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United Airlines offers pilots unpaid leave due to Boeing delivery setbacks

United Airlines is offering its pilots unpaid leave in response to a reduction in services due to Boeing aircraft delivery delays. 

According to CNBC, the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) wrote to pilot members working for United Airlines to advise them of the proposal. 

“Due to recent changes to our Boeing deliveries, the remaining 2024 forecast block hours for United have been significantly reduced,” ALPA said in a note to members on March 29, 2024. “While the delivery issues surround our 787 and 737 fleets, the impact will affect other fleets as well.” 

United pilots were asked if they wished to take unpaid leave in May 2024. However, ALPA said further time off may be offered “for the summer bid periods and potentially into the fall.” 

United Airlines is one Boeing’s largest customers and has been severely affected by the planemaker having to manage the fallout from the Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 plug door blowout.  

Since the aviation accident on January 5, 2024, Boeing has faced huge scrutiny from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to improve safety and must deliver a comprehensive plan to the FAA that addresses “systemic quality-control issues” at the company. 

Following the Alaska Airlines incident the FAA placed a restriction on the number of 737 aircraft that Boeing could produce each month.  

United CEO Scott Kirby has been one of the most vocal critics of Boeing in recent weeks and has instructed the planemaker to build more 737 MAX 9 aircraft for the carrier, rather than focus on the MAX 10. 

“We’ve asked Boeing to stop building Max 10s, which they’ve done, for us and start building Max 9s. It’s impossible to say when the Max 10 is going to get certified,” Kirby told a JPMorgan investor conference on March 12, 2024.  

United has an outstanding order for 277 Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft, plus another 200 options. 

“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,” United said in a statement regarding unpaid leave for pilots. 

The post United Airlines offers pilots unpaid leave due to Boeing delivery setbacks appeared first on AeroTime.

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