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Wed, Mar 13, 2024

United to Pause Hiring, Too

Boeing's Failed Delivery Schedule Continues to Impact Wider Industry

United Airlines will similarly pause pilot hiring like its Boeing-family companion Southwest, citing the continued delivery delays from the manufacturer.

United won't be expanding its fleet as planned, leaving it with a large, swollen pilot base following its hiring bonanza in 2021 and beyond. Now that the industry has filled up a lot of seats, carriers feel they have enough personnel to weather through the rest of the year, even accounting for attrition. United Airlines' VP of flight operations Mar Champion said that new hire classes would be paused in May and June, possibly to resume sometime in July.

“As you know, United has hundreds of new planes on order and while we remain on a path to be the fastest growing airline in the industry,” said Champion. "We just won’t grow as fast as we thought we would in 2024 due to continued delays at Boeing. For example, we had contractual deliveries for 80 MAX 10s this year alone – but those aircraft aren’t even certified yet and it’s impossible to know when they will arrive.”

The carrier was originally expecting to take delivery of 43 new Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 34 Max 9s, but will ultimately only see a fraction of those deliveries this year. Worse still, the expanded capacity MAX 10 remains in limbo, now years behind schedule as it awaits type certification from the FAA. With the recent Alaska Airlines door plug debacle, it's extremely unlikely the carrier will see any MAX 10's any time soon. CEO Scott Kirby basically admits that their plans will see them soldier onwards without any of the type. 

FMI: www.united.com

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