LOT is to launch another pilot and cabin crew recruitment program this week. Great numbers of candidates have already expressed their interest. After the carrier’s announcement in June stating that the company plans to acquire 300 additional pilots to man its operational bases in Warsaw and Budapest, over 1,000 contenders have filed their applications. The training programmes for new captains and first officers are scheduled to begin in October.
Several dozen candidates are already at an advanced stage of the training process, and they will commence their type rating programme in October. Over one thousand applications have been submitted with LOT from different parts of the world. In total 90% originated from Europe (e.g. from France, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Serbia and Croatia). As it turned out, the offer of the Polish carrier has also evoked great interest among candidates from the USA, the Middle East, or even from Ecuador, New Zealand, Australia and Guadeloupe.
Recruitment sessions are held each week, alternately in Warsaw and in Budapest. They are attended by representatives of the broker – LOT Crew – presenting their offer during an open day campaign.
“It seems that our activities are delivering the expected results. To our satisfaction, the pilot recruitment process is evoking great interest. All applications are scrutinised thoroughly during meetings with the candidates. Only the ones who meet the most of our criteria are selected. It is our intention to choose the best of the best. Therefore, we plan to continue this model of the recruitment process at least until the end of this year. We would like to encourage all those willing to apply to file their submissions via the www.lot.com website” – says Jerzy Makula, CEO of LOT Crew and multiple glider aerobatics world champion.
LOT is looking for captains and first officers for its Bombardier Q400 and Embraer 170/190 aircraft. The carrier pays for the type rating course of pilots holding a licence and having the required flying time. This is, however, just the beginning of their career path: due to the continuous growth of LOT, the candidates may be upgraded within three years, to Boeing B737 and B787 Dreamliner aircraft.
“The interest the applicants have displayed so far proves that LOT is an attractive employer. In contrast to other airlines, we provide the new pilots with a comprehensive training package they are not required to pay for. Additionally, unlike many other airlines operating in the region, we offer our pilots the opportunity to develop professionally. What is very important, the rules of promotion are not based solely on seniority, but primarily on the actual skills presented” says Adrian Kubicki, Director of LOT Corporate Communications.
Those applying for a captain’s seat must meet, inter alia, the following criteria: a valid commercial pilot licence, a valid first class medical certificate, flying experience of at least 3,000 hours, including at least 1,000 hours as a captain in multi-pilot crews, English language proficiency level 5 (ICAO scale), and the right to work in the EU. LOT has implemented the English language flight deck rule onboard its planes, meaning that the knowledge of Polish is not required. Those applying for the position of a first officer are required, inter alia, to have a commercial pilot licence (also of the “frozen” type), and a minimum total flight time of 200 hours.
Pilots commencing cooperation with LOT are offered a wide range of professional growth options: from the turboprop Bombardier Q400 to narrow-body jets, such as Embraer and Boeing 737 (including B737 MAX 8), to the wide-body Boeing 787 Dreamliner. More than 700 pilots work with LOT currently, operating both regular schedule and charter flights.
LOT is also recruiting cabin crew members for its Budapest base. There are currently over 1,300 people working as LOT’s flight attendants. The company employs 60 flight attendants from Hungary, but their number is expected to reach at least 250 by 2019. An announcement heralding a new recruitment campaign is expected within days.
Both pilots and cabin crew are offered the same cooperation conditions pursuant to which contracts with the carrier’s current co-workers have been concluded.
“The conditions we are offering our pilots and flight attendants in cooperation with our broker – LOT Crew – are even more attractive due to the advantage a permanent assignment to one of our two operational bases: in Warsaw and Budapest. Unlike in the case of low-cost carriers, LOT crews are not expected to change their base locations frequently, which would considerably diminish the comfort of work and could exert a negative impact on family life” – adds LOT’s Adrian Kubicki.
LOT is the only Central and Eastern European airline boasting a significant and continuously growing share of long-haul flights. Today, the Polish carrier has eleven B787 Dreamliner planes in its fleet. With the outstanding orders included, their number will increase to 15 by the end of 2019. Apart from four additional Dreamliners, LOT is also expecting to take delivery of more narrow-body Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft it has ordered. Their number will increase to 12 by the end of 2019. By the end of the year, four Embraer 195 aircraft will be added to the company’s fleet as well.
According to FlightGlobal, LOT is currently the most dynamically growing airline in Europe. Last year, LOT carried 6.8 million passengers, i.e. 25% more than the year before. It plans to reach the level of 9 million passengers this year, and to exceed the 10 million mark in 2019. The carrier offers over 100 scheduled flights, including direct connections between Warsaw and New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo and Singapore, as well as from Budapest to New York and Chicago.
In January 2019, LOT will celebrate the 90th anniversary of its establishment, which ranks it as one of the most experienced European airlines. LOT’s core business earnings (EBIT) amounted to PLN 288 million in 2017. The 2016 profit equalled PLN 184 million.
Warsaw, 24 August 2018