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American Airlines says it will resume hiring pilots this fall as travel demand recovers


American Airlines flight 718, the first U.S. Boeing 737 MAX commercial flight since regulators lifted a 20-month grounding in November, takes off from Miami, Florida, U.S. December 29, 2020.

Marco Bello | Reuters

American Airlines plans to resume hiring pilots this fall, the carrier told aviators on Tuesday, as a rebound in demand prompts airlines to rethinking their future staffing.

Rival United Airlines also plans to restart pilot hiring next month.

American plans to start by hiring 300 new pilots by the end of the year and plans to double that number in 2022, said Chip Long, American’s vice president of flight operations, wrote in a staff note viewed by CNBC.

The Fort Worth-based carrier has about 15,000 pilots though hundreds have taken early retirement or are scheduled to stop flying in the coming years as they turn 65, the federally-mandated retirement age for airline pilots.

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