Delta Air Lines plans to restore 400 pilots to active flying duties by summer

ATLANTA (AP) — Delta Air Lines plans to return 400 pilots to regular flying duties by this summer in a sign that it expects travel to increase over the peak vacation season from current, low pandemic levels.

The airline’s senior vice president of flight operations, John Laughter, said in a memo that the airline is bringing back pilots to active flying “well ahead of when we originally estimated.”

The 400 are not new hires; through March, they are being paid with taxpayer money that Delta received as part of $15 billion in additional federal aid to the airline industry. Delta had threatened to furlough about 1,700 less-senior pilots last fall but backed down after their union agreed to concessions including reduced pay and removal from active flying.

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