Southwest Airlines to resume hiring pilots, flight attendants
4:58 PM Tue, Nov 09, 2010 Terry Maxon/Reporter
In the "I-just-found-about-it" department, Southwest Airlines will resume hiring flight attendants and pilots for the first time since it shut off the hiring spigot in 2008.Southwest chairman and CEO Gary Kelly actually told Southwest employees more than a month ago that the carrier plans to add hundreds of employees, but the news hasn't generally been known.
Here's what he said in a message to employees on Oct. 4, a week after Southwest announced it was buying AirTran Holdings:"Along with the AirTran news last week, we announced our plans to hire additional Flight Crews for the first time since 2008. "As I mentioned, a successful acquisition would bring more planes and more flights, and therefore we would need additional Pilots and Flight Attendants to support the growth.
We are tentatively planning to add 150-200 new Pilots and 250-300 new Flight Attendants next year. Since we haven't hired Flight Crews since 2008, our hiring Teams will soon begin an aggressive schedule to interview and process qualified candidates."We expect to have 100 Pilots begin New Hire training in first quarter 2011, and start rolling into our system in March. Additional Pilot classes will follow as required."Flight Attendant classes also will begin in first quarter 2011, and will include three classes of approximately 100 each. They will start rolling into our system in April."I know many of you have been eagerly anticipating growth for our Company, and I'm looking forward to adding to our Family.
"We had a story on Airline Biz on Monday and in the newspaper on Tuesday noting that US Airways was adding 500 crew members in coming months. Both American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have recently announced plans to call back furloughed employees and/or hire new employees.