Cathay Pacific began a two-day recruitment exercise in Mong Kok on Friday, with a "competitive" HK$9,100 monthly basic salary on offer for new cabin crew.
The airline is looking to hire around 2,000 flight attendants in the next 18 to 24 months, to add to the 6,000 or so already on the books, and to take on another 700 pilots in addition to some 2,500 already employed.
It said the monthly pay for new flight attendants could reach HK$18,000 if flying hours return to pre-Covid levels and the staff qualify for subsidies such as layover allowances and productivity pay.
"Compared to past levels, yes, [the basic salary] is different," Cathay's Inflight Service Delivery General Manager, Jeanette Mao, told reporters.
"But what I would say is, this is competitive. This is what we benchmark with market data and the remuneration package, because we want to make sure we provide a competitive package for our people, to continue to attract talent."
Nicole Chan who was at the recruitment event for an interview said the pay in her current job is similar to what Cathay is offering.
"It's always been a childhood dream to become a flight attendant. I want to try again because previously it was Covid, there were a lot of layoffs and the airline industry wasn't that great," she said.
Another jobseeker, Nicky Cheung, said he is confident about a revival for the aviation industry because people are keen to start travelling again.
Cathay says it is currently operating at around 15 percent of pre-pandemic levels, but by the end of the year it is hoping to run a third of the passenger flights and two-thirds of the cargo services it had before Covid struck.