Pilot shortage is a boogeyman that haunts aviation industry. It is real, it is increasing and it is becoming difficult to ignore. But among the many solutions currently on the table, what is lacking attention is, perhaps, the simplest one: improving communication between airlines and pilots and providing new ways for the two sides to meet each other.
Aviation industry is coming to terms with the fact that there are not enough pilots to occupy the cockpits of thousands of planes to enter service in the next 20 years. Which is true, if you look at 2016 Boeing estimation that predicts a need for 637,000 new commercial airline pilots by 2036. Or, if you take a look at the most current IATA’s regional briefing of Europe alone. Published on February 27, 2018, the report titles the year 2017 as “another year of above-trend passenger growth”. With industry-wide RPKs growth of 7.6% in 2017, the year was “well ahead of the 10yr average pace of 5.5%”.
The proposed solutions currently on the table vary from lowering requirements of flight hours, shifting the attention to flying schools or high costs of becoming a pilot to making autonomous planes. But one thing that needs addressing – and it needs addressing now – is the good old pilots’ argument, which says that it is not the actual professionals the industry is lacking, but rather the pilots willing to fly on cheap wages they are offered.
“Pilots are right wanting to find an airline that offers terms they deserve. And airlines are right to demand a person fit for the job,” says Skaiste Knyzaite, managing partner of AviationCV.com recruitment platform. “While there are plenty of airlines willing to offer attractive work conditions, including wages, to experienced pilots, and there are experienced pilots, ready to take up new job offers, we see that there are limited opportunities for the two sides to explore existing options and, in general, meet each other”.
So how can a pilot find an airline that can not only appreciate, but also put the appreciation in numbers written on a check? And how can an airline find pilots, who have the flying experience, skills and the right attitude to be put in charge of millions of dollars-worth planes… and a few hundred lives onboard?
AviationCV.com, in cooperation with AeroTime, is organizing a series of international events to bring leading industry airlines, recruitment agencies, training schools and pilots together. The first Pilot Career Show will take place in Amsterdam on May 17, 2018. Three more events in Frankfurt, Istanbul and Singapore are planned for 2018. Stay tuned.