United Airlines Urges Pilots to Take Unpaid Leave Amid Boeing's Production Woes Affecting Aircraft Deliveries

By John Lopez

Apr 01, 2024 04:02 PM EDT

United Airlines has asked its pilots to take unpaid time off next month due to Boeing's manufacturing delays, which are impacting the airline's aircraft deliveries. This move comes as part of efforts to manage reduced forecasted block hours for 2024.

United Asks Pilots to Take Unpaid Time Off

The pilots' union at United cited delayed Boeing deliveries as the reason for the unpaid leave request. The impact extends beyond specific aircraft models, affecting various fleets within the airline.

"Due to recent changes to our Boeing deliveries, the remaining 2024 forecast block hours for United have been significantly reduced," the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association stated in a note to members.

CNBC tells us that United had previously announced a pause in pilot hiring due to delays in aircraft arrivals from Boeing. The airline anticipates offering more unpaid time off for the summer and potentially into the fall bid periods.

Boeing's Production Issues Impacting Airlines

Boeing's 737 Max 10 model, expected to be delivered to United, faces certification delays by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), adding to uncertainties in delivery forecasts. This uncertainty has prompted United to revise its expectations for aircraft deliveries in 2024.

CEO Scott Kirby of United Airlines has expressed frustration over production problems and delivery delays at Boeing, echoing sentiments from other airline leaders facing similar challenges.

In response to regulatory scrutiny and quality issues, Boeing has announced a significant leadership shake-up, including the departure of CEO Dave Calhoun at the end of the year.

United Airlines And Air Travel
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - SEPTEMBER 17: A United Airlines plane lands at Newark Liberty International Airport in front of the New York skyline on September 17, 2023 in Newark, New Jersey.
(Photo : Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

READ MORE: Alaska Airlines Passengers in Boeing's Door Plug Blowout Incident Could be Crime Victims, FBI Says

The impact of Boeing's manufacturing woes is not limited to United Airlines; other carriers, such as Southwest Airlines and Alaska Airlines, have also been affected, with adjustments to financial guidance and hiring pauses.

Despite these setbacks, United Airlines remains committed to managing its growth plans, albeit at a slower pace than initially anticipated for 2024.

READ NEXT: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun Is Stepping Down From The Company Amid 737 Max Crisis

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