THAI Airways International plans to recruit up to 600 new graduates as flight attendants to serve its network expansion ahead of the high season, which includes returning to Moscow and adding other destinations.
THAI president Charamporn Jotikasthira said yesterday that the airline aimed to hire qualified persons aged 24-30, or "first jobbers".
They will be working under a three-year contact plus a three-year extension. The contact will end when they reach 30, meaning that applicants' ages will be 24-27.
Employing young people or first-jobbers is the new trend in aviation. This has already happened at many other airlines, but it will be the first time for Thai Airways.
The airline also expects that short-term staff will gain working and travel experience while learning best service practices at the national carrier.
They could apply all this at their new jobs.
One of the airline's executives said hiring first-jobbers on short contracts could help the airline save on personnel expenses and overall operating costs compared with taking on permanent employees.
The airline says it will post the openings on its web?site very soon.
THAI's board held a meeting on Wednesday and finalised network-expansion plans. Frequencies on existing routes will be increased and some cancelled destinations resumed ahead of the peak season starting in October.
THAI will inaugurate three direct flights per week to Tehran on October 1 to cash in on the wealthy and high spenders there. Some 250,000 Iranians travel to Thailand each year.
Although Thai AirAsia X has already begun servic ing the Tehran route ahead of THAI, the two airlines cater to different market segments.
THAI plans to resurrect the Bangkok-Moscow route on November 1. The market now has high potential after Russia's economic problems drove some budget airlines out of the market while the wealthy remained travel-bound.
The airline will have to compete with major full-service airlines operating on the same route.
"Russia is a big market and there are many high spenders. Full-service airlines are [competing] for this segment," Charamporn said.
THAI will push Bangkok to become a true aviation hub for Southeast Asia by increasing frequencies of exist ing flights such as Bangkok-Manila and Bangkok-Jakarta.
The moves are expected to serve connecting passen gers from the Middle East, India and Europe.
Thai Smile Airways, THAI's budget airline, will increase frequencies to Yangon, Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City and Kuala Lumpur in late October and start operating between Bangkok and Cebu in the Philippines in November.
THAI allows Thai Smile to seek new routes through out the region. At this stage, Thai Smile is lining up Nakhon Si Thammarat in Thailand, Danang in Vietnam, Kota Kinabalu in East Malaysia, and Surabaya and Medan in Indonesia.
"We see a very bright future for us in the coming high season this year. It's a time for THAI to move fast," Charamporn said.