The Sky is the (competitive) limit

  • News
  • February 22, 2010
  • StopPress Team
The Sky is the (competitive) limit

It seems the allure of working sky-high for the Emirates Airline is being hotly pursued by thousands of wanting candidates. The airline recently experienced one of its highest turnouts of cabin crew hopefuls in Madrid. The recruitment drive is in support of the airlines first passenger flights from Dubai to Spain, launching August 1.


400 applications were received in the airlines Spain push, one of the largest the airline has ever seen in Europe. Only about 30 made it through to a final interview. If successful, the candidates undergo seven weeks of intensive training in Dubai before being officially cleared to fly.


Senior vice president of cabin crew, Kevin Griffiths, attended the January 30 recruitment drive in Madrid. "It was amazing. We have recruited in Spain before — Madrid, Barcelona, Seville and Malaga — but this was a tremendous turnout, and to be honest, I was quite taken aback when hundreds arrived, all wanting to join the Emirates' family," he says.


Not to be outdone however, other regions in the world can boast even more impressive numbers: 1,200 people turned up in 2006 for a recruitment session in Cairo, 1,000 converged in Fiji in 2008, and there have been more than 1,000 hopefuls that have arrived at recruitment days in Thailand.


New Zealander Rick Helliwell, vice president of Emirates recruitment, says with the airline constantly expanding, the recruitment team on average conducts 35 selection campaigns every month around the world.


The airline currently employs close to 11,000 cabin crew, spanning 128 nationalities including New Zealanders.


But if you want one of these coveted positions, you better be prepared to fight hard. No doubt keeping the HR department on their toes, the airline receives on average a whopping 10,000 applications per month.

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