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American Airlines to recruit and hire 1,500 pilots over five years

September 30, 2013|By Hugo Martin
  • American Airlines announced Monday that it plans to recruit and hire 1,500 pilots over the next five years.
American Airlines announced Monday that it plans to recruit and hire 1,500… (Joe Raedle / Getty Images )

Although American Airlines' parent company is still in bankruptcy and a merger with US Airways is on hold, the Fort Worth-based airline is moving forward with plans to grow.

American Airlines announced Monday that it plans to recruit and hire 1,500 pilots over the next five years, with the job openings to be posted Oct. 1.

The new pilots are in addition to the 1,500 new flight attendants and 1,200 agents the airline has begun to recruit this year. (Interested candidates are encouraged to visit aacareers.com.)

Some of the new pilots will be needed to fly the more than 500 new planes ordered by the airline in 2011, shortly before its parent company, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy.

Some of the recruits will replace pilots who are retiring, and others are needed to meet staffing requirements under new rules imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration to give pilots more rest between shifts.

The airline said that it plans to initially hire about 45 to 50 pilots a month through the summer of 2014.

"American takes great pride in the exceptional quality of our pilots, and we’re excited to continue building our team through this selective hiring and recruitment process," said John Hale, American's vice president for flights.

Even with the additional pilots and flight attendants, American will fall short of returning to the staff total the airline reached just over two years ago.

The U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports that American Airlines employed 66,400 full-time equivalent workers in April, 2011. Two years later, the airline employs the equivalent of 59,047 workers, according to the federal agency.

A plan to merge American Airlines and US Airways has been challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice, with a trial scheduled to begin Nov. 25.

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