Delta to rehire flight attendants to support growth

CHICAGO Fri Aug 20, 2010 3:54pm EDT

CHICAGO (Reuters) - Delta Air Lines (DAL.N) on Friday said it would begin recruiting furloughed flight attendants to support its growing international route network.

Speaking in a recorded message to employees, Chief Executive Richard Anderson said he did not know how many flight attendants the Atlanta-based airline would bring back.

But training is set to start in January with plans to have the employees in service by mid-2011, he said.

"We need a lot of folks with language skills," Anderson said.

The airline industry contracted in 2008 and 2009 amid volatile fuel prices and a global economic recession that drained travel demand. Carriers have slowly begun adding capacity.

A Delta spokeswoman said the carrier currently has about 700 flight attendants on voluntary furlough. All of those have been offered a chance to return, but many declined based on their location.

Shares of Delta were down 2.22 percent at $10.54 on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Kyle Peterson, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)

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