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American Airlines to hire 1,350 pilots within 18 months

written by Isabella Richards | July 26, 2021

An American Airlines A321 on approach ot LAX. (John Walton)

American Airlines is set to hire 1,350 pilots by the end of 2022, as travel demand continues to surge.

It comes after the carrier reported a number of occasions of labour shortages, which severely impacted flights last month.

In a staff memo from the airline’s vice president of flight, Chip Long, the company said it will hire 450 more pilots than previously forecasted.

The airline originally planned to hire 300 pilots by the end of 2021, and 600 throughout next year.

However, now, American will hire 350 new pilots throughout 2021, and 1,000 by the end of 2022.

“Though we were limited in pilot growth this past year, we are now moving full speed ahead with plans to continue recruiting, hiring and training the best and most diverse pilots in the business,” Long said.

“Beyond our more immediate recovery efforts, our attention is also on our long-term future, building American to thrive forever and our pilots are key to that.”


Late last month, a slew of cancelled flights occurred as the company struggled to meet increased demand for air travel.

American cancelled roughly 6 per cent of flights over a weekend per day, roughly 180 flights being cut from the schedule.

The airline cited poor weather and “labour shortages” off the back of an “incredibly quick ramp-up of customer demand” as its reasons.

This followed the furlough of almost 2,000 pilots who worked for American Airlines last year, as the airline reduced its flights per day due to border closures and restrictions.

Now, as travel begins to restore, the company is in a stronger financial position, especially as it reported a US$19 million profit in its second quarter results.

Revenue jumped 87 per cent from American’s first-quarter results, and was nearly six times what it brought in over Q2 2020.

The carrier’s chief executive Doug Parker said he has seen a “quick and dramatic increase in bookings” in line with easing restrictions that continues to trend upwards.

According to Adobe Digital Insights, passengers spent US$6 billion on flights in the US in June, a 17 per cent increase from May and only 5 per cent lower than pre-pandemic volumes.

In light of the imminent hiring, Long asked fellow pilots to assist the new employees in training.

“Nobody knows better what it takes to be an American Airlines pilot than the best aviators in the world,” he said.

Other airlines in the US are also bringing on new pilots as demand bounces back.

United Airlines announced it will train over 5,000 pilots by 2030, with at least 50 per cent being women or people of colour.

The carrier also announced it would hire more employees overall, focusing on city hubs.

The jobs will primarily focus on hiring 5,000 employees in hubs such as Newark and New Jersey, around 4,000 positions in San Francisco, and 3,000 each in Washington Dulles, Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles.

Delta announced recently the airline is set to hire over 1,000 pilots by next summer preparing for the wave of travellers during holidays.

American Airlines to hire 1,350 pilots within 18 months Comment

  • Muskan Khadka


    What about cabin crew and flight attendant?

Comments are closed.


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