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American Airlines says it plans to cease pilot hiring for the remainder of 2024.

In a memo to conditionally hired pilots on Thursday, the airline said all new hire classes would be paused through the end of the year as it evaluates ‘commercial and talent needs.’

The Fort Worth-based carrier joins a growing list of major airlines pumping the brakes on recruitment after a record-setting period of pilot hiring. Both Delta and United have substantially scaled back their pilot hiring outlooks this year. Southwest stopped hiring new aviators altogether.

In an April briefing, American Arilines vice president of flight operations Russ Moore initially said the carrier would only pause hiring during peak summer and winter holiday months. Moore added that it plans to hire roughly 1,000 fewer new aviators this year.

“In fact, we hired and trained more pilots in 2023 than we have in the history of this airline, and we did it efficiently enough that we were actually a bit ahead of where we needed to be for the summer of 2024,” Moore said during the briefing. “This allowed us to transition from a ‘hire and train as many as you can’ approach to a more traditional approach, which in and of itself reduced our hiring targets for 2024.”

Among the reasons for the hiring slowdown are aircraft delivery delays at Boeing, Moore said. American is currently awaiting the delivery of 787-9 Dreamliner and 737 Max jets from the embattled manufacturer.

“As part of our previously announced capacity adjustments, we are temporarily pausing new pilot class start dates for September, October and November, American said in a statement Thursday night. “This decision allows us to optimize our capacity and tailor our talent growth plans to best serve the current needs of our airline.”

Last year, American hired around 2,300 pilots, according to data from FAPA. Even with the pause, Moore noted that up to 850 of the airline’s pilots retire annually over the next five years.

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared on

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