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Southwest Airlines hired a record 3,000 flight attendants so far this year

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Passengers deplane from a Southwest Airways flight from Las Vegas at Hollywood Burbank Airport in Burbank, California, Oct. 10, 2021. Southwest Airways canceled greater than 1,000 flights Sunday, as a part of a significant weekend service disruption that the provider attributed to dangerous climate, air visitors management and its personal scarcity of obtainable workers.

Robyn Beck | AFP | Getty Photographs

Southwest Airways has employed and skilled 3,000 flight attendants to this point this yr, almost triple its report cabin crew member hiring in all of 2018, the provider instructed workers final week.

Southwest and different carriers are nonetheless racing to rent and prepare workers to cater to a rebound in journey demand, which executives anticipate to carry up this fall, led by sturdy leisure bookings.

Airways have been prohibited from shedding workers in the course of the pandemic beneath the phrases of a $54 billion bailout however have been allowed to supply staff prolonged leaves of absence or early retirement.

Southwest stated it at the moment has greater than 62,000 full-time equal staff. That is greater than the 60,800 it had on the finish of 2019, earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Southwest has additionally hosted three “Hiring Blitzes” at its company campus in Dallas, the place flight attendant candidates are interviewed, carry out bodily efficiency requirements assessments and different screenings with a possible for on-the-spot contingent job affords. One other is scheduled for this week, Southwest stated in an worker memo final week.

The provider instructed workers it it has 7,000 flight attendants in its hiring pipeline and that its attrition fee amongst new cabin crew members has dropped to 2.5% in contrast with 6.1% in 2019.

The hiring spree comes as Southwest flight attendants’ union and administration have been locked in contract negotiations. Talks with a federal mediator are set to start Nov. 1 in Dallas, in accordance with the memo.

Southwest and United Airways flight attendants, that are represented by the Affiliation of Flight Attendants-CWA, are set to picket at main airports on Tuesday to demand higher working circumstances.

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