The personal details of thousands of pilot applicants for American Airlines and Southwest Airlines have been stolen after a data breach at recruitment software Pilot Credentials. 

The two airlines first learned about the hack in May but have just alerted the over 8,000 people affected, the majority of which were applicants to American Airlines. 

In a letter sent by the airline to those affected and filed with the Maine Attorney General’s office, the company said that it was cooperating with an investigation by law enforcement and would use an internal portal for pilot applications going forward, as is Southwest Airlines

It said: “While we have no evidence to suggest that your information was targeted or misused for purposes of fraud or identity theft, we wanted to provide you with information about the incident and protective measures you can take.” 

The information thought to have been gained by the hackers included the names, social security numbers, passport numbers, dates of birth and driver’s license numbers of those who had applied for pilot and cadet jobs. 

According to the filings, the hack occurred on 30 April and affected 5,745 candidates for American and 3,009 candidates for Southwest. 

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

Though the data breach only impacted a small part of the aviation industry, it is still notable for affecting both the world’s largest airline by fleet and the largest low-cost airline, especially after American Airlines suffered a similar hack last year

The news will be especially unwelcome for American as it comes off a judicial ruling which stopped its partnership with JetBlue in the US northeast due to concerns from the Department of Justice that the alliance served as a “de facto merger”.