United Requiring Employees To Get Vaccinated | Will Others Follow?
United Airlines Holdings Inc. will require its 67,000 U.S. employees to be vaccinated this fall, the first major airline to take this step as the Delta variant drives a nationwide increase in Covid-19 infections.
This clamor for work is being reflected around the world, as desperate pilots who’ve been grounded by the pandemic for more than a year mob recruiters for the few new flying jobs on the market in a last-ditch effort to save their aviation careers.
American Needs 1,350 Pilots by 2022 | Hiring Demands Ramping Up
Fort Worth-based American Airlines told employees Wednesday that it hopes to bring on 350 more new pilots this year, adding 50 new employees to its plan to hire 300 by the end of 2021. And in 2022, the company plans to hire 1,000 aviators, increasing from its previous projection to add 600 pilots.
Delta Air Lines Starts Rebuilding Fleet | Stark Contrast From United’s Strategy
Delta Air Lines has already started reactivating Boeing 717s and Boeing 767-300ERs as part of its fleet rebuild. These two fleets, which the carrier is viewing as very flexible, are signs of the carrier’s optimistic view of recovery.
In the second quarter, the airline grew its operating mainline fleet by 18 jets as it recovers from one of the worst years in history.
United vs. Delta | Completely Different Fleet Strategies
Delta Air Lines has significantly increased the average number of seats on its aircraft over the past 10 years, helping to limit costs and boost earnings.
Despite its upgauging program, Delta has a wide range of aircraft sizes in its fleet, including many large regional jets and small narrow-bodies.
American’s Schedule | Too Much For Available Crews
American Airlines has cancelled over 100 flights already today (June 19). The most common reason is ‘flight crew unavailable’. Many other flights show cancelled due to ‘operational decision’ which appears to be giving that flight’s pilots to another aircraft (in other words, also ‘flight crew unavailable’). In contrast, as of this writing United has cancelled eight flights today and Delta has cancelled two.
The Dallas-based carrier has been growing like a weed throughout the pandemic, and that trend continues with Thursday’s announcement of two new destinations, as well as a slew of new and returning routes.