United Maintains Pilot Hiring Blitz


United Airlines is on pace to beat its 2022 record of hiring 2,500 pilots in a year. According to AirlineGeeks the airline brought in 270 pilots in October, bringing its new-pilot total for 2023 to 2,296. The airline has embarked on a rapid expansion program that includes the addition of 230 aircraft in the next year and a total of 700 new aircraft by 2033. United’s quest for more pilots may be aided by slower hiring at many of its competitors. AirlineGeeks says most other airlines have cut back on pilot hiring and Spirit has stopped altogether.

Although the overall pilot shortage seems to be easing, it seems all airlines are scrambling to keep their left seats filled. Although regionals can direct hire captains, large carriers can only hire FOs and must qualify them as captains. AirlineGeeks says Delta is turning FOs into captains in as little as four and a half months.


  1. Again………..silence on the real issue facing aviation today…………………………you can hire all these pilots who will be sitting at the gate with plane load of passengers with NO MAINTENANCE PERSONNEL to fix them. The shortage of A&P and the short coming in the next 10 years is going to devistate aviation especially GA.

    • Well the stats no one is talking about is, I go to the IA renewal seminar each year. Last one 80 attendees. Of that 60 of us were over the age of 50. Couple that with 25% retiring each year with less than 5% coming in is the problem. Here in the DFW area, all the major airlines grab every A&P graduate to work there. Finding mechanics is almost impossible in GA. We have become a State funded apprenticeship program and we cant even find people to get PAID while they are working towards their A&P. I have not seen ONE article covering this topic its all about the pilots.

  2. I hope United has converted all the pensions to 401k’s. Their next BK can’t likely be avoided by bribing the C suite of a successful airline again. There’s not a Chicago guy in charge of the country, and it simply cannot be covered up again.

    How much is the haircut going to be?

  3. It appears the perfect storm is brewing. Inexperienced pilots, many upgrading to Captain, inexperienced controllers graduating from colleges whose primary challenge is to make a profit and a shortage of mechanics due to retirement and attrition. The apprentice programs that fed the mechanic pipeline no longer exist and college grads don’t want to get their hands dirty.