Thursday, October 28, 2021

Pandemic recession fuels biggest recruitment boost for airline pilots in decades

by Kyle Arnold
from dallas morning news

American airlines will need to hire at least 7,000 new pilots next year to fill gaps created by baby boomers and the pandemic buying.

The airline industry is in its biggest hiring push in decades, said Louis Smith, not only for front-line workers like gate and ramp agents, but also for high-skilled workers like pilots, who need to spend years of expensive labor before starting work. training is required. CEO of FAPA, a pilot training and recruitment consulting group.

The airline was already struggling with a shortage of pilots and other crew members over the summer as weather and technical issues resulted in thousands of delays and cancellations. And that was with most airlines flying on schedules that were only about 80 percent larger than they operated in 2019.

The stop-and-go nature of this pandemic has created a whipsaw in the pilot training world, Smith said, with students leaving flight school and then running back in recent months. Airlines, including regional airlines owned by Fort Worth-based American, have begun offering bonus packages of up to $150,000.

“The cargo business is also growing, although they don’t have the kind of big airlines because they’ve never forged or asked to buy,” Smith said. “COVID took off cargo, and it’s just a growth business.”

Louis-based FAPA is hosting a job fair for pilots in Irving on Saturday that will be attended by recruiters from most major regional airlines. Major airlines like American Airlines are also sending executives to future pilots in hopes of getting a push. Regional pilots are the main source of pilots for the largest airlines such as American and Southwest.

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The FAPA (Future and Active Pilot Advisory) requires potential pilots to register in advance for the event.

American Airlines said it plans to hire 1,000 aviators next year after recruiting 350 by the end of this year.

Airlines are in dire need of pilots due to the influx of retirees coming in. American Airlines alone is expecting 585 pilots to reach the required retirement age of 65 next year, and retirement should peak in 2025 with 908 pilots.

Airlines have worked hard to obtain new pilots because the high cost of training, which typically exceeds $100,000 for private schools, has created problems for potential students. Regional airlines have raised salaries and created pipeline programs to help cover some school costs. Pilots in regional areas owned by American Airlines now earn more than $50 an hour, three times more than a decade ago.

©2011 Dallas Morning News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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