Commercial Pilots Across USA In Shortage—Understanding The Top Reasons


The airlines and aviation industry has seen ample ups and downs over the last couple of years. The pandemic was primarily to blame and left behind an impact that is being tough to entirely wipe out.

While Covid is still not on an exit route, the airline industry has slowly sprung back to life. With travel booms occurring in spurts as the pandemic lies low during certain times of the year, the demand for commercial pilots is at a high.

The demand is at a stage that has not been seen over the recent few years.  With passengers returning to airports in hordes despite the smaller waves of Covid at play, commercial pilots are one aviation breed that must be available. However, according to reports from US-based airlines, in the last quarter of 2021; the shortage is notable.

Take a look at the reasons that led to such a situation. Airlines are currently finding innovative ways to bring back talent to its fleet and also are engaging in hiring sprees as per internal needs.

Pandemic-Fuelled Actions

When Covid 19 had first hit, the industry seemed to be on the edge—just placed to collapse. At that point of time, airline carriers did what they thought was best. They shed employees, retired the aircraft, and offered early retirement packages plus also allowed voluntary leaves over a long term. These means lead to the end to stem cash hemorrhages until the demand for flying was back to pre-pandemic levels.

Lack Of Predictability

Airlines, or for that matter, any industry, barely foresaw what was next on their cards. In 2020, when the pandemic attained its proportion, no one knew what situation could rise and how long it would span out to be.  The airlines had to rely on instinctive fixes that were short term. Naturally, these fixes have now resulted in a long term headache!

Pilots In A Soup

The industry related to flying is such that pilots will be facing an age-barrier when trying to enter the workforce too early. Moreover, the already retired pool of pilots has settled into a more peaceful life that they are finding tough to emerge out of again!

Some experts in the aviation space believe that such a shortage was always lurking in the shadows. The pandemic was not the only reason that fuelled such a glaring gap. Since the airline or flying schools always seem to be full, you know for sure that commercial pilots are in demand. Most airlines are hiring more actively than ever.

This hiring spree signals the fact that first officers are being trained to become captains in the very same year as they begin. This eats up into airline resources and staffing too. Moreover, this also causes a financial impact on a larger scale.

Clocking The Required Hours

The hiring, no matter what the market and demands are, needs to be justifiable as per the laws set forth by the relevant authorities. This is because there is no guarantee that a 1500 hour pilot is a safer alternative when compared to an intensely trained 300-hour flying officer. Therefore, the legislation needs to be tweaked to allow better hires to tackle the shortage of commercial pilots!

Summing Up

Unless there is a steady way to handle the shortage of pilots in the aviation sector across USA, some airlines are even taking up innovative means of hiring. For instance, they are keen on hiring foreign talent on visa programmes. Moreover, airlines are gradually scrapping degree-related requirements to ease the hiring process for pilots. It is more of a wait and watch situation that will finally lead to a sustainable way of managing the shortages in the airline industry!