Airlines, airports and others seek thousands of staff amid shortages

Ashley Hodak’s new career is about to take off.

The 27-year-old former childcare and administration worker has just completed her five-and-a-half-week flight attendant training program with Virgin Australia. Next week, she will join her cabin crew for her maiden flight from Sydney, bound for Hamilton Island.

“I’m so excited!” she says.

“I knew the nine-to-five routine from Monday to Friday, but I wanted a different lifestyle, and I’ve always had a passion for being a flight attendant. Now I love it, and how the days are all going to be so different. It’s so cool to get paid to travel and be part of people’s vacations.

If you’ve ever dreamed of a career in the travel industry, there’s never been a better time to join us, with thousands of jobs currently on offer in Australia – and often at pay rates in excess of the normal.

These roles range from flight attendants to pilots, baggage handlers to airport cafe employees, travel IT specialists to agents, accountants to flight check-in staff, and everything in between.

“It’s an absolutely wonderful time to be thinking about joining the travel industry, with all sorts of jobs on offer, from entry-level staff to pilots,” said Margy Osmond, chief executive of the Tourism and Transport Forum.

“The industry has essentially lost a whole generation of workers to people who left during the pandemic, and it’s now offering more money because it needs to fill those vacancies with a view to recovery.”

Virgin Australia, like many of the world’s major airlines, is currently recruiting for hundreds of cabin crew, baggage handling, guest services and corporate roles, with benefits including deeply discounted airfare and annual travel credits.

“We strive to create a workplace culture that emphasizes a genuine, fun, hardworking and irreverent challenger nature,” a Virgin spokesperson said.

Qantas and Jetstar have just recruited more than 1,000 people into operational positions and are still looking for many more, especially with the restart of international flights, the ordering of new planes and the planning of additional routes.

“Restarting an airline after two years of shutdown is complex and aviation labor markets, like many others, are extremely tight,” said Andrew David, Qantas’ Country and International Managing Director.

Australia’s new budget airline Bonza – due to launch in September – is also recruiting for its bases in Sunshine Coast and Melbourne, with assessment centers alongside crew training schools.

“We have approximately 100 cabin crew and 50 pilot positions to fill over a two-month period,” Bonza chief executive Tim Jordan said.

“We are also hiring a number of other legends [staff] to join our team, including Crew Controllers, Operations Controllers and Flight Dispatchers on the Sunshine Coast, as well as specialist roles such as e-commerce, marketing, operations and finance.

Middle Eastern carrier Emirates is also looking for potential Australian candidates to join its cabin crew, with a series of recruitment open days across the country.

Emirates Divisional Vice President for Australasia, Barry Brown, said: “As travel demand continues to increase and we scale up our operations locally and globally, we naturally need to continue to build our team. of cabin crew in the sky.

“Australians are well represented in our global workforce, and with considerable interest in our previous Open Days in Australia, we are very optimistic that this next wave of recruitment will welcome more Australian talent into our hand. -work.”

Qatar Airways has also advertised globally for new staff, seeking all categories of cabin crew, lounge staff, call center staff, ground operations and catering staff. , especially ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Doha later this year.

Singapore Airlines is also recruiting operational and commercial staff, with a particular focus on ground handlers, catering and ground operations; it recruits cabin crew in Asia.

Major airports in Sydney and Melbourne have also held job fairs to attract applicants to the hundreds of vacancies they still have, alongside their ground handling companies recruiting baggage handlers.

“Now that the uncertainty caused by lockdowns and border closures is over, we hope more people will consider airport or airline careers,” a spokesperson for Melbourne Airport said. .

“As one of Victoria’s biggest employment hubs, there are hundreds of vacancies.”

Sydney Airport also announced more than 5,000 jobs in retail, government agencies and terminal service providers, after losing 15,000 jobs during the pandemic. Its June 16 job fair saw 4,600 job applications, with people queuing at the airport from 6 a.m. for the 10 a.m. departure.

Average wages in the travel industry

Pilot: $104,461 per year or $53.57 per hour plus allowances (depending on size of aircraft flown and years of experience)

Flight attendant: $66,670 or $32.00 per hour

Porter: $61,000 or $29.33 per hour

Airport cafe employee: $55,000 or $26.44 per hour

Airport payroll officer: $71,384 or $34.31 per hour

Airport engineer: $90,000 or $43.27 per hour

Security supervisor: $71,469 or $34.36 per hour

Airport receptionist: $60,000 or $28.85 per hour

Air traffic controller: $109,661 or $52.72 per hour

Source: Fair Work Ombudsman,, and

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