United’s new blockbuster order for 270 new Airbus and Boeing aircraft comes with huge job growth. The carrier plans to hire 10,000 new pilots by the end of the decade and a total of 25,000 new employees by 2026. These will be spread out across United’s hubs, with Newark seeing the largest rise in workforce.
Earlier today, United announced a massive new order for 200 new Boeing 737 MAX jets and 70 Airbus A321neos. The decision sets a rapid fleet modernization for the American giant, one that will see new planes joining from 2022 onwards. However, the addition of these new aircraft is also good news for those looking to join the airline.
United expects to hire 10,000 new pilots before the end of the decade alone to support its expanding fleet. This would be a huge step for the battered aviation workforce, which has seen mass layoffs since last year. Moreover, it also reverses predictions that it would take years before solid demand for pilots and other jobs returned.
In a statement about the job increases, United ALPA Chair Captain Todd Insler said,
“This is exactly what we planned for when we reached our industry-leading pandemic recovery agreement last year and kept United pilots on the property, trained and ready to take advantage of the rapid recovery in passenger demand. With the strength of our network, fleet, and pilot compensation, we are sure United will remain the destination of choice for the most highly qualified airline pilots.”
However, it’s not only pilots who will see an increasing workforce at United. In total, the carrier plans to hire an impressive 25,000 new employees by 2026 across its network. These jobs will range from cabin crew to technicians to frontline customer service agents to dispatchers.
United is also emphasizing the degree of advancement available from these jobs, including reaching the highest pay scale and joining the airline’s management, as 1,500 frontline employees have in the last seven years alone.
The 25,000 new jobs will mostly be placed at United’s seven bases across the country. Newark will see up to 5,000 new jobs in the next five years, followed closely by San Francisco at 4,000 new jobs. Washington, Houston, Chicago, and Denver will all see up to 3,000 new jobs, offering opportunities across the country. Finally, Los Angeles will see up to 1,400 new jobs as a result of the expansion.
Considering international travel remains subdued, there is no news on hiring foreign pilots or crews. This will likely have to wait a while longer as travel restrictions remain in place and demand returns to anywhere near 2019 levels.
For the future
All of these moves by United signal confidence in the long-term outlook for the aviation industry. Indeed, the swift recovery of the domestic market is a huge boost for the airline and as pilot shortages threaten to return, United is planning far in advance to capitalize on the lows of the pandemic.