Qatar Airways to hire 10,000 people as part of World Cup preparations

By Andrew Mills

DOHA (Reuters) – Qatar Airways is increasing its workforce by 10,000 to handle an influx of passengers to Doha for the FIFA World Cup and in line with a wider post-pandemic expansion, the airline told Reuters.

The Doha-based carrier is in the midst of a recruitment drive that will take its total workforce to more than 55,000 from around 45,000 currently, said a spokesman, who declined to be named.

“Qatar Airways is on a growth trajectory following COVID and with World Cup preparations in full swing, it is accelerating recruitment across the airline,” the company said in a statement to Reuters this week.

The airline declined to say how many new positions would be permanent. It reduced its workforce to less than 37,000 in 2021 after reducing its destinations to 33 cities at the height of the pandemic in 2020. It has since ramped up operations to more than 150 destinations.

Recruitment events were held in the Philippines, India and other countries in late September, the spokesperson said.

It is not yet known how many new staff will be in place when the World Cup kicks off on November 20 in Qatar, the first country in the Middle East to host football’s main event.

During the tournament, Qatar Airways is adjusting 70% of its schedule to make room for additional flights arriving in Doha and has canceled other flights and reduced frequencies to free up planes to meet fan demand.

Other airlines will dramatically increase flights to Qatar, which has reopened a former airport for the event.

“It will be a huge challenge to be able to handle this very rapid demand for a very large number of spectators,” Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker told reporters earlier this year.

Tiny Qatar faces a major staff shortage as it prepares to receive around 1.2 million visitors during the month-long World Cup, which is expected to put pressure on its infrastructure, hospitality and security.

(Reporting by Andrew Mills; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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