United Hiring Pilots, Delta Needs More


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.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. As I have heard from other’s at Delta, white males need not apply or be subject to the end of the line.

    • The fact that the vast majority (well over 80%) of Delta pilots are white males refutes that dumb assertion.

      • I don’t know that it does. If the population is out of balance, then it’s not usual to favor new candidates who will tilt the scales in the right direction. Not unlike college applications. Doesn’t mean that white males are not eligible for hire. Just means that candidates from other categories have one checkmark in one box on the form.

        • Yes. That is absolutely true. However it’s a far cry from the hyperbole of “white males need not apply” or that they’re somehow by default at the “back of the line” implying if your a white male that some how makes you disadvantaged to being hired as an airline pilot.

  2. Why the heck don’t they hire pilots who don’t crash airplanes ??

    AND … I’m miffed that United and Delta aren’t hiring blind pilots. What’s wrong with them … are they prejudiced?