American Airlines is training new flight attendants at its headquarters in Fort Worth ahead of the expected merger with U.S. Airways.
While there are still some hurdles to clear before the merger happens, most expect it will happen. A Senate committee will hold hearings and take testimony next week in Washington and the Justice Department should approve the deal.
The new hires will then replace the scores of flight attendants who retired or took buyout packages during bankruptcy proceedings. They will also fill in on the airline's expanding international routes.
"They are a new generation. They are much younger than what some of us are," said Alejo Larocca, a flight attendant trainer. "Our last training classes were in 2001 and now we have massive hiring because of how we are expanding."
American Airlines hopes to train about 1,500 new flight attendants this year.
The trainees are a diverse group, including Marinella Ballesteros Garcia from Columbia.
"It's a big opportunity for me. A few years ago I can't imagine even to be here right now," she said.
Christina Marchand is from California. She's wanted to be a flight attendant for a long while.
"When the opportunity arose and I saw that American was hiring after quite a long time with no hiring, I applied immediately and was excited to hear that they were looking for Italian speakers as well," she said.
Positions are still available, especially for applicants who can speak Finnish, German, Italian, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean or Chinese.
KDFW FOX 4
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