MIAMI – Alaska Airlines (AS) has taken steps to recall over 900 pilots who took an extended leave at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The extended leave, The Seattle Times reported on Friday, was designed to protect pilots from furloughs with pilots receiving pay “at about 60% of normal wages and full benefits.”

The airline, in addition to inking a recent codeshare agreement with Qatar Airways (QR), is also gearing up for the arrival of Boeing 737-9s and a strong winter presence in Mexico.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900ER. Photo: Brandon Farris / Airways

An Aggressive Recovery

With the recall of pilots from the extended leave, AS has also welcomed a class of new-hire pilots, according to The Seattle Times.

The outlet reported that in an internal memo, Captain John Ladner, vice president of flight operations at AS, said “We are growing our airline back from the deep cuts we made in 2020.”

With old pilots returning and new hires joining the team, it is safe to say that the training centers at AS will be relatively busy in the coming weeks.

Featured image: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Aircraft. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways