Hiring picks up for various airline jobs after COVID-19 response measures optimized
Published: Feb 08, 2023 09:10 PM
Job seekers attend an interview at Spring Airlines in Shanghai on February 8, 2023. Photo: cnsphoto

Job seekers attend an interview at Spring Airlines in Shanghai on February 8, 2023. Photo: cnsphoto

Chinese carriers are recruiting staff after the nation optimized its COVID-19 response measures, aiming to fill gaps that arose during the pandemic.

Shanghai-based Spring Airlines held a job fair on Wednesday, attracting nearly 1,000 job seekers - the first large on-site recruitment event held by a domestic airline after three years of the epidemic.

The carrier is seeking staff for six major positions: cabin crew, safety officers, trainee maintenance engineers, ground handling business workers, algorithm engineers and software development engineers.

Jin, a 21-year-old student majoring in flight attendance, also works as an intern in a hotel in Beijing. She flew to Shanghai with her classmates to apply for a job at the Spring Airline.

"The civil aviation industry has been in a downturn for the past three years, but now it's recovering, and my dream is in sight," Jin told the Global Times on Wednesday. 

Although the pandemic's impact on civil aviation is obvious, the training of airline personnel requires a long cycle, which means that the carriers need to hire staff now, market analysts said.

For pilots, it takes four years from entering an aviation school to actually flying planes. 

"Our recruitment is well underway for key roles such as pilots, engineers and trainee maintenance engineers," Xiao Fei, head assistant of the human resources department of Spring Airlines, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Hainan Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Spring Airlines and Xiamen Airlines all started recruiting in December, mainly for flight attendants, security guards and ground support personnel, reports said.

Hainan Airlines said on February 3 that it will recruit cabin crew in Wuhan, Jinan, Changchun and Guiyang in the next two weeks. 

Xiamen Airlines told the Global Times on Wednesday that it has launched the 2023 flight attendant recruitment, and will soon start campus recruitment.

The airline needs flight attendants (including attendants recruited from Taiwan island), maintenance workers, information technology staff and management trainees. Xiamen Airlines will employ more than 1,000 people, more than the previous two years' total. 

Market watchers said the rush to recruitment comes as the industry recovers, with a bid to address a shortage of cabin crew caused by the epidemic. 

Data from the information center under the Civil Aviation Administration of China show that the total number of flight attendants in China was 108,683 at the end of 2019, but shrank to 97,197 by the end of 2021.

With many measures being taken to ease exit and entry restrictions, China's aviation industry is making a fast recovery, and many airlines have announced the resumption or increase of international and regional flights.

Hainan Airlines plans to launch a new Guangzhou-Phuket route and resume the Beijing-Phuket route on February 24. As of January 23, it had resumed or launched 17 international and regional passenger routes including Beijing-Brussels and Beijing-Moscow.

Spring Airlines told the Global Times that it carried 2.7 million passengers during this year's Spring Festival travel season, and its flight volume recovered to about 88 percent of the 2019 level.

The number of international routes of Spring Airlines has been restored to 24, and it is expected that the number will reach 30 by the end of this month.

"We plan to continue to introduce new aircraft this year, and we hope to attract college students with good foreign language skills for the resumption of international flights," Xiao said.