A Delta aircraft passes an American flag as it takes off. Photo: David McNew / Getty Images

"Major U.S. airlines are hiring pilots at a rate not seen since before 9/11, and that is encouraging more young people to consider a career in the cockpit," AP's David Koenig reports from Dallas.

Why it's happening: "Hiring is likely to remain brisk for years. Smaller airlines in the U.S. are struggling with a shortage that will continue as they lose pilots to the bigger carriers, which in turn will need to replace thousands of retiring pilots over the next few years."

  • "Boeing predicts that the U.S. will need 117,000 new pilots by 2036. Just a decade ago thousands of pilots were furloughed and some abandoned the profession."
  • "Pilots who become captains on jumbo jets that fly international routes can earn more than $300,000 a year. But for anyone starting out in the profession, the training is expensive — upward of $100,000."

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