HONOLULU (KHON2) — Airlines are taking off towards recovery and travel is on the rebound.
However, what’s missing is the workers. A few airlines are on a hiring spree ahead of the busy summer travel season.
Hawaiian Airlines is increasing their hiring efforts in hopes to fill 400 positions. The company is also offering a $2,000 sign on bonus.
“We’re really desperate for hiring great people,” said Robin Kobayashi, senior vice president of human resources for Hawaiian Airlines. “So we started a sign-on bonus program and we’re piloting it in Maui with our main line, meaning both ramp agents and cleaners.”
Hawaiian Air laid off about 2,000 employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. All have been recalled, but more workers are needed.
“We want someone who’s really passionate about travel, but also really passionate and proud of living in Hawaii. So we’re hoping that will definitely attract those types of people for us,” said Kobayashi.
More pilots will also be needed as flights pick up.
“It’s a very long train down and train up process and so we’re already in the middle of that. We’ll likely need to look probably for hiring pilots in the near future,” Kobayashi said.
Hawaii Air isn’t the only one offering hiring incentives. Alaska Airlines is bumping up their starting wage by 16 percent to attract more local applicants.
“We also have a 25 percent increase for those who have been with us for two years or more,” said Daniel Chun, public relations director for Alaska Airlines .”The other thing is, we have a great referral bonus and we also have a retention bonus.”
Meanwhile, Mokulele Airlines is also hiring and offering to work around applicant’s schedules.
“We offer very flexible scheduling for people that want part time opportunities to work around other careers that they may have,” said Keith Sisson, chief of staff for Mokulele Airlines. “We specifically are looking for our customer service agents, the people that greet the customers at the counter, do the check in, and weigh the bags. Those are entry level positions into our business.”
Hawaiian Air hopes to open international flights by early 2022 and expects more hiring opportunities in the fall.