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United expected to hire 25,000 new employees by 2026

written by Isabella Richards | June 30, 2021
A file image of a United Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 9. (Wikimedia Commons/Konstantin von Wedelstaedt).

United Airlines has announced it is expecting to hire 25,000 new union workers by 2026, just one day after the airline confirmed its largest jet order in history.

In a memo confirmed by CNBC, United Airlines will begin hiring these workers in the coming years, focusing on major city hubs.

The jobs will primarily focus on hiring 5,000 employees in hubs such as Newark and New Jersey, around 4,000 positions in San Francisco, and 3,000 each in Washington Dulles, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles.

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United Airlines employs 92,000 workers overall, with about 68,000 unionised workers, equating to 89 per cent of its total workforce, according to the company.

This new hiring spree will contribute an additional 36 per cent increase in United’s employee count.

The airline estimates every new direct airline job will facilitate two indirect jobs, including manufacturers, management and retail.

Just yesterday it was confirmed that United Airlines has placed a mammoth order of 270 narrow-bodied jets, spread across both Boeing and Airbus, in a deal worth over US$30 billion.

Both Boeing and Airbus have confirmed the new orders, which marks the largest aircraft order in the airline’s history.

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The deal is confirmed to include a total of 70 Airbus A321neo aircraft, as well as 200 Boeing 737 MAX jets.

The Boeing order includes 150 of the not-yet-certified 737-10, the largest variant of the MAX family, as well as 50 classic 737-8 jets.

“Our ‘United Next’ vision will revolutionise the experience of flying United as we accelerate our business to meet a resurgence in air travel,” said United CEO Scott Kirby.

With this monumental jet order, a hiring strategy such as this will position United to take on its growing fleet, despite losing ground in market share over the past few years.

United announced on Monday that the airline had also seen its first single day of profitability since its 18-month streak of major losses and cash burn. The company saw a financial loss of over US$7 billion during 2020.

The airline lost thousands of workers during the pandemic, who were either fired, or furloughed. United received over US$54 billion in COVID-19 relief, along with other carriers in exchange for avoiding these types of cuts.

According to a study released last year from the Federal Aviation Administration and United, the new aircraft is estimated to reel in over US$30 billion from customers yearly, overall contributing to around US$50 billion to the US economy.

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