BA Plans to Hire More Chinese Cabin Crew Due to High Demand for Flights to China

British Airways is gearing up for a surge in travel between the UK and China with a strategic move – doubling its Mandarin-speaking cabin crew. This comes in response to a sharp rise in demand for flights to the world's second-largest economy, signaling renewed optimism for international travel post-pandemic. Currently, BA boasts 50 China-based cabin crew members. However, the airline plans to add another 50, split evenly between its hubs in Beijing and Shanghai. This significant expansion will make China BA's second-largest international cabin crew base after India, highlighting the growing importance of the China market.


"This shows our commitment, especially since we operate 11 flights a week into mainland China," stated Calum Laming, BA's Chief Customer Officer. "Having a significant portion of Mandarin-speaking crew on these flights is crucial to enhancing the travel experience for our Chinese customers." The recruitment drive reflects not only a rebound in passenger traffic but also a shift in travel preferences. Business travel, while recovering slowly, is lagging behind the surge in premium leisure travel. BA has witnessed a strong response to its special discounts for students and premium leisure packages, especially during peak seasons like Christmas, New Year, and the upcoming Lunar New Year.

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"We've seen very strong demand, particularly in premium leisure," Laming confirmed. "We have an incredibly strong summer coming up, particularly from premium leisure, and also a strong festive season of Christmas and New Year. We're hoping for a strong Chinese New Year season too." BA's initiative goes beyond hiring. The airline is also investing in cultural sensitivity training for its entire crew to ensure seamless communication and a more personalized experience for Chinese passengers. This includes familiarization with Chinese customs, dietary preferences, and in-flight entertainment preferences.

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The move by BA is not isolated. Other airlines like Finnair and Lufthansa have also increased their focus on attracting and retaining Chinese cabin crew to cater to the growing demand for travel to and from China. As the world emerges from the pandemic, China's travel market is poised for significant growth, and airlines like BA are positioning themselves to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity.

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