FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – American Airlines is planning to put dozens of pilots back to work. The airline announced it will start recalling furloughed pilots, beginning in January.

Forty pilots are scheduled to come back the second week of January. The airline says it plans to bring back another forty or so, every month, for the near future.

Pilots have been saying for quite awhile that they could use the help.

In September, when the airline blamed delays and cancellations on pilot sick calls, pilots said it would not have been a problem if the airline had been fully staffed.

Some American Airlines pilots say the hiring may be attributed to new FAA rules that go into effect in about a year, requiring more pilots on longer flight and pilots to fly fewer hours.

American also has some new aircraft coming online soon, which pilots say will require more bodies, as some will be needed to fly while others train on the new equipment.

There are about 700 pilots who have been on furlough, some of them since the airline downsized after September 11th.

American said earlier this year it expects to bring back or hire up to 25-hundred pilots over the next five years.

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