American Airlines announced Tuesday that it's recalling all of its pilots back to work and will resume hiring pilots this fall as demand for the once-lucrative industry continues to pick up.
All recalled pilots will return to "flying status" by the end of the summer, Vice President of Flight Operations Chip Long said in a memo obtained by FOX Business.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier also intends to hire approximately 300 new pilots by the end of the year. In 2022, American plans to double that number.
"Recruiting, hiring and training a diverse group of professional aviators is our continued goal and will play an essential part in ensuring the success of our airline for years to come," Long said.
The return of its pilots and resumption of hiring efforts comes as the airline restores service to more than 15 markets served before the coronavirus pandemic.
This includes Hilton Head, S.C.; Traverse City, Mich.; and Asheville, N.C.
These are "hopeful signs" of a brighter future for the airline, Long says.
Recently, airports throughout the country have seen an increase in traffic, offering a bit of relief for the industry.
Since March 11, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has processed more than a million travelers each day, far surpassing the lows of last April when passenger volumes were down 96%. It was a level not seen since the 1950s, according to Airlines for America, the industry trade group representing major U.S. carriers.
Prior to the pandemic, "airlines were transporting a record 2.5 million passengers and 58,000 tons of cargo each day," the group said.
Air travel has still spiked a few times — mostly around holidays – during the pandemic.
The recent resurgence in passengers is likely from a combination of spring break travel and more people becoming vaccinated against COVID-19.
In March, airline executives said they had already seen an increase in bookings.
"We certainly are seeing the beginning of what feels like a very large uptick," American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said at a J.P. Morgan conference in March, according to Reuters.
This article originally appeared on Fox Business