Emirates Airline is hiring thousands of staff to service its burgeoning fleet of A380 superjumbos, with each requiring more than 150 air crew.
The airline's record order for the Airbus A380 is prompting it to embark on an ambitious hiring drive across six continents.
For each A380 that enters its fleet the airline needs 20 pilots and 133 cabin crew, Emirates said yesterday.
With more A380s expected this year as well as deliveries from Boeing for other large passenger aircraft, Emirates expects to hire about 4,000 cabin attendants, it said.
"Emirates is currently in full recruitment mode," the airline said on the eve of participating in Europe's largest travel fair, the ITB event in Berlin, where it will recruit more German-speaking cabin crew from a stand whose centrepiece is a 150-tonne, three-storey globe. This year, the giant rotating structure will feature life-size replicas of the A380 onboard shower spa and lounge.
The airline currently has 12,000 cabin crew, including 2,000 who operate on its fleet of 15 A380s. Emirates has another 75 orders for the 500-seat plane.
The airline's recent growth propelled it last year into the top spot for international airline capacity worldwide, ahead of Lufthansa.
Now Emirates has also moved up another set of rankings: it is the world's third-largest airline, ahead of United Airlines, in terms of monthly capacity. The Dubai carrier is expected to fly 16.9 billion seat kilometres this month, up 9.9 per cent from the same period last year.
"It took us 25 years to get to 40,000 employees, but in the next 10 years we will double that to 80,000," an Emirates official said last year.
Emirates' cabin crew workforce comprises 131 nationalities, speaking more than 80 different languages. The airline has 152 aircraft in its fleet. A total of 200 planes are on order.
Carrying about 85,000 passengers a day, Emirates now flies to 111 destinations in 66 countries. It plans to add at least two new destinations this year. Basra in Iraq was launched last month, flights to Geneva are slated to begin in June and to Copenhagen in August.
Birds of a feather, b7