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Southwest recalls another 382 pilots ahead of summer travel

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A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft is pictured in front of United Airlines planes, including Boeing 737 MAX 9 models, at William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, Texas, U.S., March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

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April 15 (Reuters) - Southwest Airlines (LUV.N) said on Thursday it would recall another 382 pilots from a voluntary leave program as airlines prepare for a vaccine-led recovery in travel demand in the summer.

The COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying travel restrictions have hammered the aviation sector, but the mass rollout of vaccines is expected to drive a recovery this year.

Southwest said in a statement that the pilots would return to active status on July 1.

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The low-cost airline said earlier this month it would recall 209 pilots and over 2,700 flight attendants from June 1 to support its summer schedule. (https://reut.rs/3tnSPUW)

With the latest move, all Southwest captains would have returned from the airline’s voluntary leave program.

However, about 500 first officers are still participating in the program, the airline said.

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Reporting by Shreyasee Raj; Editing by Aditya Soni

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