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United to Resume New Pilot Classes While Slowing Overall Hiring

While pilot hiring is set to resume, the company expects to hire fewer new employees overall than previously planned.

A United 737 MAX 9 aircraft (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

United Airlines has confirmed that it will be resuming new hire pilot classes in July, following a two-month pause. However, the airline also expects to hire fewer employees across the company in 2024 than originally planned per an Associated Press report.

United Resuming New Hire Pilot Classes

Back in March, United revealed that it would be pausing new pilot classes for the months of May and June in response to Boeing delivery delays. A month later, the airline also offered unpaid leave to its pilots, once again citing delayed deliveries of Boeing aircraft.

This week, United Executive Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations Kate Gebo confirmed that new pilot classes would resume in July. The news comes amid a slowdown in pilot hiring at major airlines in the United States, and shifting hiring trends in the industry more broadly.

Meanwhile, Boeing continues to be troubled by delivery delays following a January 5 door plug blowout as well as certification delays for its Boeing 737 MAX 7 and MAX 10 variants. Airlines have been forced to adjust their schedules as a result, and United has stated that it is working on plans for its fleet that do not include the 737 MAX 10.

Reduced Overall Hiring at United in 2024

Despite the resumption of pilot hiring, United expects to bring on fewer new employees across the company than expected this year. Gebo stated that the Chicago-based company expects to hire approximately 10,000 employees in 2024, compared to a previously planned 13,000 to 15,000 new employees. The airline once again cited Boeing delivery delays for the reduction in hiring.

The airline also revealed how competitive it can be to be hired at the airline. According to Gebo, United has received 260,000 job applications this year, including over 40,000 applications for 300 internship positions.

Andrew Chen


  • Andrew Chen

    Andrew is a lifelong lover of aviation and travel. He has flown all over the world and is fascinated by the workings of the air travel industry. As a private pilot and glider pilot who has worked with airlines, airports and other industry stakeholders, he is always excited to share his passion for aviation with others. In addition to being a writer, he also hosts Flying Smarter, an educational travel podcast that explores the complex world of air travel to help listeners become better-informed and savvier travelers.

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