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Korean airlines plan massive recruitment

The country’s air carriers are planning to recruit the highest-ever number of new employees this year, thanks to their record-breaking earnings reached in 2010.

Korean Air is expected to hire up to 2,700 new workers, including flight attendants, pilots and technicians, in 2011.

The nation’s No. 1 local airline employed 2,300 new hires last year and 2,050 new employees in 2009.

Asiana Airlines, the second biggest air carrier, will also hire 1,107 new workers ― which include 560 flight attendants, 121 pilots and 105 technicians ― this year. This is the first time ever for the airline to recruit more than 1,000 employees.

Smaller low budget carriers like Jeju Air and Jin Air have also fixed hiring schemes, with each planning to take in up to 70 and 90 new hires, respectively.

The recruitment plans are being shaped not only due to the record-breaking profits in 2010 but also because the air carriers plan to introduce a greater number of new planes this year.

Korean Air will introduce a new two-story A380 aircraft that only features Business Class seats on the second floor in May.

The 407-seat aircraft, built in partnership with Airbus, will have wider cabins and offer social areas for its fliers, its officials said. The aircraft will be composed of 12 First Class, 94 Business Class and 301 Economy Class seats.

The airline will introduce four more A380s this year as well as 13 additional new airplanes, triggering the demand for new employees.

Asiana Airlines will also introduce three new A330s this year. In addition to the new aircrafts, it intends to celebrate its 2010 record-breaking earnings by recruiting more staff.

It also announced earlier this year that it sealed a deal with Airbus to bring in six A380-800 planes by 2017.

The carrier plans to introduce the upgraded environmentally-friendly planes, which will be mainly used for long-term routes to the Americas and Europe, beginning in 2014.

By Cho Ji-hyun (sharon@heraldcorp.com)
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