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Delta to resume hiring pilots in June as travel demand recovers

A conductor talks on a mobile device near a Delta Air Lines gate at the Salt Lake City International Airport.

George Frey | Bloomberg | Getty Icons

Delta Air Lines said Wednesday it will resume hiring new pilots, following other carriers in preparing for approaching staffing as travel demand rebounds.

The Atlanta-based carrier will start by adding 75 pilots who have conditional job extends in June through August “and will likely increase the number of new pilots by September,” John Laughter, Delta’s chief vice president and chief of operations, wrote in a staff memo, which was seen by CNBC.

United Airlines, American Airlines, Essence Airlines and JetBlue Airways have resumed hiring pilots or plan to this year.

Airlines extended job offers to hundreds of guides last year but the the Covid-19 pandemic halted their training. Carriers then offered early retirement and fleeting partially paid leave to pilots and other employees to reduce head count as travel demand plunged.

Now hauliers are aiming to add new pilots as hundreds of their current aviators approach the federally mandated retirement age of 65.

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