French trainee cabin crew eye post-crisis takeoff

Aviation is in tatters, with travel ground to a halt - and France's potential future flight staff have taken note.

The country's youth are turning away from flight crew schools and ground staff training in droves, many seeking employment elsewhere.

25-year-old student Clarisse Granville is concerned that when she finishes her training, there will be no work for her.

"My first question was 'Is it really worth it to enrol?,' since there are less flights and there were many lay-offs, notably with Air France, which is what we hear of most."

Flight attendant of 40 years-turned-trainer, Catherine Tastevin, says registration has fallen by around 75% at her Paris-based flight school.

"Two years ago, we had a lot of registrations requests. A lot of young people would call to see if they can do the training, we had a training almost every month, every two months."

The International Civil Aviation Organization estimate that total passenger traffic dropped by 60% worldwide in the last year.

French national carrier Air France suffered a 7.1 bln euro loss - that's 8.42 bln U.S. dollars - in the same year.

They are to lay off some 8,500 employees by the end of 2022.

Aeronautics giant Airbus also announced a slew of redundancies for France alone.

Trainee Iris Charbonnel is hopeful, but says she will have to think of an alternative if she can't find work.

"I think that there has been numerous crises in the aviation sector and we always managed to get back on our feet, so there is still hope. And if I do not manage to find work right after my training, I would like to pass my private pilot license in order to stay in the field and progress at my own pace."

Global passenger traffic numbers aren't expected to reach their previous levels before 2024, according to the IATA.

But Tastevin remains optimistic for her students.

She is sure there will be work available for the next generation of flight attendants, and that younger and perhaps less costly staff will gradually replace older crew as the health situation returns to normal.

Video Transcript

- [SPEAKING FRENCH]

- Aviation is in tatters, with travel ground to a halt. And France's potential future flight staff have taken note. The country's youth are turning away from flight crew schools and ground staff training in droves, many seeking employment elsewhere. 25-year-old student Clarisse Granville is concerned that when she finishes her training, there will be no work for her.

CLARISSE GRANVILLE: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

INTERPRETER: My first question was, is it really worth it to enroll, since there are less flights and there were many layoffs, notably with Air France, which is what we hear of most.

- Flight attendant of 40 years-turned-trainer, Catherine Tastevin, says registration has fallen by around 75% at her Paris-based flight school.

CATHERINE TASTEVIN: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

INTERPRETER: Two years ago, we had a lot of registrations requests. A lot of young people would call to see if they can do the training. We had a training almost every month, every two months.

- The International Civil Aviation Organization estimates that total passenger traffic dropped by 60% worldwide in the last year. French National carrier Air France suffered a 7.1 billion euro loss. That's $8.42 billion US in the same year. They are to lay off some 8,500 employees by the end of 2022.

Aeronautics giant Airbus also announced a slew of redundancies for France alone. Trainee Iris Charbonnel is hopeful, but says she will have to think of an alternative if she can't find work.

IRIS CHARBONNEL: [SPEAKING FRENCH]

INTERPRETER: I think that there have been numerous crises in the aviation sector, and we always manage to get back on our feet. So there is still hope. And if I do not manage to find work right after my training, I would like to pass my private pilot license in order to stay in the field and progress at my own pace.

- Global passenger traffic numbers aren't expected to reach their previous levels before 2024, according to the IATA. But Tastevin remains optimistic for her students. She is sure there will be work available for the next generation of flight attendants and that younger and perhaps less costly staff will gradually replace older crew as the health situation returns to normal.