United pilots pressured to take unpaid leave after Boeing production delays

United Airlines is asking its pilots to take voluntary unpaid leave starting next month due to delays in aircraft deliveries — a side effect of Boeing‘s heightened safety concerns following a batch of manufacturing flaws.

“We can confirm that due to the recent delays in Boeing deliveries, our forecasted block hours for 2024 have been reduced and we are offering our pilots voluntary programs for the month of May to reduce excess staffing,” the company said in a statement.

Due to delays, pilots will not be able to fly as many hours, though the airline reportedly said it will not be cutting back on flights.  

The announcement comes after airlines faced a severe pilot shortage in the aftermath of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, leaving companies desperate to train and hire pilots. Now, Boeing’s continued string of production problems, which
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