Qantas is Trying to Convince Flight Attendants to Rejoin The Airline

As it struggles to keep up with demand, Qantas, the flag carrier of Australia, is the latest major airline to attempt to recruit back flight attendants who were fired or forced to leave during the height of the pandemic.

After Australia faced some of the longest pandemic travel restrictions in the world, many of those who were laid off successfully transitioned to other careers.

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A new email that was sent to all ex-cabin crew members who were ordered to leave Qantas in 2020 made the request to rejoin the airline. Nearly three years later, the airline is attempting to quickly fill a staffing gap in the cabin with knowledgeable ex-staff who just require a brief training and can “hit the ground running.”

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Qantas is starting one of its largest recruitment campaigns in company history, but with so many new staff, the airline is lacking in experience, particularly in leadership and luxury cabin positions.

Like many other international airlines, Qantas wants to attract former staff who can start working immediately after receiving little training. Maintaining experience levels in international Business and First Class will be especially crucial in this regard.

“The pandemic was extremely challenging for Qantas and the broader aviation industry,” the leaked email begins. “With the change, we’ve made across the airline and the incredible rebound in travel over the last 12 months, the business is back in profit and growing again.”


“With our network growing and one new aircraft joining the group every three weeks on average over the next several years, there are new opportunities for our customers and people,” the email continues.

“As an experienced former cabin crew member, we are reaching out to you to see if you’re interested in being part of Qantas’ next chapter,” the email continues.

This strategy is nothing new. Many airlines all over the world are eager to rehire ex-crew members.

Crew members are frequently rehired under new, more restrictive terms and conditions.

Airlines have nevertheless received a deluge of employment applications from former crew members who switched careers before concluding they weren’t quite ready to hang up their wings for good.

Former employees have the choice to join Qantas permanently or on a 12-month contract at first. Where experience levels are particularly lacking, former senior and premium-trained international crew members will return as business flight attendants.

According to a Qantas spokeswoman, the airline is actively hiring from outside sources and plans to have 1,500 new flight attendants who have completed their training by the end of 2023.

Alan Joyce, the CEO of Qantas, recently declared that the airline was “back to its best” after a difficult start on the road to recovery.

By the middle of this year, domestic flight capacity should be at 100% of pre-pandemic levels and international capacity should be at 80% of 2019 levels.

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