British Airways is trying to lure new cabin crew to Stansted and Heathrow airports with a ‘golden handshake’ of £1,000 in a bid to fill staffing gaps. Half of the bonus is to be paid after three months, and the other £500 will be available when recruits have completed six months of employment.

BA’s latest recruitment drive is open to people who have already passed their security checks and basic training, so they can start working quickly, ideally before the July peak. BA’s careers website currently advertises cabin crew at Heathrow, but the advert states that applicants must have airside ID for Heathrow or Stansted Airport – as well as a certificate.

Security checks are a bottleneck for the recruitment of airline workers, as they can take several weeks or even months. The move suggests British Airways (BA) is seeking to attract ‘ready to fly’ staff from rivals who can quickly pass through pre-employment checks and begin training.

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BA is in a rush to recruit after the upsurge in flight demand means its workforce is unable to cope. The airline has suffered from staff shortages due to absences due to Covid-19 illness and after cutting more than 10,000 jobs during the pandemic. A busy Easter holiday after two years of restrictions has left airlines and airports struggling, with BA and others forced to cancel flights.

The job ad says the crew will be able to earn up to £28,000, with other benefits included. Existing British Airways and IAG employees are not eligible for the £1,000 bonus, as are “candidates with a notice period or other circumstances that prevent them from being able to start training before July 2022”.

Assessments are currently underway and the hired crew should start from May.

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