The allure of life at 40,000 feet shows no sign of abating with Emirates Airline recently enjoying one of its highest turnouts for a cabin crew recruitment day in Europe.
Close to 400 candidates came forward in Madrid for the airline’s latest recruitment push in Spain, while around 10,000 applications are received globally each month.
Emirates has visited Spain on many previous occasions and recruits throughout Europe and elsewhere around the globe on a regular basis. Nearly 11,000 cabin crew, spanning 128 nationalities, currently serve the airline. All are based in Dubai.
Kevin Griffiths, Senior Vice President, Cabin Crew, who attended the 30th January recruitment drive in Madrid, said: “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.”
Mr Griffiths added: “It is very clear that life in the sky and travelling the globe remains a powerful magnet for those wanting a true life experience, a job where no two days are the same, working on the frontline of a brand known for its service excellence.”
While this is one of the highest turnouts for an Emirates’ recruitment day in Europe, other impressive figures have been posted around the world. 1,200 people turned up for a recruitment session in Cairo in 2006, 1,000 converged in Fiji in 2008, and it’s not uncommon for more than 1,000 hopefuls to arrive at recruitment days in Thailand.
Rick Helliwell, Vice President, Recruitment, said: “With the ongoing expansion of Emirates, our cabin crew recruitment team are conducting an average of 35 selection campaigns all around the globe every month, seeking people who have the confidence to explore the world and their own capabilities. They need to have a true desire to help others and a meticulous approach to service delivery.”
Mr Helliwell continued: “Besides good English communication skills, whether it be Madrid, Sao Paulo, Beijing or Nairobi, wherever the selection teams go, we are looking for adaptable, confident and positive people who have the team orientation to work successfully alongside others in a truly international airline.”
The cabin crew environment has come a long way since the 1920s and the “cabin boys” employed by Imperial Airways, whose flying boats once used Dubai Creek as a runway.
Nowadays, cabin crew on Emirates’ flights are attending to passengers who may pass through the futuristic Terminal 3 in Dubai, watch up to 1,200 channels of in-flight entertainment and devour gourmet-chef-prepared food at 40,000 feet. Customers can even take a shower and enjoy a drink in a lounge if they travel on the upper deck of the airline’s much-admired A380.
Of the close to 400 applicants who turned out in Spain, about 30 made it through to a final interview. If successful, the candidates undergo 7 weeks of intensive training in Dubai before being officially cleared to fly.
Spanish cabin crew member Regina Valcaneras, who was recruited following a 2005 open day in Barcelona, recalled: “When I got the call inviting me to Dubai for training, I felt the luckiest girl on earth! I’ve had so many fun and unforgettable experiences working for the airline. When I look back, I wouldn’t change anything - they have been the best four years of my life. I adore the lifestyle.”
Emirates employs 98 Spanish cabin crew and will launch its first passenger flights to Spain on 1st August, serving Madrid daily. The recruitment team will be in Barcelona on 27th March.
EK flight 141 will depart Dubai at 0725hrs and arrive in Madrid at 1320hrs. The return flight, EK 142, leaves Madrid at 1615hrs, getting into Dubai at 0105hrs the following day. The route will be served by an A330-200, offering 12 seats in First Class, 42 in Business and 183 in Economy.