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Wizz Air in record recruitment drive as budget airlines scramble for pilots
September 28, 2017 / 3:23 PM / 23 days ago

Wizz Air in record recruitment drive as budget airlines scramble for pilots

LONDON (Reuters) - Budget airline Wizz Air (WIZZ.L) joined rivals in a pilot recruitment drive on Thursday, its biggest ever hiring spree, as Ireland’s Ryanair (RYA.I) continued to grapple with the shortage of pilots on its rosters.

FILE PHOTO: A Wizz Air Airbus 320 aircraft lands at the Chopin International Airport in Warsaw, Poland May 17, 2016. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel - S1BETFTKPZAA

Ryanair, Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWC.OL) and easyJet (EZJ.L) are all recruiting hundreds of pilots this year, with competition especially fierce for experienced crew.

Hungary-based WIZZ said it was seeking to recruit over 1,300 new cabin crew, including around 400 pilots, before it takes delivery of 21 new Airbus A320 and A321 aircraft, which are due to arrive by the end of 2018.

Ryanair has so far cancelled flights of 700,000 customers after pilot rostering issues left it short-staffed. Having offered some pilots pay rises and cash incentives, it backtracked on a plan to ask others to postpone leave on Wednesday.

A spokesman for WIZZ said that the airline was looking to attract a mixture of new and experienced pilots.

WIZZ said it would offer the “option of several guaranteed working patterns for its pilots”, saying that first officers and captains could commute or relocate to any of the 28 operational bases across 15 European countries. They would also receive “attractive compensation and benefits packages”, the company said.

Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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