruiting the best talent, the brightest minds and those most fit for the various roles that will support and drive our future growth and expansion.”

Emirates Group ended its financial year on March 31 with more than 102,000 employees, after it added 17,160 to its workforce in various roles throughout the year. In the last financial year, it received about 2.7 million applications globally for positions across the organisation.

The group's hiring spree – which it described as “mammoth” – comes as the airline expands its network after a strong rebound from the Covid-19 pandemic and adds capacity with the delivery of new Airbus A350s starting in mid-2024 and Boeing 777X wide-bodies from 2025 onwards.

Emirates Airline is ramping up operations and growing its workforce as it forecasts growth amid a “buoyant travel market” and an “optimistic outlook overall”, it said.

Emirates' plans to boost its employee base comes as the global aviation industry faces a labour shortage in all areas of the business, from pilots to baggage handlers, ticket agents, flight attendants and aircraft mechanics.

The International Air Transport Association expects passenger traffic to recover to 2019 levels in 2024, with North America leading the pack in 2023, followed by Europe, Latin America and the Middle East in 2024, and Africa and the Asia-Pacific region in 2025.

Encouraged by the increased travel demand, airlines continue to invest in new aircraft and technology to ramp up their operations after the pandemic forced them to ground aircraft and retire older models.

However, the pace of hiring has been relatively slow compared with the quicker-than-anticipated recovery in travel demand, after many aviation workers were laid off during the pandemic and moved into other, more flexible occupations.

Still, UAE airlines such as Emirates and Etihad Airways have hired cabin crew and pilots during recruitment drives in cities all over the world as travel demand rebounded. They have received more applications than the number of available vacancies.

The global commercial aviation industry will need to recruit and train an estimated 1.18 million workers by 2032 to fill vacancies arising from retirement, attrition and the expansion of the aviation industry, CAE said in its 2023 Aviation Talent Forecast report in June.

The Middle East's commercial aviation sector's demand is for 28,000 commercial pilots, 22,000 commercial maintenance technicians and 78,000 cabin crew in 10 years, the Canadian aviation training company said.

Behind the scenes: Here's how Emirates trains its cabin crew

Member of the Emirates cabin crew during the emergency evacuation training on the sea at the Emirates Aviation College Crew Training facility in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

The roles Emirates is recruiting for and how to apply

In its latest call for cabin crew, pilots and other staff, Emirates highlighted the requirements for each type of role, while referring applicants to its website for more details.

To hire cabin crew, Emirates is organising open days and invite-only events across six continents, covering hundreds of cities all year round. It said the recruitment process is designed to be completed within a day, and candidates are contacted within 48 hours of the assessment.

The airline is also hosting a series of open days to recruit pilots in the UK and Ireland – specifically in Dublin and Manchester, and at London Gatwick and London Stansted – in August, it said. This comes after holding similar events in Budapest, Madrid and Lisbon in June.

An online information session is scheduled for July 19 at 1pm UAE time, the airline said.

Since 2022, the airline has added more than 900 new pilots on its three recruitment programmes – direct entry captains, accelerated command and first officers.

Emirates' engineering arm is planning open days in Australia, Canada, Brazil, South Africa and the UK in July and August.

The airline is looking for 75 structural technicians along with more than 400 positions in aircraft maintenance engineering and engineering support roles.

The additional engineering and technical staff are needed as the airline undertakes a large cabin retrofit programme and prepares to take delivery of the A350s and 777Xs in 2024 and 2025 respectively.

The Emirates group also aims to recruit more than 400 IT professionals for a range of roles in software engineering, DevOps, hybrid cloud, agile delivery, technical product management, digital workplace, cyber security, IT architecture, innovation and service management.

Customer service agents are also in demand at Emirates Airport Services, dnata, marhaba service and the contact centres.

The group is also seeking to hire for roles in dnata, Emirates SkyCargo and in airport services, it said.

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Updated: July 04, 2023, 2:57 PM