Emirates and Etihad expansion calls for major recruitment drive

Guest Writer

The UAE’s two major airlines, Emirates and Etihad, are expected to recruit more than 60,000 new workers over the next 10 years as the Gulf country looks to consolidate its position as one of the world’s biggest air hubs.In an interview with Abu Dhabi broadsheet The National, Rick Helliwell, Vice President of Recruitment at Emirates, said the airline’s rate of growth over the next decade would eclipse anything it had achieved to date. “It took us 25 years to get to 40,000 employees, but in the next 10 years we will double that to 80,000,” he said.Emirates is currently Airbus’ biggest customer for its 380 aircraft, having placed an additional order for 32 superjumbos in June at a cost of more than US$11 billion. The airline plans to more than double the size of its fleet to 300 by 2020.The airline’s push for industry domination will be aided by the opening in Dubai of the Al Maktoum International Airport - the world’s largest - which will boast five parallel runways when completed.Etihad currently operates 53 aircraft serving 63 destinations worldwide and employs 8,000 staff. It plans to increase the size of its fleet to 90 aircraft by 2015, despite a world-record 205 aircraft order from Boeing and Airbus at the Farnborough air show in 2008. The airline expects to increase its workforce to 27,000 staff by 2020.

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