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.