September 29, 2022

American Airlines Flight 718, the first commercial flight of the US Boeing 737 MAX since regulators lifted a 20-month primer in November, will take off from Miami, Florida, USA on December 29, 2020.

Marco Bello | Reuters

American Airlines plans to resume pilot hiring in the fall, the airline told pilots on Tuesday as a rebound in demand prompts airlines to reconsider their future staffing levels.

The coronvirus pandemic derailed plans to hire airlines last March as airlines scrambled to cut staff numbers to cut costs as demand for travel fell. American said last week that it plans to fly more than 90% of its domestic flight schedule for 2019 this summer.

Bookings have since recovered, led by travelers flying within the US, airlines recently reported.

United Airlines also plans to resume pilot hiring next month, while budget airline Spirit Airlines began training new pilots in March. JetBlue Airways also made plans to hire pilots later this year.

American plans to hire 300 new pilots by the end of the year and double that number by 2022, US vice president of aviation operations Chip Long wrote in a prestigious employee note by CNBC.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline has approximately 15,000 pilots, though hundreds have retired early or will no longer fly in the years to come by age 65, the federal retirement age for airline pilots.

International corporate and long haul demand remains weak as travel restrictions persist and large carriers continue to lose money. United reported a $ 1.4 billion loss in the first quarter on Monday, while Delta Air Lines said last week it lost nearly $ 1.2 billion in the first three months of the year.

American will detail its demand and hiring outlook when it releases quarterly results the Thursday before the market opens.