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United Aims to Hire 300 Pilots as Air Travel Rebounds

United Airlines plans to hire 300 pilots in the strongest sign yet that air travel is rebounding as more people get COVID-19 shots, Crain’s Chicago Business reported Thursday.

The airline is ramping up its schedule, reinstating more flights from O’Hare Airport in hopes of capturing pent-up demand for leisure trips. As a case in point, it resumed flights to JFK International Airport in New York earlier this week.

“Domestic leisure demand has almost entirely recovered,” United CEO Scott Kirby said at an aviation summit Wednesday “It tells you something about that pent-up desire to travel, the pent-up desire to remake those connections.”

Kirby added, though, “business demand is still down over 80%, and, of course, international borders, particularly long-haul, are still closed. So those are huge chunks of our business that are still almost at zero, but it’s really nice to see that recovery.”


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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 13-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 15-20 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).