US-based low-fare carrier JetBlue executive revealed that it is essential to over-hire staff due to the rate at which people are quitting the industry.
Robin Hayes addressed the dilemma as thousands of travelers have been affected by the latest disruption, due mainly to staff shortages that spoiled air travel’s re-opening following the pandemic.
Airlines have trimmed summer schedules and issued last-minute delays and break-offs.
“I now need to over-hire just to keep the number I need,” Hayes said in an interview with BBC. “With Covid, we lost a lot of experienced people.”
Airports and airlines, which performed job redundancy during the COVID lockdowns, have experienced hardship in recruiting sufficient staff with the demands of holidays skyrocketing.
According to Hayes, JetBlue has seen the predicament “normalize” as the summer has gone by.
JetBlue Adapted Hiring Strategy to Address the Challenges
However, he said the company, like other airlines, had adapted its hiring strategy to manage individuals quitting more quickly – by hiring more staff. Half of the employees at JetBlue, by the end of 2022, would have been employed in the airlines for under two years.
“Even if you can get the people, they don’t have the same experience as someone who was doing that job for 10 to 15 years, so it’s going to take longer for them to learn the skills,” stated Hayes.
Those regulations can last “some months”; however, Hayes stated that JetBlue had improved its training capacity, added more simulators, and constructed additional classrooms to keep employing.
“Your attrition is much higher,” he further said. “You’re hiring people, but then they’re leaving more quickly, so you then have to adjust your hiring plan.”
Hayes does not dwell on the chance of the aviation industry returning to normal until the following year.
He stated that airlines would enter 2023 more “cautiously” than they did this year when several carriers, including JetBlue, have had to reduce their operations because of resourcing problems.
The executive added that he hoped that business travel could recuperate to 80% of 2019 levels by the end of this year.
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