CHICAGO, Illinois: United Airlines has announced that it needs to hire an additional 300 pilots, as the traveling public returns to the skies.
Officials said the surge in demand reflected increased optimism due to the number of Americans being vaccinated.
Beginning in September last year, nearly 1,000 United pilots retired or participated in voluntary leave programs, though United said, "the number of new pilots needed will be dependent on our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic."
Speaking at an aviation summit last week, United Chief Executive Scott Kirby said domestic leisure demand "has almost entirely recovered."
Similarly, Spirit Airlines plans to begin hiring both pilots, as well as flight attendants, in anticipation of increased travel demand.
"We'll be a big hirer again," CEO Ted Christie said, as reported by CNBC. "Growth in the airline industry is going to be at the leisure end, and we're the primary server of that guest."
The airline is also calling back workers who took voluntary leaves of absence, allowing staff to avoid involuntary furloughs of unionized workers, who make up the bulk of its staff.