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DUBAI: The airline industry in the region, especially Emirates, is now wooing workers with wage increases of 5% to 10% over last year, airline training and recruitment experts say.

Dr Sathya Menon, chief executive of Blue Ocean Corporation, an organization that specializes in cabin crew training and training, said that while the increase was modest, high-end airlines had raised pay levels by 5% to 10% to accommodate the rising cost of living . recruitment.

However, cabin crew wages have increased by more than 30% compared to 2019 levels. “For example, if the salary for a flight attendant role was Dh8,000 in 2019, full-service airlines are now paying Dh9,000 to Dh10,500. In 2019, low-cost airlines offer Dh6,000. Ram, but now they offer Dh8,000,” he said.

Wages have soared across the board. Ali Kassir, Airline Systems IT Specialist at AviaPro Consulting (Airport, Civil Aviation Authority and Airline Consulting Specialists), said based on recent salary submissions and reports, salaries for managers in the UAE will increase in 2023. According to SalaryExplorer.com, the monthly salary of an aviation manager in 2019 was Dh37,600. Today, their salary is Dh40,100. “This trend points to slow but sustained wage growth through 2024 and the years to come,” Cassirer said.

The same goes for pilot salaries. Based on current estimates, Emirates pilots earn between Dh15,000 and Dh43,000, and flydubai pilots earn between Dh22,000 and Dh41,500. In 2019, the average salary for pilots in 2019 was AED 22,900.

And in the future, wages may rise. “Goose Recruitment’s 2023 Pilot Survey shows that 56% of pilots in the Middle East believe their salaries will increase over the next two years. Around 31% say it will remain the same and only 13% see a decrease,” Cassirer added.

Demand for pilots will only rise

“As airlines in the region continue to add more aircraft to their fleets, we see demand for both single-aisle and wide-body jets,” said Maximilian Buerger, managing director of AFM and Aviationfly. The Commercial Market Outlook estimates that the region’s airlines will demand nearly 3,000 commercial aircraft valued at $765 billion over the next 20 years.

“Demand for wide-body aircraft in the Middle East is expected to account for 43% of total aircraft orders, the highest proportion of any region globally, but we have also seen the number of single-aisle fleets of low-cost carriers increase significantly over the past few years. Growth. The next few years,” he explained.

The hiring spree wasn’t enough

Almost all regional and global airlines are still driving massive recruitment drives to meet their staffing needs. “There is an increasing demand for pilots and cabin crew, technical and engineering positions, supply chain and logistics, sales and marketing, training and development specialists,” Cassirer said.

“In addition, Emirates is investing $135 million to expand its flight training center in Dubai and United Airlines has completed construction of a $100 million pilot training center,” said John Grant, principal analyst at OAG. The center will train 10,000 new pilots by the end of 2030.”.

But airlines in the UAE and elsewhere have learned that a hiring spree alone is not enough to secure skilled professionals in the aviation industry. “Employers in the airline industry have a hard time finding and retaining talented employees. The airline industry is highly competitive, so businesses often struggle to attract top talent,” Cassirer said.

In the long run, businesses that show they value their employees will become employers of choice, Cassirer said. He added: “When the economy improves, air travel increases, and hiring gets more attention, they are more likely to attract capable talent to support continued success.”

Job benefits sweeten the deal

Dr Menon said Emirates already offers some of the best salary and cost-of-living packages to its employees, and it goes a step further with a range of benefits and benefits to enhance the overall experience for employees.

In addition to slightly higher salaries, airlines offer additional benefits. Notably, they pay school fees for the children of employees (senior crew members) and provide personal grooming allowances, easing financial pressure on those in the industry.

Benefits also include medical and health insurance, generous annual leave allowances, retirement savings plans, travel benefits for employees and their families, and career development opportunities. Experienced cabin crew are particularly interested in joining full-service airlines to maximize these advantages, says Dr Menon.


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