Frontier Airlines will put 600 new flight attendants through initial training this year as travel demand hit hard by the pandemic rapidly rebounds. The news from Denver-based airline followed an announcement by United Airlines that it intended to resume new hire pilot training as early as next month.
At the height of the pandemic, Frontier warned nearly a third of its workforce that they faced being involuntarily furloughed in the absence of federal aid. In the end, the low-cost airline avoided furloughing any staff by convincing enough workers to either leave the company or take an extended period of voluntary unpaid leave.
Expecting a slower and very gradual recovery, airlines have been caught off guard in recent weeks by the rapid growth in travel demand which is being driven by a highly successful vaccination program across the United States.
Piedmont Airlines, which operates American Eagle regional services, recently told some pilots that they would have to delay getting their vaccine shots in order to “maintain operational reliability” because of high travel demand, while United Airlines will end its Boeing 737MAX waiver as planes start to fill up.
American Airlines has reported new ticket sales hitting 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, while the average load factor on domestic services is reaching nearly 80 percent. Delta will unblock middle seats beginning May 1 in order to release more seats for sale.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its derided travel guidance saying that fully vaccinated people could now safely travel and did not have to quarantine before or after travel.
Traveler numbers were, however, already rising in spite of a CDC advisory to avoid travel. According to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), traveler numbers passing through U.S. airports have been over one million for the past 22 days in a row.
Frontier will start training new hire flight attendants who had their initial training courses delayed because of the pandemic. Some opportunities are also being made available to internal candidates before the airline hires externally.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.