Walk in to fly high

T. E. Raja Simhan | | Updated on: Mar 12, 2018


3,500 young aspirants for 100 jobs at AirAsia interviews

It’s only 7-30 a.m. But not too early for a pretty girl in a black short skirt and a white shirt who steps out of a Karnataka-registered Honda City that comes to a screeching halt in front of Chinmaya Heritage Centre in central Chennai.

She, along with a whole lot of young men and women, is to attend an interview with AirAsia India to become a flight attendant.

And, in an hour, the narrow street off Harrington Road in Chetpet is swamped by young aspirants who have come rushing to the centre with the hopes of flying high with the airline. The airline is expected to commence its domestic operations in September.

The hot and humid day did not prevent the men from wearing glossy suits in various colours that caught the attention of passers-by. Many girls were busy touching up their make-up. A number of candidates came directly from the airport or railway station, lugging along their trolleys. A police patrol was stationed outside the venue to regulate the traffic.

For 100 vacancies

The interview started at 9 a.m, and by 11 a.m. nearly 1,000 candidates had registered. By 3 p.m., the tally had increased to 3,500 for 100 vacancies.

“We have never in our history seen such an overwhelming response,” said Suhaila Hassan, AirAsia’s group head flight attendant.

The first screening was checking the height where a number of candidates failed. “They [the airline] are too rigid,” an agitated girl rejected in the first round told her father waiting outside the venue. The women need to be a minimum 160 cm to a maximum 170 cm barefooted, while the men need to be in the 170-180 cm tall.

In round two, the candidates were given 60 seconds to impress jury members, who were watching closely at how they smiled, their physical appearance, body language and walk. The jury included Bo Lingam, Chief Operating Officer of AirAsia Group.

And, finally, out of the 3,500 candidates who came in, only 200 made it to the final interview, set for Sunday.

Said Tiren Karki, 23, from Mumbai who was one of those selected on the first day, “I am quite excited. I have heard a lot about the brand.”

A.R. Remya, 23, from Kerala, who also made it to the final round, hopes to fly with the airline leaving behind a job with a life insurance company as a customer care executive.

To be headquartered in Chennai, AirAsia India will be a budget airline with AirAsia, the Tata Group and Telestra Tradeplace as joint venture partners. The airline has also started hiring pilots and flight officers.

September launch

“With the way things are going, it looks like AirAsia India will launch its operations in September. However, this is provided we get all the regulatory approvals,” said Bo Lingam, who led a 14-member team for the hiring.

> raja.simhan@thehindu.co.in

Published on April 13, 2013
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