When flight demand recovers, airlines will reinstate pilot jobs

Rare sightings in the aviation industry over the past year are becoming more common.

Some US airlines have recently reopened or plan to hire pilots until this year.The latest signs that the industry is expecting travel demand Continue to rise..

In front of COVID pandemic The hit airline was preparing for a wave of pilot retirement mandated by the federal government when pilots reached the age of 65. For example, at American Airlines, more than 7,200 of the airline’s more than 15,000 pilots will be 65 in the next decade. However, the plunge in travel last year forced pilots to cut labor costs, including offering early retirement packages.

Now, as travel demand recovers, they are refocusing on employment. Pilot training can be time consuming and costly. As a result, airlines plan a few years ago and usually have enough pilots to handle the peak of the summer travel season.

United told staff last week Resumed pilot recruitmentStart with about 300 pilots who had new hire dates or conditional jobs when Covid-19 broke those plans last year.

He also states that he plans to start training. First class of this year’s flight schoolFor the purpose of training 5,000 pilots 10,000 It is expected to be needed in the next 10 years.

Jetblue AirlinesMeanwhile, in a message to 200 pilot candidates interviewing New York airlines in 2019 and 2020, the airline took steps to begin hiring new pilots later this year. I said there is.

Low cost carrier Spirit Airlines Resumed training for 24 new pilots last month A similar number will be trained in April, a spokeswoman said. Another ultra-low cost airline, Allegiant AirSaid on Tuesday that it plans to open a new base in Austin, Texas, “immediately start hiring pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, and ground personnel to support operations.”

American Airlines-The local airline PSA Airlines has opened its recruitment to outside candidates.

“The need for employment is due to the natural decline and more use of CRJ700 and CRJ900 aircraft this year,” a spokeswoman said.

And Avelo Airlines is a new airline in the United States. debut Thursday announced that it will be operational with 37 pilots, but more may be added as it expands.

Since the depth of the pandemic a year ago, the demand for air travel has improved. United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said last week that domestic leisure demand had recovered almost completely, American Airlines He said net bookings for the week ending March 26 were only 10% off compared to the same period in 2019.

Airlines are generally reluctant to dismiss pilots because they take so long to train, and instead turned to voluntary turnover, temporary leave, or early retirement programs. However, the airline also received three times a total of $ 54 billion in government assistance banning involuntary headcount reductions. The first round took place at the beginning of the pandemic.

Airlines pilot ranks are based on seniority, with cuts starting with the most junior members. Airline executives argued that aid would make them better prepared to take advantage of the recovery.

Cowen & Co. Travel demand recovered faster and more vigorously than expected, said Herane Becker, an aviation analyst at.

If they hadn’t retained those employees, the airline would have been “very unprepared and would have taken longer to recover,” Becker said.

Without early assistance, airlines could have fired many junior pilots before the wave of retirement of the most experienced pilots.

For some airlines, the recent recovery in air travel demand has meant a change in planning. Delta Air Lines On Easter Sunday, he said there were about 100 cancellations due to staff shortages. Problems faced during Thanksgiving..

Delta Air Lines said it has temporarily lifted quota restrictions on some flights to accommodate travelers. next month. Some pilots were asked if they could pick up the shift at the last minute on the weekend.

Delta will have all pilots earlier this year Active status.. Earlier this month, the airline announced that it would allow pilots to bid on new positions. Some are promoted to captains or change aircraft.

Delta’s director of crew resource planning, analysis and reporting, Bob Schmelzer, said in a staff memo on April 1 that “close bids at about 350 unbid positions, creating opportunities for future recruitment.” I’m out.

Southwest AirlinesMeanwhile, on April 1, 209 pilots were recalled from the extended leaves to meet the growing demand. After completing the recertification training, you will return to active status on June 1st.

When flight demand recovers, airlines will reinstate pilot jobs

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