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Delta Air Lines is doubling the number of flight attendants it plans to hire ahead of the 2022 summer season, even as the delta variant of the coronavirus threatens the industry's path to recovery.
The Atlanta-based carrier announced Monday that it is hiring 1,500 safety and service-oriented professionals that will join the 2021-2022 flight attendant class.
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This is in addition to another 1,500 roles that the carrier is currently filling for candidates that already made it through hiring processes prior to the coronavirus pandemic.
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Its hope is to have 3,000 new flight attendants for "summer 2022 flying and beyond," the carrier said.
Earlier this summer, the airline noted that it was scrambling to meet the demand of travelers who flooded back to airports nationwide as vaccination rates rose.
The recovery in travel was faster than many expected, even for Delta which had asked employees to take unpaid leaves of absence in 2020 to help it withstand the travel slump.
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"We are now in active recovery of our business, and the challenges of getting our airline fully back to the service level our customers expect and deserve is daunting in light of the huge surge in demand that we are experiencing," Delta CEO Ed Bastian told investors during the company's second-quarter earnings call in July.