Wanted: more commercial pilots
Research by Uk-based aviation recruitment specialists AeroProfessional concludes that little collaborative action has taken place in the last two years to address the pilot skills crisis in the European Union.
Its latest report, entitled Grounded before take-off: EU regional pilot shortage perspective two years on, says that with 95,000 new commercial pilots required in Europe by 2034, the increasing number of staffing issues and shortfalls within airlines will get worse. And with demand for pilots growing in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, ‘Europe’s pilot skills shortage will be further exacerbated by increasing rates of staff poaching and operational disruptions.’
It cites the costs of training, type ratings, pay and conditions as major barriers to solving the skills shortage, and says that the fundamental changes required to combat the crisis ‘are still some way off’. ‘Legacy’ and flag carrier airlines are the least likely to suffer, at least in the short term, because they offer the best salary and benefits packages, and many also run their own cadet schemes. However, the report says that low-cost carriers, regional airlines and corporate aviation suppliers are starting to follow suit in terms of benefits offered.
‘Other key factors contributing towards the skills shortage include the issue of mandatory retirement and EU workforce migration, with 64.6% of pilots believing it is a good idea to work outside the EU.’ Providing an insight as to how airlines can tackle the skills shortage, AeroProfessional highlights ‘cost-effective training, innovative cadet schemes, enhanced inclusion and diversity, and strategic recruitment planning as ways for airlines to stay ahead in an increasingly competitive job market.’