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September 30, 2013

American plans to hire 1,500 new pilots over the next five years

American Airlines said on Monday it will begin the recruiting process to hire 1,500 new pilots over the next five years.

The Fort Worth-based carrier had previously announced in fall 2012 that it planned to recall and hire 2,500 pilots in the next five years as more pilots reach the mandatory retirement age and the government introduces new pilot rest rules.

American said the job posting on its website for its first new-hire class will open on Tuesday, October 1.

"Today marks an important step toward a bright future at the new American," said American's vice president of flight, Capt. John Hale. "We’re providing our current pilots with the strongest career advancement and growth opportunities in more than a decade, while continuing to build a premier airline and world-class employer they can be proud to fly for throughout their careers."

American began recalling 650 furloughed pilots in January with the last furloughed pilot, who had been laid off in late 2001, returning to the carrier in May.

The carrier has close to 500 pilots who are over 60 and will need to retire within five years when they reach the Federal Aviation Administration's mandatory retirement age of 65. American has previously said it expected to create 1,500 pilots jobs and replaced 1,000 others lost through retirement and attrition.

New federal regulations requiring more rest time for pilots will also go into effect next year and will require airlines like American to have more pilots available to fly.

American said it plans to initially hire 45 to 50 pilots per month through next summer. Some of the pilots will be hired from American Eagle as part of an arbitration ruling made in 2010 that requires American to hire a certain number of Eagle pilots in each hiring class.

-Andrea Ahles

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