Airline Hiring Expected To Surge As Leisure Travel Leads the Recovery


With a focus on pilots and flight attendants, the three largest U.S. airlines have opened their purse strings and started recruiting. According to Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants, more than 20,000 new jobs will open up in the next two years, bringing the total employment up to 100,000 flight attendant positions. While the influx will only bring employment back to pre-pandemic levels, the restart of hiring is coming sooner than analysts such as Philip Baggaley of Standard and Poor’s expected. “It’s certainly an indication of the confidence there will be a substantial recovery by the year’s end,” he said.

While business and international travel have been slow to rebound, according to a CNN report, “get-away” pleasure travel is leading the charge in an airline recovery that has already returned to near-pre-pandemic levels.

The Bureau of Transportation Statistics cited pre-pandemic employment with airlines at a post-9/11 peak of 757,000 full- and part-time positions in February 2020. Over the rest of the year, 18 percent of those jobs disappeared at the U.S.’s 11 publicly traded airlines. The job losses came through buyouts, early retirement packages and voluntary unpaid leaves that included retaining benefits and, in some cases, partial salaries.

Based on a list compiled by ATP Flight School, here are some of the airlines that are currently hiring pilots: Allegiant, 184 pilots; Endeavor (offering $10k training completion bonus); Horizon, hiring first officers ($11k tuition reimbursement); Delta, hiring 75 pilots from June-August; American, 300 pilots by year-end; Envoy, hiring first officers; Republic, hiring first officers; CommutAir, hiring ATP Flight School graduates; SkyWest Airlines, hiring first officers; United, hiring “hundreds” of pilots; PSA, hiring 30 pilots every two weeks; Air Wisconsin, hiring first officers; Endeavor, hiring first officers; Frontier, hiring 100 pilots this year; GoJet, hiring first officers; Spirit, hiring 400 pilots this year; Delta, reactivating all pilots by October; FedEx, hiring 560 pilots this year; UPS, hiring 227 pilots this year.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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