Pilot Shortage Hits Airline Industry

Home Pilot Shortage Hits Airline Industry

May 14, 2018

Passengers may end up taking the brunt of a shortage of pilots in the airline industry.

As airlines struggle to put pilots in the cockpit, fewer flights leaving the ground could mean higher costs, cramped flights and longer wait times for the rest of us, according to experts.

Airlines may be forced to cut certain routes, as well, adding another leg to some of the world’s unique journeys. And while larger airlines are having to scale back their flights because of the shortage, some smaller airlines have had to stop flying altogether.

"There are airplanes sitting on the ground with no pilots to fly them," said Rick Rademaker, owner of the Arizona Flight Training Center in Glendale. He said it is his job to help stop the worldwide shortage, but he believes the airline industry could take as long as 20 years to recover.

Rademaker feels the reason behind the pilot shortage can be blamed on a variety of reasons. As pilots have retired and airlines have expanded in recent years, not enough new pilots are entering the workforce to pick up the slack, and experts say the rate of new pilots entering the workforce isn’t enough to make up for those retiring.

To make matters worse, industry growth is actually backfiring on airlines. As airlines have expanded routes in recent years due to increased demand, the supply of pilots has not kept up. The industry does not have much freedom to relax regulations to encourage people to enter the workforce, so they’ve had to increase incentives like signing bonuses to find new pilots.




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