Many airplanes have been sitting idle since the pandemic started, but now airlines are pulling them from storage as they prepare for a spike in summer travel.
The latest data shows airline travel closing in on a recovery.
Industry groups say flights are 75 percent full, up from 60-percent just last month.
American Airlines says all of its planes will be flying again by the end of the month — no easy task.
Roger Steele of American Airlines said, “In many ways, we touch the aircraft — actually have more maintenance requirements on the aircraft that has been in storage or is in storage than we do if the aircraft is out actively flying.”
United airlines said it will hire new pilots for the first time in more than a year while thousands of existing pilots will be coming back from pandemic time off.
American Airlines says its pilots will be thoroughly re-checked in classrooms and simulators before coming back on the job.