United Airlines plans to hire hundreds of pilots in coming months as it gears up for a return to more normal passenger traffic over the next year. The airline told employees in an internal memo that the first to be contacted will be about 300 pilots who had conditional job offers or training that was supposed to start last year before the virus put a stop to all hiring. “With vaccination rates increasing and travel demand trending upwards, I’m excited to share that United will resume the pilot hiring process that was halted last year,” Bryan Quigley, United’s senior vice president of flight operations, said in the note. Meanwhile Delta is facing a pilot shortage that forced numerous cancellations over the Easter weekend.
Frequent flyer site onemileatatime.com reported that the airline canceled at least 74 flights on Easter Sunday and packed the remaining flights full by temporarily suspending its seat blocking policy. As with United, Delta encouraged hundreds of pilots to retire or take buyouts as it scrambled to conserve cash over the past year. The airline also had problems staffing flights at Thanksgiving and Christmas.