Delta Air Lines had to cancel about 100 flights as it fell short of staff. The Airline has been ferrying over a million passengers in the past few days. This was the highest traffic it has experienced ever since the pandemic last year.
To deal with this sudden surge of air travellers, Delta has recalled its over 1,500 pilots. This means, airlines in the US expect air travel to pick up this summer. United Airlines Holdings Inc. is reportedly gearing to hire about 300 pilots, while Southwest Airlines is expecting its 209 pilots, who were on voluntary leave, to return to work by June.
With more people getting vaccinated, and demand for air travel steadily increasing, Delta has also decided to stop blocking the middle seats, starting next month, so that more passengers can be accommodated. However, on April 4 and 5, Delta had to open middle seats as an emergency measure to accommodate passengers when it had to cancel some flights, owing to lack of staff. Its pilots are still in the process of returning to active duty.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that domestic air travel in the US will recover to pre-pandemic levels by 2022.
The Airline Economic Analysis report by Oliver Wyman reveals that says that the nationwide vaccination initiative and other economic measures are expected to accelerate the recovery of air travel. It predicts that business and international travel will also be restored to normal by 2023.