American Airlines plans to hire 300 pilots in 2021 and 600 in 2022, the latest sign of a recovery in air travel. It also plans to recall all furloughed pilots back to active status by the end of the summer. "The return to flying of so many of our pilots and the addition of hundreds more, the resumption of many old routes, and the introduction of new destinations are hopeful signs," said the airline's Capt. Chip Long, vice president of operations.
Alaska Airlines has outlined a plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, and reduce other environmental impacts, including deploying more efficient aircraft, investing in sustainable aviation fuel and exploring innovative propulsion methods. Alaska has signed onto Amazon's Climate Pledge and included emission reduction targets as incentives for employees and executives.
Delta Air Lines will begin flying between Portland, Ore., and Seoul, South Korea, on Sept. 9, with three weekly round trips. "When you think about China and Japan and many of the other Pacific markets, the one market that we will be spending a lot of time trying to support is Korea with our partner at Korean," CEO Ed Bastian said.
Cargo revenue, up by 74% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to 2019, continues to be a bright spot for United Airlines, as executives acknowledge a full recovery won't occur until business travel rebounds. "We've shifted our focus to the next milestone on the horizon and now see a clear path to profitability," said CEO Scott Kirby, citing "strong evidence of pent-up demand for air travel and our continued ability to nimbly match it."
Willie Walsh, the new director general of the International Air Transport Association, says the aviation industry is equipped to meet the challenge of cutting carbon emissions, citing airlines' ongoing investment in sustainability even amid the business challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Airport Dimensions reports that its airport lounges have seen steady increases in business since the end of February. Lounges at US airports have seen a particularly large uptick, with Dallas and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport up to two-thirds of pre-pandemic visitor counts.