Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines is hiring 225 flight attendants this fall, and plans to hire even more next year.
However, the company is not taking new applications. Delta chief executive Richard Anderson said in a message to employees that the new hires will come from the company’s existing pool of applicants. Late last year, Delta announced it was hiring up to 400 flight attendants, attracting 44,000 applicants and 6,000 employee referrals.
The new hires would be trained in the fall and start working by the end of the year, said Delta spokesman Trebor Banstetter.
The move comes in part because Delta is preparing to add to its fleet 88 Boeing 717s from rival AirTran Airways. Delta begins taking the 717s in September and will gradually add them to its fleet over the next few years to replace 50-seat regional jets.
The International Association of Machinists, as well as a partnership of the Association of Flight Attendants and the Transport Workers Union, are trying to organize campaigns among Delta flight attendants.
Several union efforts to organize Delta flight attendants over the last decade have failed.
Separately, Delta subsidiary Pinnacle Airlines is closing its Atlanta flight attendant base, following closures of its Atlanta pilot and maintenance bases earlier this year.