Thousands of hopefuls line up for Emirates cabin crew open day in Manila

Mond Ortiz Facebook / Nadia Leskovskaya /

Becoming an international flight attendant is still the ultimate dream for many, not least in the Philippines, where thousands of hopefuls lined up to attend a recent cabin crew open day.

The applicants lined up for an Emirates open day in Manila on April 8, 2024, the first time the airline has opened recruitment for cabin crew in the country after a 14-year hiring freeze.

Video footage posted to a cabin crew recruitment Facebook group in the Philippines showed applicants from all over the country started to line up as early as 01:00 local time, even though screening hours were only from 07:00-11:00. 


After 14 years, the Emirates opened its doors to Filipino aspirants. Padayos future Cabin Crews✈️✊🏻 #cabincrew #flightattendant #Emirates

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Later in the day, video clips uploaded on social media platforms showed thousands of applicants lined up, with the queue spilling out onto the streets and reaching the road.

Once applicants reached the Industrial Personnel and Management Services (IPAMS) building, the airline’s local recruitment agency, they were met with the first screening procedure: height measurement.

The airline has a minimum height requirement of 160cm (five feet two inches), and an arm reach of at least 212 cm. In the Philippines, where the average height of women is 150cm (four feet 11 inches), this requirement can be challenging.

In the footage, applicants can be seen removing their high-heeled shoes and standing against a measuring rod set up by the door of the recruitment agency building. Those who fell short of the requirement were asked to leave.

link to video here

According to local aviation blogger Mond Ortiz, the applicant queue for Emirates was significantly longer than the one seen by Qatar Airways when it held a recruitment drive in the country in 2022. 

Based on his personal surveys, Ortiz revealed that Emirates is the top choice for aspiring cabin crew in the country, followed by Philippine Airlines.

Ortiz said Emirates recruitment is known to be more “rigorous and challenging” compared to competitor airlines, with recruiters being selective who they choose to fill the limited spots. This is attributed to Emirates’ reputation for taking exceptional care of their cabin crew, along with attractive compensation.

In an emailed statement to AeroTime, Emirates said that it is looking to recruit 5,000 cabin crew globally this financial year in line with our growth and expansion.

“This recruitment day aligns with our unwavering commitment to our customers, who look forward to the exceptional services delivered by our multinational crew, and our support for the local community,” an Emirates spokesperson said.

Emirates’ recruitment process consists of several stages. Once applicants pass the initial screening, they are invited to an interview with the airline, and further assessment and test days are conducted.

Successful applicants will then undergo an intense seven and a half weeks of training in Dubai. 

Based on the airlines’ website, starting pay for new flight attendants average to AED 10,170 (USD 2770) per month.

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