Delta Increases Number of Intended Flight Attendant Hires

Delta Air Lines on Tuesday said it intends to increase the amount of flight attendant hires between now and the summer of 2022.

The Atlanta-based carrier had an original goal of hiring 1,500 new crew members, a response to the unexpected speed in which air travel has rebounded since the pandemic began in the spring of 2020, forcing many airlines to trim staff.

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Delta and other airlines have been racing to fill positions from ramp workers to flight attendants to customer service agents, according to CNBC.

At the height of the pandemic last year, airline CEOs urged thousands of employees to take unpaid or partially paid leaves of absence, or early retirement packages, to cut labor costs. This was despite getting grants and loans from the federal government as part of the Payroll Protection Program.

CNBC noted that about 4,000 Delta flight attendants accepted voluntary separation packages.

Now airlines, like many U.S. businesses, are facing staffing shortages – to the point where Southwest, for instance, is offering its staff referral incentives worth $300 as it struggles to fill open jobs.

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