US carriers Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines are recalling hundreds of pilots as consumer confidence grows and travel demand slowly recovers.

Delta has recalled 1,713 pilots on 1 April after cancelling approximately 100 flights due to staff shortage.

In a memo with employees shared last week, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said that its outlook for the spring and summer travel season continued to improve.

A company internal research has found that 64% of Delta customers expect to receive at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by 1 May.

In order to meet the requirements of its consumers and boost confidence in travel, the airline is also launching several changes to its service such as loyalty rewards, digital tools, extra seats to more destinations, and onboard refreshment options.

Meanwhile, Southwest revealed that its 209 pilots will return from voluntary leave by 1 June.

Last month, Alaska Airlines recalled more than 400 pilots from leaves of absence.

In addition, United Airlines notified its staff that it will be hiring 300 new pilots next month as part of its preparation for recovery.

United flight operation senior vice-president Bryan Quigley was quoted by CNBC as saying: “With vaccination rates increasing and travel demand trending upwards, I’m excited to share that United will resume the pilot hiring process that was halted last year. We’ll start with the approximately 300 pilots who either had a new hire class date that was cancelled, or who had a 2020 conditional job offer.”

Furthermore, American Airlines expects to return most of its fleet back in service in the second quarter.