A United Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft lands at San Francisco International Airport.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
United Airlines announced Thursday that hundreds of pilots will soon be hired – a process the airline had to stop when the coronavirus pandemic destroyed demand for travel last year. This comes from an internal email that has been checked by CNBC.
The Chicago-based airline is the first of the major US carriers to announce that it will resume hiring pilots. This is the latest sign that she is preparing for a recovery. Over the past year, airlines, including United, have urged thousands of workers to take advantage of buyouts, early retirement packages, and leave of absence in an effort to cut costs during the pandemic.
US airlines combined lost $ 35 billion last year, but expect bookings to grow steadily as more people are vaccinated and more comfortable boarding planes.
“With vaccination rates soaring and the demand for travel soaring, I am pleased to announce that United will resume the pilot recruitment process that was halted last year,” wrote Bryan Quigley, United’s senior vice president of flight operations on Thursday in a staff note that was viewed by CNBC. “We’re starting with the 300 or so pilots who either had a new recruitment class appointment that was canceled, or who had a conditional vacancy in 2020.”
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