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United asks pilots to take unpaid time off, citing Boeing’s delayed aircraft

United Airlinesis asking pilots to take unpaid time off next month, citing late-arriving aircraft from Boeing, according to a note sent to pilots.

It’s another example of how Boeing’s customers say the manufacturer’s production problems and safety crisis are impacting their growth plans. The offer comes after United and other airlines in recent years have clamored for more pilots when the Covid-19 pandemic travel slump ended and demand surged.

“Due to recent changes to our Boeing deliveries, the remaining 2024 forecast block hours for United have been significantly reduced,” the United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association, the pilots’ union, said in a note to members Friday. “While the delivery issues surround our 787 and 737 fleets, the impact will affect other fleets as well.”

United confirmed the request for voluntary, unpaid time off. The airline previously said it would pause pilot hiring this spring because of aircraft arriving late from Boeing, CNBC reported last month.

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