Delta Will Resume Hiring Pilots in June
As travel demand continues to grow, Delta Air Lines has announced that it will resume hiring pilots in the coming months. The information comes from a staff memo written by John Laughter, Delta’s senior vice president and chief of operations, that details the airline’s plans.
CNBC reports that the carrier will start by adding 75 pilots who have conditional job offers in June through August. More pilots are expected to be added by September.
Other airlines have also made similar announcements in recent weeks, as leisure travel has given a boost to carriers around the country. United Airlines, American Airlines, JetBlue Airways and others have said they have resumed hiring or plan to do so later this year.
Airlines were planning on hiring hundreds of pilots early last year before the Covid-19 pandemic halted most travel. Carriers then started offering early retirement packages and temporary paid leave to pilots and other employees as they cut flights throughout most of 2020.
As travel bounces back, a pilot shortage could be looming. This was already a possibility, but it was exacerbated by the pandemic. A study performed by New York- and London-based consultancy Oliver Wyman shows that the it could affect the aviation industry as soon as 2023. The U.S. could be particularly affected by a pilot shortage as the country has an aging workforce facing mandatory retirement, fewer pilots exiting the military, and a high cost of training.