The global pandemic has undeniably crippled the aviation industry. It is still unknown when airlines can resume flying more normally and frequently, but we can see that the industry is slowly getting back on its feet.
However, airlines continue to face a critical dilemma of whether they should furlough pilots or keep them on staff. The complication is that once pilots leave the cockpit and decide to return, they must re-qualify to fly a passenger aircraft, which means they have to undergo rigorous training courses and complete flight hours again. This process could take between a few weeks to a few months, possibly resulting in a lack of qualified pilots once more flights resume in the future.
So, furloughing pilots now could again lead the industry back to the same problem it once had pre-pandemic – a shortage of commercial pilots, but with that problem comes a silver lining for aspiring pilots of today. A high-demand for commercial pilots can quickly resurface in a post-recovery environment.
Research says that in some cases in North America, 15-20% of the pilot seniority plan on early retirement. When you combine that with furloughing pilots now, and the pipeline of pilots that are thinking about entering the industry now, the airline industry will be dealing with a significant shortage of qualified commercial pilots as early as 2023-2024.
So, now may be a great time to pursue becoming a pilot. Those who want to earn their wings to fly are encouraged to continue their education. Younger ones who have always dreamed of being pilots should also not fret as a hopeful future awaits them once we recover from the pandemic. If you’re an incoming SHS student, check out this article about which strand you should consider taking if you wish to pursue a career in the skies.
The airline industry has faced many crises before, and it will bounce back again. And when it does, those who want to soar through the skies should be ready.
To know more about your options, visit our page on Laminar Aviation’s Professional Pilot Training Programs – courses with curricula that ensure trainees achieve the highest quality and safety training procedures given by Ground & Flight Instructors!