United Airlines’ Pilots Welcome Recall of Up to 200 Furloughed Pilots

United Airlines has announced that it will be recalling 100-200 of its pilots that are presently on furlough. Recalls will be taking place over the next year. United currently has around 1,400 pilots on furlough and expects to make the recall offer shortly. The recalled pilots will actually be flying for Continental as the two airlines continue to merge their operations.

“When a furloughed United pilot returns to our cockpits, whether United or subsidiary Continental, it is welcome news,” said United MEC Chairman Captain Wendy Morse. “No pilots have paid a higher price for the recent shocks to the aviation industry than the 1,437 United pilots who have been on furlough.”

Training could begin as early as late September. While these pilots will be hired to staff Continental aircraft, they will retain seniority rights in position on the United pilot seniority list. The seniority lists of both carriers will only be merged after the completion of a Joint Collective Bargaining Agreement allowing United to recognize the benefits of finally completing the merger.

The recall affects approximately 10 to 13% of the 1,437 furloughed United Pilots still sitting out, but it’s a start in the right direction. Other airlines such as Delta and American had already been recalling their pilots and have many less left on furloughs.