Delta Air Lines estimates hiring 500 mechanics this year. The company says it is on track to double the size of its TechOps business in the next five years, from $1 billion to $2 billion in revenue. It is likely that most of these positions will be at the company’s Atlanta, Georgia hub.
The airline says it has targeted maintenance business growth by expanding facilities, building a new engine shop and a huge engine test cell. Delta TechOps also expanded collaborations such as becoming an authorized Rolls-Royce engine maintenance center. “These are investments in Delta’s future,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian says, noting that the new state-of-the-art test cell is the first built in the U.S. in more than 20 years.
Delta says it hopes to combat the deepening shortage of mechanics by offering top wages and flight benefits to its aircraft mechanics. This month CEO Bastian said their mechanics can make a salary of “up to” $100,000 a year. The company is also trying to appeal to a younger generation of A&P mechanics by offering ping pong tables and foosball in break rooms.
Delta says more than 30 percent of their mechanics are forecast to retire over the next decade. Delta is working with the services, regional airlines and schools that train mechanics to get their A&P certificate to find the next generation of mechanics.