AirAsia Philippines announced it will gradually reactivate over 400 staff were previously placed under hibernation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Citing the need to meet the growing market demand and to prepare its workforce as air travel restrictions are eased, the Philippine-based subsidiary of the AirAsia group will reactivate 432 previously grounded pilots, cabin crew, ground staff, and engineers.

"We are excited to welcome back our Allstars whom we’ve missed so much. More than just a source of livelihood, I know they can’t wait to paint the skies red, and write with us a beautiful and winning story of our post pandemic recovery,” said AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla.

According to AirAsia Philippines, the gradual activation will initially cover 15% of the airline's hibernated workforce, which is made up of mostly pilots and flight crew who will undergo recurrent training starting in December. The remaining 85% of the hibernated workforce will be progressively integrated to the airline during the first quarter of 2022 subject to market demand.

The airline also added that rehiring of former staff who were let go during the pandemic could come earlier than expected.

“Projections based on current vaccination rates among Asean countries are speeding up. As soon as there is steady demand for air travel, and border restrictions are lifted in the international destinations where we fly, we can start the process of rehiring as early as April. We will definitely prioritize our former Allstars, and will also provide opportunities for new hires especially now that we are strengthening the offerings of the airasia Super App in the Philippines,” Isla added.

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