SHORTAGE OF PILOTS
Although shortage of pilots in the recent past has adversely affected Regional Aviation in the US, in the Middle East, the largest airline Emirates, had to ground 18 per cent of its fleet. Emirates had to also reduce pilot staffing on long-haul flights. Reports are that the airline will idle 36 Boeing 777 and ten Airbus A380 aircraft by July 2018. The airline has already cut the frequency of or eliminated flights to some destinations.
Concerns over pilot shortages were raised in a recent report from UK-based aviation recruitment specialist AeroProfessional saying too little collaborative action was being taken, specifically in the EU, to address the crisis. With industry demand growing in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, pilot shortage in Europe will be further exacerbated by increased staff poaching and operational disruptions. The report cites training costs, type ratings and pay as major barriers to solving the skills shortage, with the “fundamental changes required to combat the crisis still some way off ”. It also notes different types of airlines have been affected differently, with legacy and flag carriers least likely to suffer due to them offering the best salary packages and many administering their own training schemes. The company highlights cost-effective training, innovative cadet schemes, enhanced inclusion, diversity and strategic recruitment planning as ways for airlines to stay ahead in “an increasingly competitive job market”.