What it does: Airline, cargo and air travel services.
Best known for: Etihad Airways is the UAE’s second-largest airline with more than 400 flight destinations from Abu Dhabi.
Staff stats: More than 10,000 employees.
The good bits:
Aspiring cabin crew members have an opportunity to step foot in different countries. Comprehensive benefits, including discounted flights and travel, also attract applicants every year.
The not so good bits: Etihad Airways implements a critical and lengthy recruitment process. Some applications can even take up to nine months before the company makes their decision.
Etihad Airways began their journey in 2003. A royal decree called for the establishment of an airline for Abu Dhabi, and the company has since become a national airline for the UAE. Their flight destinations have grown from 75 destinations to more than 400 cities worldwide. Etihad Airways caters to passenger flights and cargo services with their fleet of aircraft: Airbus A320 family, Airbus A380, Boeing 777 family, Boeing 787 family and Boeing 777 freighter (for cargo).
The company operates over 1,000 weekly flights in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Americas, Europe and the Middle East. They also offer bespoke holiday package deals through the Etihad Holidays travel agency service. Etihad Airways has equity investments in several airline companies including Air Serbia, Jet Airways and Virgin Australia.
Every applicant may have a different experience during the hiring process, but you can expect a streamlined screening system regardless of your location. Etihad Airways conducts competency interviews, group exercises, presentations, role-play activities and two exams (ie computer and English).
There is a separate process if you apply to join the cabin crew starting with an online application. You’ll need a cover letter, a full-body picture and passport-size photo, a short essay about your dream travel destination and an updated resume in either MS Word or PDF format. A recruiter will then invite qualified candidates to an assessment day in several global cities. You should expect tough competition during this stage, which eliminates thousands of applicants from the final interview stage. The company normally informs candidates after two weeks if they pass the final round.
The actual stages of the recruitment will still vary based on non-cabin crew positions:
The company may take one day to process candidates for sales support executive roles. The interview can last for an hour. You can expect to know the outcome of your application after three weeks.
An application through a staffing agency may remain active for up to nine months. Some applicants defined the interview stage as somewhat negative, particularly about their experience with the hiring manager.
The company may process candidates from a week to several months. Some individuals had to wait for four months to know the results of their application as cabin crew members. You should expect more than 100 people to show up during the assessment.
Airport operations, cargo, corporate and commercial, cabin crew, engineering and UAE National Programs represent the six job categories at Etihad Airways. The company will more likely consider students for the UAE National Programs. The Foundation Trainee Program’s minimum education requirements include a high school certificate and a CEFR level 2.1 in English.
Most of the perennial job opportunities, however, involve cabin crew positions in different cities worldwide. Individuals with excellent communication, customer orientation and English language skills will have a better chance of thriving in their careers as cabin crew members.
Etihad Airways said that every employee earns competitive salaries, discounted flights and travel, health insurance and gym membership perks. Your benefits and compensation package will still depend on your location:
The company pays an average of SGD4,000 per month to airport duty officers. The company also provides Central Provident Fund contributions for employees.
Cabin crew members earn AED10,000 per month on average, while flight attendants’ median monthly salary is AED12,000. Other benefits include unpaid extended leave, vacation and paid time off, and performance bonuses.
There’s a certain sense of glamour about working at an airline company, particularly for cabin crew members and flight attendants. Graduates should be aware that a job in the airline industry entails long hours and irregular sleep schedules. An on-the-go lifestyle also means that you’ll miss special occasions with your family. Those who plan to join Etihad should already have a plan to combat homesickness.
The company’s comprehensive benefits and multicultural work environment seem to be their redeeming qualities. Employees also take pride in being part of Etihad Airways, mostly because they overcame a gruelling recruitment process. Learning opportunities are also abundant due to constant exposure to colleagues and superiors from other countries.
The company’s competitors in the global airline industry include Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways and The Emirates Group.
Graduates shouldn’t be complacent that a university degree and good looks will be enough to secure a job offer from Etihad Airways. While the company may only require a high school diploma for in-demand positions, they also look for individuals with a personality and work ethic that matches Etihad Airways’ culture. Be ready to sacrifice a lot of your personal time after you join the company. It’s very likely to spend several months away from your loved ones while you’re on the job.