Thursday, May 03, 2007

Goodbye Gulf Air - Hello Etihad?

Gulf Air Cabin CrewThe bad news: A number of Gulf Air cabin crew may soon lose their jobs as a result of the airline's downsizing. The good news: Many of those who are let go from Gulf Air may end up being hired by Etihad Airways.

An article in the Gulf Daily News about this development quotes a source at Etihad who said that airline's management "had given the green light for the recruitment of all crew deemed surplus to Gulf Air requirements."
"Management have said: 'Just take them'," said the source.

"They are qualified, they are good and we do not have to spend money training them."

They added that qualified staff were at a premium in the aviation industry, with many airlines forced to scour increasingly remote parts of the globe for cabin crew.

The sudden availability of staff familiar with the region and capable of doing the job was described as a rare and welcome opportunity for competing firms.

However, the source revealed Etihad would not take any more than those axed by their competitor in a bid to keep relations between the two firms cordial.

"The instructions are not to take more than Gulf Air gets rid of - they do not want to hurt Gulf Air," they said.
News reports say that Gulf Air plans to cut its 6,000 workforce by about 25%.

A quick check of the Current Vacancies page on the Etihad Airways website suggests that the airline, which is based in Abu Dhabi, is in need of cabin staff. Vacancies are listed for 1,200 cabin crew and 70 cabin manager/purser positions.

James Hogan, the chief executive of Etihad Airways, knows something about how a transition from Gulf Air to Etihad works. He moved to his present position late last year. Prior to that time, Mr. Hogan was the Gulf Air chief executive.

[Photo Source]