Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Our 2008 Airline Hiring Forecast

Airline hiring is a very cyclical business closely tied to individual airline profit and losses. During profitable times, airlines expand and need more employees, while during difficult financial periods, they tend to cut back everywhere they can. Unfortunately, labor is one of the first places airline executives look to cut costs and furloughs become the norm across the board. We saw a great example of this right after 9/11 when every airline was affected. Furloughs increased steadily in the years right after 9/11, but began to subside as airlines found new ways to cut costs in order to return to profitability.

It has been over six years since 9/11 and we once again see the tide beginning to turn and predict that 2008 will see the most airline hiring of any year since 9/11. There were early indicators of this in 2007. United hired several flight attendant classes through 2007 and expects to continue hiring in 2008. Northwest Airlines recently began interviewing flight attendants for the first time in years and Delta Airlines also recently began interviewing for 2008 flight attendant classes. Another newcomer to the hiring scene this past year is US Airways. They conducted several Open House interviews in 2007 and anticipates more hiring in 2008. Among the majors, Continental and Alaska also saw strong hiring in 2007. Virgin America, a new low-cost carrier based in San Francisco started service in 2007 and is still aggressively hiring. JetBlue, Southwest, AirTran and Spirit forecast continued hiring in 2008 as well as Republic, Mesa, Horizon, Pinnacle, Skywest, Air Wisconsin and some of the other smaller carriers. Among international airlines, Emirates hired steadily throughout 2007 and expects to continue through 2008. British Airways, Qatar, Air Canada and Cathay Pacific also see more hiring activity in 2008.

At AirlineCareer.com, we monitor the hiring at over 50 airlines. Right now, there are 36 airlines hiring flight attendants and we expect that number to increase steadily in 2008.

Have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

For more about pursuing a flight attendant career, visit the AirlineCareer.com website: www.airlinecareer.com

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