Wataniya Airways, the region’s new premium service airline, has successfully completed its recruitment procedures to appoint the pilots and cabin crew it requires to launch its operations in 2009 – attracting talent from all over the world.
Senior airline executives confirmed that the response from pilots and cabin crew candidates wanting to work at Wataniya Airways has surpassed forecasts, with the airline receiving many more job applications than initially projected.
A total of 15 pilots and 59 cabin crew members have now been recruited with staff joining the airline from countries including Kuwait, USA, Canada, Morocco, Lebanon, UAE, South Africa, Peru, Spain, Poland, Thailand and the Philippines.The rigorous selection procedure is an important step in ensuring the premium quality of Wataniya Airways’ unique service when the first brand new Airbus 320 fleet takes to the skies early next year.
The recruitment strategy adopted focuses on new acceptance criteria, many of which are being applied for the first time in the Middle East. The moment a pilot candidate makes an application they are given an electronic assessment exam to prove that they comply with the high standards to become a key member of the Wataniya Airways team.
This electronic screening process is followed by face to face interviews and meticulous psychometric tests designed and applied by international agencies to assess pilot decision-making and their ability to perform in pressure situations.
Wataniya Airways Chief Operating Officer, Captain Adel Al-Barjas, who is a highly experienced pilot with over 30 years of service, explained the aims of the program. “All of our recruitment processes comply with the highest international standards, but we have gone the extra mile with all of our candidates who have undergone stringent testing and training processes for both complying with all possible safety procedures and to fit with our business model focused on providing a premium service both in the air and on the ground.”
The comprehensive testing programme for pilots examines the ability, personality, decision making and practical skills to operate under stress and handle any unforeseen issues that may arise. The airline also adopts rigorous medical checks for any long-term
intoxicant-related dependence, which is a special type of testing that is currently not adopted by any other Middle East commercial airline.
Wataniya Airways has also embarked on the process of recruiting cabin crew members and has successfully recruited a world-class team to cater for all passenger needs in both the First and Premium Economy Classes on the new airline.
The seven-step evaluation program that has been adopted involves detecting logical thinking processes, individual and group interviews before committees, group exercises and assessing interaction and communication skills – all ensuring that cabin crew have the right attributes required to deliver the very best premium service to passengers.
Capt. Adel Al-Barjas added: “We have been delighted with both the quality and the numbers of first class airline pilots and cabin crew who have applied to work at Wataniya Airways. Our candidates were very excited about being a part of a new era in aviation and joining a ground-breaking premium airline in this region. In keeping with our premium standards, our recruitment policies have been tailored to Wataniya Airways’ needs.”