British Airways hunts for 2,000 cabin crew amid fears staff shortages will hold back the UK’s summer travel boom

  • Passenger demand for air travel has rocketed since Covid rules were reduced 
  • Heathrow Airport thinks it requires 20,000 staff ahead of the summer rush
  • Airlines have reported a massive jump in the number of bookings in recent days 

British Airways is scrambling to hire more than 2,000 cabin crew amid concerns staff shortages will hold back the UK’s summer travel boom.

Passenger demand has come roaring back since the Government announced it would ditch air travel restrictions. Airlines including easyJet have reported a jump, while TUI said this month bookings were the busiest since before the pandemic.

Heathrow said businesses operating from the airport will need to hire up to 20,000 for this summer’s season and vacancies could act as a ‘constraint’ on schedules.

BA is understood to be contacting former staff who were among 10,000 it culled in 2020.

Crew could earn up to £28,000 a year and a tax-fee subsistence allowance. The average flight attendant’s wage packet has more than doubled from £12,500 in 2019 to £26,672 now.

British Airways is scrambling to hire more than 2,000 cabin crew amid concerns staff shortages will hold back the UK’s summer travel boom

BA is understood to be contacting former staff who were among 10,000 it culled in 2020. Pictured, BA cabin crew walking through Terminal 5 at Heathrow on July 14, 2009

Mass redundancies, furlough and unsociable hours have left former workers disillusioned by the industry.

Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi said airlines and travel firms are working to rebuild credibility which he said had been ‘hugely dented’ over the past two years.

He is looking to hire an additional 1,500 employees over the next six months to ensure that it can increase flight capacity by 50 per cent by the summer.

Employment data from Reed shows aviation vacancies have risen by 491 per cent in a year from January 2021.

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