Wizz Air, on the hunt for new pilots and cabin crew, says it is putting pilots back on their pre-pandemic salaries as of October 1, 2021.

“There is no doubt the past year has been challenging for the industry, but we are proud to announce today that we are one of the first airlines to reinstate pilot salaries to pre-pandemic levels,” Mike Delehant, Executive Vice President and Chief Group Operations Officer, commented in a statement on September 13, 2021. 

The budget airline, focused on eastern Europe routes, said it plans to hire 200 pilots and 800 cabin crew members by December 2021. 

Looking further ahead, Wizz says it plans to hire on average 2,000 new recruits a year until 2030, with plans to triple its fleet to 500 Airbus aircraft.

“As we continue to focus on sustainable growth, we look forward to welcoming thousands of new recruits in the coming years, to join our growing family,” Delehant added.  

Reuters reported on September 9, 2021 that Wizz was considering ordering up to 100 Airbus aircraft. It also reported that Wizz was the party behind a mysterious approach for British budget rival easyJet. Such a bid would have given Wizz a fast way to expand in western Europe. However, easyJet, which did not name the bidder, rejected the approach.

Wizz is not the only European budget carrier looking to hire pilots. 

With many pilots having lost their jobs in Europe due to the pandemic and seeking new employment, Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) unit Eurowings said it had been inundated with applications for its new base in Prague. 

The German airline announced on September 13, 2021, it had received over 6,000 applications for 100 pilot and cabin crew jobs at its new base in the Czech capital. 

Ryanair is also in the midst of a recruitment drive, with a focus on new cadets. 

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Wizz Air is reportedly in talks with Airbus over a new aircraft order.