US Airways Group Inc., the smallest of the full-fare U.S. carriers, received 14,000 applications for 420 flight attendant positions.
The influx follows a similar experience in October at Delta Air Lines Inc., which received 100,000 submissions for 1,000 such jobs. Both carriers offered furloughed employees the chance to return to their jobs before hiring new workers.
The hiring at US Airways and Delta contrasts with total employment by U.S. passenger airlines, which has fallen for 28 straight months on a year-over-year basis through October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.
“We’re obviously thrilled, not just with the volume but also the quality and passion and enthusiasm these applicants have for these jobs,” Jim Olson, a spokesman for Tempe, Arizona-based US Airways, said today in an interview. “The response also shows that being a flight attendant is a highly desirable position.”
US Airways is adding attendants and pilots next year to cover expected retirements and attrition, the integration of larger planes into its fleet and more international flying.
Among the US Airways job candidates, 2,535 were flight attendants at other carriers, the airline said in an employee newsletter. The carrier is still sorting through applications, Olson said. All of the new employees will be on the job by the middle of next year.