American growth plan includes new pilots

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American Airlines has outlined plans to hire or recall up to 2,500 pilots during the next five years as part of its strategy to grow 20% by 2017.

The pilots are needed to fly the about 550 aircraft that the airline has on order, according to an employee letter by captain John Hale, vice president of flight at American.

American has orders for the Airbus A319, A321, A320 neo series as well as the Boeing 737-800, 777-300ER and 787-9.

The Fort Worth-based carrier will still furlough about 400 pilots under its existing term sheet this year, says Hale. The airline is currently operating under chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection.

"The sacrifices we make today will secure our opportunities for tomorrow," says Hale to employees.

American is currently in court-mediated talks with the Allied Pilots Association, which represents its pilots. The US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York is scheduled to rule on the airline's section 1113 request to reject its labour contracts on 22 June.