American Airlines joins race for pilots, set to add 1,350 flight crew by 2022

Following the release of American Airlines’ (A1G) (AAL) 2021 second-quarter financial report, the carrier revealed its intent on adding 1,350 pilots by the year 2022.   

Prior to the report, American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) reported having asked over 3,300 employees to return from leave to aid in fortifying its staffing requirements. Additionally, the US-based carrier hired nearly 3,500 new employees in 2021 and plans to hire 350 pilots by the end of 2021 and over 1,000 pilots and 800 flight attendants in 2022.

“We have taken a number of steps to solidify our business through our Green Flag Plan and it shows in our second-quarter results,” said American’s Chairman and CEO Doug Parker. “We have reshaped our network, simplified our fleet and made our cost structure more efficient, all to create an airline that will outperform competitors and deliver for customers.” 

In August 2020, the airline sent out furlough notifications to over 17,000 employees. This included 1,600 pilots and 8,000 flight attendants. The furlough schemes were part of cost-saving measures in response to the pandemic. However, as travel rebounded in 2021, tied with the US opening up its borders, the carrier recorded labor shortages in June 2021. The airlines announced that it would cut its July 2021 operational capacity by 1% ahead of its 2021 summer schedule after having cancelled hundreds of flights.

The airline however is confident that it will fly over 90% of its domestic seat capacity and 80% of its international seat capacity for the summer of 2021, in comparison to its 2019 performance. According to the airline, it operates over 150 new routes for its summer schedule.

American Airlines (A1G) (AAL) recruitment announcement places the carrier in the global race to restore pilot capacity following increased discussions over looming pilot shortages and previous shortsighted layoffs. This includes the US and EU-based airlines such as United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Ryanair who have all revealed plans to restore their pilots workforce.

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