Understanding How Airline HR Departments Work

The aviation industry has for a long time been considered an exciting and dynamic sector within the global economy. Not only does it help facilitate international trade, but aviation is recognised as a significant enabler of domestic and global tourism. It is a highly specialised industry, and airlines see a lot of high pressure to perform their designated tasks to avoid accidents and mitigate any crises.

Despite aviation being an essential facet of the global economy, it is a high-stress environment that is prone to worker dissatisfaction and labour issues. Case in point, some UK airports are experiencing strikes and staffing issues. This hinders travel plans for many people and presents potential disruptions for airline operations. As such, the current situation highlights how crucial human resources (HR) departments are in managing an airline and its peripheral conditions.


The aviation industry places great emphasis on safety and security requirements. As such, HR personnel play a crucial role in ensuring that employees meet the regulatory standards upon recruitment. They conduct necessary checks to ensure that a potential candidate has submitted the proper certifications that prove they are trained to do their job and can perform well. For example, HR will check for other qualifications, such as if a cabin crew candidate underwent college courses or private training and have a Level 2 Certificate or Diploma in Air Cabin Crew or Level 2 Cabin Crew and Airport Operations. This allows them to ensure that high-quality candidates with the right requirements are hired into the organisation.

By doing background checks and verifying certifications, HR can vouch for the people working in the airline. This also includes checking on candidates from various roles, including cabin crew, airport attendants, and aeroplane technicians. Apart from ensuring hard skills among applicants, HR personnel also look into soft skills. To illustrate, during the Jet2 cabin crew recruitment process, applicants are also checked for their customer service skills. The process of checking if employees comply with the necessary qualifications required for their role can ensure the safety of passengers aboard flights.

Training and Development

Training and development usually refers to a system of educating employees within a company. For aviation, this means providing orientations on any updates for aviation regulations or activities designed to enhance the company knowledge of employees. Cabin crews in most airlines will be required complete training courses covering things like safety procedures, legal or immigration issues and customer service to ensure that they’re prepared for the job. A reliable human resources generalist has the organisational skills to implement the right strategies for aviation employees. They can develop programs that focus on promoting job training and refreshers to ensure that everyone is up-to-speed with their specialisations and skills.

Furthermore, HR will regularly conduct employee performance reviews to check if the airline crew understands the expected standards of performance for their roles and how they can constantly improve. This process can then emphasise training their skills in customer service, safety procedures, flight operations, and other requirements to make airline operations run more smoothly.

Employee relations

Considering the technical and specialised nature of aviation roles, HR is also heavily involved in promoting employee relations. They ensure that there is an effort to create and maintain a positive relationship between employees and employers, regardless of whether they interact regularly or not. Employee relations are also crucial for ensuring harmony during flights. Cabin crew are required to have good communication and interpersonal skills, not just for dealing with passengers, but to also maintain good rapport with fellow cabin staff for a smooth flight. As such, the most dedicated HR personnel are needed to act as an effective middleman when there are concerns to be addressed.

In line with this, HR can also help maintain employee well-being by creating initiatives that can help with stress management, initiating better work conditions, or renegotiating employee benefits. This is especially important, as the aviation industry in the UK is seeing a lot of discontent among workers, who are turning to strikes in order to feel recognised for their labour demands. To avoid having employees turn to strikes, it’s important to address their concerns and have the right HR personnel develop strategies for effective communication and find an effective compromise.

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Cabin Crew Wings Team

Our team of experts have the many years as Cabin Crew plus HR experience and are up to date with the latest selection news.

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