United requests pilots to take unpaid time off

United Airlines Asks Pilots to Take Unpaid Time Off in May

United Airlines asked its pilots to take unpaid time off in May because of delays in Boeing’s new planes. Boeing has struggled in the production of its jets due to the additional scrutiny of the Federal Aviation Administration after the Alaska Airlines incident wherein a door panel blew off mid-flight. 

A United spokesperson said that the offer to its pilots is voluntary. Spokesperson Leslie Scott said, “Due to the recent delays in Boeing deliveries, our forecasted (flight hours) have been reduced and we are offering our pilots voluntary programs for the month of May to reduce excess staffing.” 

Request for Unpaid Time Off in the Summer and Fall 

The Associated Press obtained a note to pilots where United said that the airline is going to make similar requests for unpaid time off by summer and possibly even fall. The Air Line Pilots Association said that the airline is offering short-term unpaid time off but is not mandatory. 

United said that it doesn’t expect its ordered Boeing jets to arrive this year or even next year. A month ago, the airline announced that Boeing needs to deliver 191 planes for this year and another 127 next year. But with the problems that it encountered recently, Boeing is only expected to deliver 88 this year and 64 in 2025. However, Boeing did not comment about the delays. 

Almost all of the orders that won’t be delivered consist of the 737 Max planes. This includes the new and larger model. While United planned to fly 80 Max 10 jets in 2024, the FAA hasn’t certified the Max 10 yet. However, the Max 10’s approval is likely delayed. 

United Losing Money

United previously said that it expects losses in the first quarter of the year. That is because the Max 9s have been grounded for three weeks for inspections. 

Its CEO Scott Kirby has been one of the most vocal airline executives calling out Boeing for its problems. He even wants to meet with Boeing’s directors. 

Boeing announced last week that its CEO David Calhoun is expected to step down by the end of the year. 


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John Michael Jayme
John Michael Jayme is a Travel Analyst for The Jet Set. He writes about news and events affecting the travel industry.


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