Airline Industry

The Airline Industry is a sought after career options in the world. It comprises of many popular jobs including Pilots, Flight Attendants, Ground staff, Operations etc. But do you know what is it really like to work for an Airline? Find out below.

What are the jobs really about?

Transporting People, Luggage and Goods

Working for an Airline basically revolves around carrying out all operations smoothly so as to ensure that the passengers, luggage and goods are transported from one place to the other safely and on time. The operations in the Airline Industry include everything that is involved in the transportation of people and goods, such as Ticketing, Scheduling, Cleaning of Airplanes, Passenger Service at the Airport, Security Checks, Storing and Transporting Luggage, Flight Maintenance (Engineering), Fueling the Airplane, Flight Attendants, Pilots Storing Goods in Warehouses, Maintaining Records etc. You will generally be contributing towards only a single part of these operations.

Apart from the Operations, working in an Airline will also include jobs that are common to all industries such as the Human Resource Team, Marketing Team, and Finance Team etc. However, we will only be focusing on the Operations of an Airline in this article, as that is where the majority of the jobs are available.

Why do people work for an Airline?


Glamour is a major component of the Airline Industry. However, depending on your job, the glamour quotient might vary. For example, Pilots and Flight Attendants of an Airline lead very glamorous lives which are full of travel, adventure and excitement. On the other hand, an Engineer looking after Flight Maintenance might not lead an equally glamorous life.

However, as compared to other industries with 9 – 5 jobs, the Airline Industry in general is much more glamorous. Working at an Airport in itself has a certain bit of glamour attached to it. You get to interact with a lot of people, get exposure to national and international cultures, use expensive equipment and work on huge airplanes, all of which adds to the glamour quotient of the job.

Good Prospoects, Low Qualifications

The academic qualifications required for most Operations Jobs in an Airline are quite low; being a graduate in any field is generally sufficient. The focus is more on your communication and organizational skills. However, for certain jobs like Flight Maintenance (Engineering) or Pilots, you might require special educational qualifications.

Find out about the Top 7 Careers That Require Little Education.

Considering the qualifications required by the industry, the salaries in the Airline Industry are generally quite good. However, they may vary greatly depending upon the type of job. For example, a Pilot will be paid much more than what a Passenger Service Executive (Ground Staff) working at an Airport will be paid.
It's a competitive industry with many players and therefore people with experience and potential are constantly in demand. It's a good industry to build a career in.  

Find out about the Top 7 Money Making Careers. 


Working for an Airline has several additional benefits apart from the pay, the biggest being free or cheap air tickets for you and your family members or friends. As flight tickets are generally quite expensive, this ends up becoming a big monetary advantage over a period of time. Many Airlines also provide its employees with discounts at Hotels, Rental Car Companies etc.


While working for an Airline, you get to interact with a lot of people including customers, colleagues, seniors etc. This provides you with the opportunity to interact with people belonging to different age groups, cultures, backgrounds etc. You get to create contacts and develop relationships that can help you grow professionally.


What is it like to work for an Airline?

Demanding Job

Jobs in an Airline are very fast – paced and demanding. There is a constant hurry to complete tasks on time as even a minute’s delay in the Airline operations costs a lot of money. The passengers should be inside the Airplane by a particular time, the flight should take off and land at a specified time, the luggage needs to be loaded and unloaded at the right time and so on. Even a small mistake from an employee’s side can cause huge delays and losses to the company.

Employees that become successful in an Airline company are the ones who are organized, good at following processes and at managing the stress and pressure that comes with the job. You will need to be calm in all situations and solve problems on the spot so as to ensure that the operations are carried out perfectly.

Odd Timings, Varying Schedules

The operations of an Airline go on throughout the day, 365 days a year. As an employee working for an Airline, you will be assigned a particular shift as one person cannot work for 24 hours a day. You might be asked to work early in the morning, in the day or late at night. Additionally, you might even be asked to report to work on holidays and festivals if need be.

Depending upon the job, the degree of uncertainty in your schedule varies. For example, as a Pilot or a Flight Attendant, one day you might be asked to report for work at 4 in the morning, the next day you might have to report to work at 6 in the evening. As compared to these positions, the jobs of the Airport Ground Staff are comparatively more scheduled, even though your timings are always subject to change.

Find out about the Top 7 Fixed Hours Jobs.

Rude Customers

While working in an Airline, you will often be required to deal with customers, many of whom will be rude and disrespectful. This especially applies to jobs like Flight Attendants and Customer Service Executives at the Airport. Customers tend to get extremely irritable and angry during flights as well as during delays, cancellations etc.

Regardless of how rude a customer gets, it is a part of your job to always be polite and courteous. This is not as easy as it sounds, especially when customers overstep their limits, which is not a rare occurrence. People who become successful in this profession are the ones who always empathize with their customers, understand their problems and never lose their cool in a volatile situation.

Security Hazards

There is a constant security hazard for people who work in the Airline Industry; airports are constant targets of terrorist attacks and there is always a risk involved during flights with regards to technical failures and crashes. Professionals in the Airline industry learn to always be alert and keep their eyes open with regards to any potential threats to the security or lives of their customers. To succeed in this industry, you will learn to be constantly alert and develop the art of keeping calm during emergency situations.

Unstable Industry

In reality, the Airline Industry is very unstable. Airline companies are constantly going into losses and often need to cut down on their number of flights and employees. As an employee in the Airline Industry, you will have very little job security. You will need to constantly perform to the best of your abilities so that you remain a valuable asset to the company. Most Airline employees keep their options open and are constantly on the lookout for other opportunities that are comparatively more stable.

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Steve Jobs, chief executive officer and co-founder of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, urged graduates to pursue their dreams, follow their interests & curiosities and see the opportunities in life's setbacks-- including death itself.