When the pandemic hit, one of the heavily-affected industries in the entire world was the travel industry. Since traveling from one place to another and meeting many people in closed quarters were heavily discouraged, airlines suffered major setbacks. Pilots retired early. People were let go. Even now, the travel industry is still trying to bounce back from the months’ COVID-19 was at its peak.
You might think that you’re not affected by this, especially since the world is slowly returning to normal. Surely, the travel industry will return back to its glory days. However, the shortage of airline industry workers not only directly affects the workers themselves or the airline they’re working for but this will trigger a domino effect. With certain airlines closed down, delays and cancellations can be expected for a period of time. Connecting flights from one place to another is guaranteed to be shut down as well, Since summer is around the corner, your vacation is bound to be affected negatively, regardless if you booked a flight at a major airline.
The major factor in this ongoing dilemma is because of the lack of pilots in the industry. We need more pilots in the air to fly more planes and get our airlines up and running again. According to Chief Marketing Officer with AeroGuuard James Constable pointed out that the shortage of pilots has been around since pre-pandemic. Despite the increased interest in the field, the gap has only grown due to COVID-19.
Constable even went on to say that the pilot shortage is forecasted to last the next 20-plus years. The current pilots in the industry are expected to retire within the next ten years. So the aspiring pilots still training right now not only have to fill the soon-to-retire pilots but also have to fill in the growing demand for airline travel. Because of this, there have been talks in Congress to increase the airline pilot retirement age from 65 to 67.
Aspiring pilots have to go through at least two years of flight training and certification, which is why it can be extremely difficult to push out pilots as quickly as the industry hopes. Additionally, it’s a highly expensive field to study, which is why some airlines have pushed to sponsor those deserving. Costs are expected to be around $90,000.
The cost is enough for aspiring pilots, especially those from low-income families, to give up on their dreams of flying up in the skies. To address this issue, industry leaders are looking for solutions, such as working with the government to finance students or offering more scholarship opportunities.
At the end of the day, if you want to be a pilot, you must brave several challenges and obstacles in front of you. Since the demand for pilots is high, you can expect more help to come along. Having more pilots in the sky is a win-win situation for all of us! So don’t give up on your dream just yet.