Flybe’s collapse sparks airline staffing rush

Jet Flybe – Geoff Caddick/AFP

Airlines are scrambling to hire staff who lost their jobs at Flybe following the airline’s collapse, as the industry prepares for what is predicted to be a busy summer holiday season.

British Airways, Jet2, easyJet, Wizz Air, Ryanair and Tui are among the carriers who have publicly addressed affected Flybe staff following the regional airline’s collapse in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Senior recruiting staff at several airlines have been advertising vaccines on LinkedIn and other job sites, with hundreds of open positions available across the industry.

Flybe’s collapse in management for the second time in two years has left 277 employees out of work.

Kristan Smith, Jet2 Senior First Officer, said: “Devastating news for Flybe staff and crews. Fortunately, recruitment in the industry is strong and I hope most will find work with other airlines.”

Jet2 are recruiting cabin crew at Bristol and Stansted airports, while Wizz Air have encouraged interested Flybe crew to attend their cabin crew recruitment day in Birmingham next month.

British Airways said it was “actively” hiring cabin crew at London City and Gatwick. Alison Jackson, easyjet’s head of talent acquisition, said the airline was still looking for cabin crew for summer 2023, as well as various roles at headquarters.

Martin Chalk, of the British Airline Pilots’ Association, said there were jobs “out there for displaced staff”.

The race to land skilled employees comes as the aviation industry prepares for a strong holiday season this year, despite the cost-of-living slump. Earlier this month Ryanair reported its busiest booking week in its history.

Airlines are hoping to avoid a repeat of the chaos seen at airports last summer, when staff shortages created huge delays and disruptions. Many of the biggest airlines and airports have struggled after laying off staff during the pandemic only to find it difficult to re-hire them at the same numbers.

While most carriers say they have hired enough staff to meet demand this year, there are still plenty of vacancies in the industry.

A TUI employee said the airline had “many tremendous opportunities” for displaced staff, including the back office, cabin and flight deck.

The airline is currently recruiting for summer 2023 at Luton, Derby, Stansted, Cardiff and Bristol.

BA Chief Cabin Crew Sharon Wheatman wrote on Linkedin: “For all Flybe cabin crew members who would like to continue their flying career, we are recruiting for Senior Cabin Crew direct entry.”

Flybe lost 2,000 employees three years ago when it first collapsed, only to relaunch in April last year.

After falling into receivership, the airline has canceled all scheduled flights to and from the UK, affecting around 75,000 passengers and forcing many to make alternative travel arrangements.

Airlines including BA, EasyJet and Ryanair have set up special ‘bailout’ fares to help passengers affected by the Flybe crash.

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