(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Social distancing sign is displayed at a check-in area for Southwest Airlines Co. at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on an unusually empty Memorial Day weekend during the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Los Angeles
(Reuters) -Southwest Airlines has recalled 209 pilots from a voluntary extended leave program to support its summer schedule, the company said on Monday, as airlines prepare for a recovery in demand as more Americans receive COVID-19 vaccines.
The pilots will return to active status on June 1 and will then complete all of the necessary requalification training requirements before they fly with passengers.
United Airlines, which reached a deal with its union to keep pilots active throughout the downturn, said last week it was preparing to hire about 300 pilots as travel demand rebounds.
Low-cost airlines have also recalled pilots and are hiring again.
Southwest recalls 209 pilots as travel demand recovers
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