UPDATE 1-American Airlines to ramp up pilot hiring -staff memo

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CHICAGO, July 21 (Reuters) - America Airlines is increasing the number of pilots it plans to hire this year and next as travel demand recovers and it positions the company for future growth, according to a staff memo reviewed by Reuters.

U.S. airlines have moved from warning of furloughs to advertising jobs in the span of months as the negative impact of the coronavirus pandemic on U.S. travel subsides.

“Though we were limited in pilot growth this past year, we are now moving full speed ahead with pans to continue recruiting, hiring and training the best and most diverse pilots in the business,” American’s vice president of flight operations Chip Long said in the memo.

American now expects to hire 350 pilots this year, up from 300, and more than 1,000 additional pilots next year, up from about 600 previously planned, Long said.

Last week, American said it had asked about 3,300 flight attendants on voluntary leave to return by the holiday travel season and would begin recruiting and hiring about 800 new flight attendants by March 2022.

Other airlines have also announced plans to recall staff and begin hiring as they reposition their operations to meet a rise in demand.

American said earlier this month that it could post a small profit when it releases second-quarter results on Thursday.

U.S. airline shares were sharply higher in late trading . (Reporting by Tracy Rucinski, Editing by Nick Zieminski)