US AIRLINES HIRED more than 8,000 new pilots in 1994, up by 55% over 1993, says Aviation Information Resources (AIR). The Atlanta, Georgia-based consultancy forecasts that US carriers will recruit more than 9,000 new pilots in 1995.

AIR says that the 201 US airlines it monitors hired 8,044 pilots in 1994, up from 5,187 in 1993. The company estimates that major carriers could hire more than 2,000 pilots in 1995, up from 1,266 in 1994, led by United Airlines (600-800), Southwest Airlines (400), United Parcel Service (350), Northwest Airlines (145) and FedEx (150-plus).

Smaller and regional carriers are forecast to hire some 7,000 pilots in 1995.

The number of pilots on furlough increased slightly in 1994 to 2,220, out of more than 73,200 active airline pilots, AIR says. America West and Hawaiian Airlines are recalling pilots after emerging from Chapter 11, but American Airlines continues to lay off pilots, ending the year with 660 on furlough. Delta Air Lines and USAir, with 546 and 303 pilots on furlough respectively, have yet to begin recalls, AIR says.

Continental Airlines' president Gordon Bethune says that the grounding of the carrier's Airbus A300s will account for 4,000 job losses already planned. United Airlines is meanwhile hiring more than 1,000 flight attendants, specifying that they should speak a foreign language in use in the USA.

Source: Flight International