A pilot looks at an aircraft after exiting a Delta Airlines flight at Ronald Reagan National Airport on July 22, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia.
Michael A. McCoy | Getty Images
Delta Air Lines announced Monday that it expects to hire more than 1,000 pilots by next summer, the latest move by an airline to meet a rebound in travel demand.
Delta announced in April that it would resume hiring in mid-year as bookings began to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, starting with about 75 pilots from June to August.
“This is exciting news for both pilots looking to join Delta and those of you who are already on the seniority list as it means career opportunities as we recover, planned retirement of pilots and the position for network expansion is taken into account, “said John Laughter, head of operations, said in a memo seen by CNBC.
The airline plans to further recover air traffic and avoid staffing problems. Delta canceled hundreds of flights over Thanksgiving and Christmas because not enough pilots were ready to fly.
American Airlines canceled more than 300 flights over the weekend due to staff shortages and other issues, and planned to cut its flight schedule by about 1% by mid-July to avoid disrupting operations.
Delta announced to pilots Monday that it would add 13 crew schedulers and one supervisor to answer calls and questions from pilots.
American, United Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and other airlines have resumed or plan to resume hiring pilots this year. The start of the pandemic halted hiring plans last year as airlines encouraged thousands of employees to take on takeovers, leave of absence, or other voluntary options.
Congress approved $ 54 billion in federal aid to airlines in exchange for employees not on voluntary leave.