PARIS, Jan 3 (Reuters) – Jet engine maker Safran believes the worst of the crisis in aviation caused by COVID-19 is over, and plans to hire 12,000 people worldwide this year to build its capacity back up, its chief executive told a French newspaper.

“Today air traffic is recovering, the placing of orders is dynamic, the tempo is increasing. The worst is behind us. I am very confident,” Olivier Andries told the Figaro.

“We are in the process of coming out of the crisis and we’ve decided to relaunch our hiring, with 12,000 hires planned in 2022, of which 3,000 will be in France,” he was quoted as saying.

Safran is the world’s third largest aerospace contractor and with General Electric it co-produces engines for Airbus (AIR.PA) and Boeing (BA.N) aircraft.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Safran, along with most other players in the sector, reduced capacity and cut some jobs in response to the sharp downturn in orders from airlines. Read more