The hiring window is open at United Airlines as it ramps up for increased travel in the coming months, provided COVID cases continue to decline.
The airline said Monday it had hired 700 people for its Chicago-based operations and planned to add another 1,000. Spokeswoman Maddie King said she hoped to fill as many positions as possible at a job fair on Wednesday.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the United Center, 1901 W. Madison St. Jobs available include ground service employees, customer service agents, technicians, flight attendants and maintenance roles. business. O’Hare Airport is a hub for United.
The airline has significantly reduced services and executed several rounds of job cuts during the pandemic, but it has taken steps to prepare for an industry rebound. It bought 270 new Boeing and Airbus jets in what it called the largest purchase of any carrier in the past decade, and is also returning 52 grounded Boeing 777s back to service.
King said United is planning its biggest transatlantic service expansion this summer, with flights from Chicago to Zurich starting April 23 and Chicago to Milan starting May 6. Service to Reykjavik, Iceland is expected to start later, she said.
Domestically, the airline plans to add more than 10 cities to the 170 it currently serves from O’Hare, she said.
The job fair website touts airline perks, especially travel privileges. Employees can enjoy unlimited backlog travel and discounts to any United destination.
The airline said participants will be able to win 2 round-trip United Economy tickets to any domestic destination. Everyone who shows up will receive a 20% off voucher for a future United flight.
King said ramp workers can join right out of high school and get up to $90,000 a year in wages and benefits. Technicians can earn up to $140,000 and flight attendants up to $90,000 in salary and benefits, she said.
In its latest earnings report, United said it expected its flying capacity in the first quarter of 2022 to be down around 18% from the first quarter of 2019, before the pandemic. But the airline said it expected demand to gradually improve throughout the year.