View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Why Emirates Airline Flight Attendants are Flying High

The Wall Street Journal article on Emirates airline has been published for a while but it is still drawing interest and comments.

Despite the economic downturn the UAE-owned airline is adding to its fleet but there are some special features that have attracted the 10,000 flight attendants to this company.

Here is a brief summary of their employment guidelines:

* Hire attractive looking stewards
* Emirates draws young recruits (average age is 26 but by comparison, 12% of all US flight attendants are under 30)
* Emirates prefers women to men: 75% of total flight crew must be female
* Train them in beauty and etiquette
* Regular manicures and facials for men and women
* Women must retouch lips with bright red lipstick every 15 minutes
* Keep your weight down
* No pregnancy policy for unwed women
* Innocuous onboard flirting is condoned (accepting business cards and phone numbers is OK)
* No alcohol to be consumed in the 12 hours before a flight
* Smoking and eating in uniform are prohibited
* Pay is less than other airlines but Emirates offers free accommodation and transport to and from work.

For more on why the employment applications are soaring and what people think about this:
Farnaz Fassihi, Rich Dubai Flirts with Hard Times but Its Airline is Still Flying High, Wall Street Journal.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Glimpses of Emirates flight attendants.