Airline industry grapples with pilot shortage

Thousands were stranded at airports in the U.S. over the Memorial Day holiday amid a shortage of pilots expected to last for years. Errol Barnett reports.


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  1. I maintained a fleet of training aircraft for a local flight school for over thirty years. With hundreds of graduates both professional and private, the college administration decided that there was no future need for pilot training and closed several years ago.
    They now specialize in disc golf, dorms and tiny houses.

  2. I wonder how many hours a military pilot will have on joining their first squadron? Much less than 1500, I would think. So perhaps that1500-hour requirement is way too much – especially when one considers that the co-pilot is supervised by a vastly-experienced captain.

  3. Or good sign in bonus/ partial payback of flight trainning costs. Its that high barrier to entry that is killing the industry atleast make it more financially attainable for up and coming pilots.

  4. It is way way wayyyyy to expensive to become a pilot these days. Airlines can do soemthing about that but choose not to……. so they're going to have to deal with the consequences.

  5. Thousands of highly experienced pilots are forced into retirement at age 65 each year. So why not raise the retirement age to 67 (which would also align with the retirement age for social security)? It's a safer approach than lowering the flight hour requirement for less experienced pilots.

  6. Yet they created this problem with permanent fix for a temporary problem. They forced their pilots into an early retirement and now they need them back. Time and time again we're getting to the point where our profit motive is starting to work against us.

  7. How many of the thousands of pilots who took early retirement last year did so because they refused to get vaccinated?
    There are many long going problems causing the pilot shortage, but the timing and the severity of this pilot shortage makes it likely that vaccine mandates played a major role.
    …I don't expect the airlines, the media, or FAA the ever admit this.

  8. I'm a commercial pilot in Europe. There isn't a pilot shortage here and salaries are low, so I'd gladly work in the USA but unfortunately Airline Pilot is not classified as an in-demand job necessary for a US work visa.

  9. My best advice to future pilots is join the Military after earning your Degree from a four year university . Get a commission and go to officer training school. Began your training and then go to an airline cockpit.

    Graduated from Embry Riddle before the cockpit.

    Prior to flying was a ramp agent/ticket agent/airport operations agent/airport management specialist.

    I know this industry well so learn the this business before joining. If you’re going to become a pilot have a backup plan incase of recession.

  10. The problem is that pilots need 1500 hours to work with a Major Airline, while in Europe and the rest of the globe just 200. They end flight school, and weeks later are flying a 737 or A320 safely.

  11. Unemployed 5000 hr pilot can’t get hired because of racism and other reasons so why do they say they’re such a shortage. Some airlines want airlines to have a certain look if you know what I mean.

  12. My brother's a pilot. The reason for the shortage is the pay-scale. To become a pilot takes years, just accumulating the necessary flight hours might take decades. Meanwhile if a pilot does everything they require to qualify, they still get paid hourly, depending on size of aircraft it might be $125 an hour, tops. Even though that might sound like a lot, it can take a pilot decades to work their way up to make that much, meanwhile your peers in other fields made what you make years ago. And on top of all that, the UNMANNED airliner is on the way – now I'd never fly in one of those, ever, it's still another pressure on your pay scale that is already much too low to begin with.

  13. With this pilot shortage, I hope airlines don't promote inexperienced pilots too quickly which could be a danger to flight safety. Regional airlines for legacy carriers have promoted co-pilots to captains too quickly. There was an instance where a co-pilot was promoted to captain after only 9 months as a First Officer on a regional airline. Nine-month is not enough experience to command an aircraft!

  14. No mention of the fact that this is a government-created shortage in response to the 2009 Buffalo crash. Pilot training was not the direct cause of that crash, but Congress more than doubled the required training hours at the request of the pilot's group who obvious love 'less' pilots (which increases the pay for the existing ones).

  15. We have to accept that our life post COVID have been changed forever and it top of that there are many new challenges, war etc. Maybe taking a small vacation every holiday weekend and flying like we got used to do it is something of the past. We have to adapt and learn new ways because that is just the way it is.


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