2008, United Airlines sent out notices that it would
furlough 950 pilots or 15 percent of its pilots. This
was the biggest pilot layoff since the layoffs following
9-11. The layoffs continued through 2009 and the company
further reduced its fleet size. In a statement the
carrier promised the pilots that when conditions
improved they would be brought back onboard.
the summer of 2010, there were little over 1,400 United pilots
on furlough and by fall of that year United Airlines and
Continental Airlines merged. In 2011 the two carriers
received a single operating certificate from the FAA.
Attarian, United's senior vice president of Flight
Operations said today, "We look forward to welcoming
back our co-workers as we complete work to integrate all
of our pilots into a single work group. We are pleased
to have this group of talented aviators back on our
team. They are among the most experienced and most
accomplished in the industry."
Training classes for the recalled pilots will begin next
month and run through the end of the year. In total,
United has more than 12,000 pilots.
Airlines is now the world's largest airline in terms of
fleet size and number of destinations. United Airlines
and United Express operate an average of 5,341 flights a
day to more than 360 airports across six continents. In
2012, United and United Express carried more passenger
traffic than any other airline in the world and operated
nearly two million flights carrying 140 million
The United Master Executive Council (United MEC) of the Air
Line Pilots Association applauded United Airlines'
announcement of the recall of all furloughed United
pilots. Among the total pilots who were furloughed
(1,437), 342 have already been offered recall and
another 600 took positions with Continental. About 500
pilots are awaiting recall.
"We welcome our brother and sister pilots back with open
arms," said Captain Jay Heppner, chairman of the United
MEC. "We have worked toward this day for more than five
years. The recall of these pilots offers further proof
that we stand at a new beginning for this pilot group,
now 12,216-pilot strong. I am secure in the knowledge
that our furloughed pilots will be returning to a much
better contract and to an airline with a brighter and
more confident future. Now, all United pilots, together,
can meet the challenges of our future as we build the
world's best airline."
United is investing in upgrading its onboard products
and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins
and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any
airline in North America. In 2013, United became the
first U.S.-based international carrier to offer
satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The
airline also features DIRECTV on 200 aircraft, offering
customers more live television access than any other
airline in the world.
operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has made
large-scale investments in its fleet. In 2013, United
will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery
of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company
expanded its industry-leading global route network in
2012, launching nine new international and 18 new