Airlines likely to face a pilot-shortage in near future

Lahore, 18th March: Just over a year, before the pandemic hit the world, airlines globally were struggling to fill their pilot shortages.

Baaghi TV: According to reports, with all the travel restrictions imposed after the emergence of COVID-19 in Dec 2019, the airlines had to dismiss thousands of pilots.

However, it is yet to be found out whether airlines will face a pilot shortage once they make a considerable recovery post COVID.

According to reports from the publication Simply Flying, an analysis from Oliver Wyman revealed that in coming years there will surely be a pilot shortage that could even overtake the overall airline passenger recovery.

This will likely take place as pilots are hired based on the usage of the aircraft and the number of rotations and not the number of passengers flying.

This means that the demand for pilots will increase as airlines increase their capacity too.

Moreover, the pilot demand could outrun a passenger recovery by nearly a year, as airlines scale-up schedules in advance.

Analysts also observed that the pandemic has undoubtedly impacted the job security of pilots and could have a long-term effect on the new cadets wishing to join the industry.

The same was observed in the aviation industry, after 9/11 and the financial crisis in 2008. Hence, after the drastic effect of COVID-19 on the aviation industry, fewer pilots are likely to join the field.

However, this time around, when airlines will see demand return, their first option would be to bring back their pilots who were laid off during the pandemic crisis. This will in return slowly fill the demand for pre-pandemic capacity and prevent airlines from declining their recovery.

As per reports, thousands of pilots have chosen to take early retirements or have left the industry due to the crisis, further creating a shortage.

It has also been observed that airlines will struggle to find pilots a few years down the line as pilot cadet programs guaranteed by airlines become fewer.

One analysis has revealed by early 2025, the worldwide pilot shortage could be anywhere between 34,000 to 50,000 pilots when a full recovery is expected.

Reports have also revealed that there are few airlines that might find themselves at an advantage as they had opted to keep most, if not all, of their pilots on the payroll through the crisis.

The airlines including Delta, United, Jet Blue and some others have largely avoided layoffs thanks to government support and cost cuts.

Whereas, many notable airlines have terminated thousands of crew due to the crisis as they look to shrink in the future.

Overall, it can be expected that the pilot shortage will surely make a comeback when the airline industry starts its recovery. This trend could be seen either by the end of 2021 or at the end of 2023, but it is sure to return.

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