MIAMI – Great news for US-based pilots! Fort Worth-based American Airlines (AA) has started the process of hiring pilots again. The predicted rebound in travel demand for the Summer season has caused the airline to boost its crews in both cockpit and cabin. The airline expects to add 300 pilots in 2021 and even more in 2022.
Captain Chip Long, VP of Flight Ops, was very optimistic for his crews saying that the resumption of old routes and the addition of new destinations (both domestic and international) are all hopeful signs for the company of greater things to come. In addition, AA announced to be flying 90 percent of its 2019 summer schedule.
Travel amid Safety measures
Since the US announced the Center of Disease Control (CDC)’s requirement of a negative COVID test to (re)enter the country, predictions showed that (already weary) travelers would be hesitant to travel. It appears the contrary is true. AA experienced a rise in domestic and short haul international bookings as infection rates in many destinations have declined due to a huge roll out of vaccines.
Last year, around this time, AA was forced to send furlough notices to close to 15% of their pilot force, some pilots also opting for early voluntary retirement. This year, the outlook for all pilots wishing to fly for the airlines is great. Airlines such as AA, United Airlines (UA), Spirit Airlines (NK) and JetBlue (B6) are all either recalling or hiring again.
Featured image: American Airlines Boeing 777. Photo: Francesco Cecchetti