UPS requires over 300 pilots after winning US Postal Service contract from FedEx

UPS is looking to reduce its pilot headcount by offering early retirement bonuses to its pilots
Catharine Pierce /

United Parcel Service (UPS) needs to recruit more than 300 more pilots after signing a contract with the United States Postal Service (USPS) to become its new primary air cargo provider.   

UPS was announced as the USPS’ new main partner on April 1, 2024, after FedEx lost out despite being the primary air cargo provider for over 20 years.  

Industry publication Freight Waves reported that the new USPS contract will increase demand on UPS and new pilots are needed to manage the surge in work volume.    

The Independent Pilots Association, which represents around 3,200 pilots at UPS, told Freight Waves that the human resources team at the parcel firm is currently recruiting.  

“The Independent Pilots Association Executive Board was informed that UPS HR is resuming their pilot hiring process to account for the additional volume surge that will occur as the year progresses,” the union said in a statement. 

It added: “The initial projected estimate for hiring is expected to be 300+ additional crew members, which is subject to adjustment once the network plan for the additional USPS volume is finalized.” 

In 2023, UPS offered some of its pilots early retirement buyouts in response to falling demand for air cargo services. 

Aero Crew News claimed that the company was offering early retirement severance to 157 Captains and 10 First Officers with a lump sum of $357,000. 

UPS’ new contact with the USPS is scheduled to begin on September 30, 2024, for a five-and-a-half-year minimum base term.  

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