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Airlines to hire record number of staff

Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, Korea’s two plan to hire a record number of new employees this year.

Korean Air said Monday it will add 330 new crew members to the 1,000 already hired in the first half of the year to smooth operation of new aircraft and routes.

Asiana plans to bring in 465 young skilled workers including 222 flight attendants, it said Tuesday. That will push up the total number of newcomers to 1,106, up nearly 16 percent from 954 last year.

“With a plan to adopt 10 new jets in 2012, the company has striven to secure qualified human resources since last year,” Asiana said in a statement.

The two airlines are the latest to join major corporations engaged in the government’s drive to generate more positions at large businesses as their contributions to job growth has dwindled.

According to the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business, small and medium-sized firms injected nearly 3.5 million new jobs into Asia’s fourth-largest economy between 1999 and 2009, whereas large companies cut almost 500,000 jobs.

SMEs account for around 88 percent of the country’s workforce as of 2009, for which the latest data is available, the organization reported.

The country’s 30 major business groups will likely hire a combined 124,000 new employees this year, the Federation of Korean Industries projected.

By Shin Hyon-hee  (heeshin@heraldcorp.com)
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