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American Airlines to hire pilots, expand; Vanilla Air routes; Virgin Atlantic games to win tickets

AA pilot hiring, expansion

American Airlines has said it will hire 1,500 pilots in the next five years to prepare for the purchase of new aircraft from Boeing and Airbus, the expansion of global routes, the retirement of existing pilots and changes in the Federal Aviation Administration’s rule on the employee roster.

This announcement is in line with American Airlines’ revitalization plan to strengthen the company’s finances.

“We’re providing our current pilots with the strongest career advancement and growth opportunities in more than a decade, while continuing to build a premier airline and world-class employer they can be proud to fly for throughout their careers. American takes great pride in the exceptional quality of our pilots,” said Capt. John Hale, vice president of flight of American.

American currently anticipates the need to initially hire approximately 45 to 50 pilots per month through at least next summer, including pilots from American Eagle Airlines, Inc. and the appropriate balance from external sources.

For more information, visit www.aa.com .

Vanilla Air routes

Vanilla Air, the current Air Asia Japan, will start its operations with two domestic flights and two international flights from Dec. 20 through March 29, 2014.

The routes are between Tokyo Nartia and the following four destinations: Taipei Taoyuan; Seoul Incheon; Naha, Okinawa; and Sapporo.

Lowest airfares for one-way trips are ¥10,000 to Taipei, ¥8,000 to Seoul, ¥7,500 to Okinawa and ¥5,500 to Sapporo.

Vanilla Air will start accepting reservations from noon Nov. 1. Travel agencies will also begin selling package tours using Vanilla Air at the same time.

“Vanilla Air’s philosophy is summarized by the phrase ‘Simple, Excellent and New Basic.’ We offer simple and easy-to-understand services even for first-time passengers from ticket purchasing to boarding. We want to navigate passengers to happiness with our unique idea and hospitality,” Vanilla Air President Tomonori Ishii said.

For more information, visit www.vanilla-air.com .

Virgin tickets, live events

The Japanese unit of Virgin Atlantic Airways has started a campaign, “Provoke the world,” in which people can win free airplane tickets and other freebies by playing games on its website.

For example, visitors to the site can have the chance to win a pair of round-trip tickets between Tokyo and London and concert tickets to see renowned musician Tomoyasu Hotei by playing a game to find Hotei and four cabin crew members hiding in a 360-degree-panorama-view image of London on the website. The campaign is available through Oct. 18.

After the Hotei campaign, website visitors can also have the chance to win a pair of round-trip tickets between Tokyo and London and tickets for a Premier League soccer game featuring Southampton F.C., where defender Maya Yoshida plays. Participation in a similar game to the above campaign is required to have the chance to win the tickets. This campaign is available from Nov. 1 through 22.

Other campaigns are also available on the website.

For more information, see www.virginatlantic.co.jp .