Wanted: more com­mer­cial pi­lots

Pilot - - NOTES -

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.’

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