Delta is hiring 12,000 through 2020 as airline expands operations, CEO says

By Leslie Josephs / CNBC

Delta Air Lines is expanding its workforce this year and next by 12,000 as the airline expands its operations.

“We’re hiring pilots, we’re hiring flight attendants, we’re hiring ground staff. We’re hiring in all categories of the company,” CEO Ed Bastian said in an interview Thursday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “We’re the process of hiring 6,000 people this year and at least a like amount next year.”

The company’s third-quarter earnings, released before the markets opened, beat Wall Street estimates on strong demand from leisure and corporate travelers.

Delta doesn’t fly the Boeing 737 Max, which has been grounded since March after the second of two fatal crashes. As a result, it picked up passengers from other carriers hamstrung by the plane’s grounding. Bastian said he expects to hold onto market-share gains it made in the period.

“I do expect the share gains to be held,” he said.

The airline’s executives will hold a call to discuss the results at 10 a.m. ET.

Featured Photo: Nicolas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Images