Airlines seek foreign cabin crew

Updated: 2012-06-06 09:54

By Wang Wen (China Daily)

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Airlines seek foreign cabin crew

Passengers leave a China Eastern Airlines' aircraft at Lukou International Airport in Nanjing. The airline says it has a target of attracting more than 100 new foreign flight attendants. [Photo/China Daily] 

On the flipside, Li Xiaojin, a professor at Civil Aviation University of China in Tianjin, said that as well as growing their international business, Chinese carriers also need to keep a close eye on the growing competition at home from the country's newly-established high-speed train network.

"More market potential is definitely on international routes," he added.

Experts point out that employing more foreign flight attendants can actually save costs for Chinese airlines. Although foreign flight attendants' salaries can be a little higher than their Chinese counterparts, the turnover of foreign flight attendants is lower, meaning a saving in recruitment and training costs for airlines, added Li Xiaojin.

For foreign recruits, working for a Chinese employer is proving a valuable and rewarding experience.

South Korean attendant Hyoen Seok said that after fours years with Hainan Airlines he is happy and plans to stay longer as other opportunities within the company open up.

Five South Korean flight attendants at Air China were promoted to be pursers this year, including Min Seon-ah, who has worked for the airline since 2004.

"The company gives me opportunities, which makes me continue to work here for a long term," said the South Korean woman, who can speak fluent Chinese.

Like her, Hyoen plans to stay a while longer with his Chinese employer, Hainan.

"I'll maybe turn to other positions," he said.

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