United Airlines to resume hiring of 300 pilots in May

Source: United Airlines

United Airlines Holdings Inc (NYSE: UAL) plans to hire around 300 pilots, a sign that the pandemic-ravaged industry is hoping the recent rebound in bookings will continue.

CNBC reported on Thursday that the Chicago-based airline told its staff it would begin hiring pilots, a process suspended last year after the coronavirus outbreak brought demand for travel down to lows. historical.

“With the increase in vaccination rates and the increasing trend in travel demand, I am delighted to share that United will be resuming the process of hiring pilots,” wrote Bryan Quigley, senior vice president of flight operations from United in a note to employees that was viewed by CNBC.

Quigley said the airline will start by hiring pilots who have received conditional offers of employment or whose class of new hires were canceled in 2020, when the industry was rocked by the public health emergency.

He added: “The number of new pilots needed will depend on our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. “

Over the past year, airlines, including United, have urged thousands of workers to agree to buyouts, early retirements or take voluntary time off to help cut costs.

According to the Associated Press, since September 2020 nearly 1,000 United pilots have retired or taken time off.

As of March 2020, Congress has set aside $ 54 billion in grants and loans to airlines to pay workers during the crisis. Under the recent $ 1.9 trillion economic aid package, $ 14 billion has been set aside for airlines to cover the wages and benefits of around 27,000 workers through the end of September 2021.

In 2020, airlines lost more than $ 35 billion and the industry “doesn’t expect to return to profitability until mid-2021,” Reuters reported.

In recent weeks, airlines have reported an increase in bookings, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it has screened a steadily increasing number of passengers, up to 1.2 million travelers on average per day over the course of the year. last month, an increase of 15%. from a year ago.

Yet air travel to the United States remains down almost half from the same period in 2019.

The recent rebound is due to an increase in leisure travel, but business and international bookings are still mostly at a standstill, United chief executive Scott Kirby said this week.

United is the first major US airline to announce it is resuming pilot recruitment.

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Economic operators Spirit Airlines Inc (NYSE: SAVE), Allegiant Travel Co (Nasdaq: ALGT) and Sun Country Airlines Holdings Inc (Nasdaq: SNCY) also expect to hire this year, according to CNBC.

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Source: Stock News

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