With passenger numbers rising by 6 percent Global airline profits are expected to hit record levels in 2018.
This is great news for the aviation industry. One problem gnawing at the optimism is finding enough pilots to fly the planes.
Pilot Shortage Issue
The pilot situation is tightening, so that’s putting inflationary pressure on the entire system. The tight market is affecting all the players in the marketplace. So pilots will become more costly. The pilot shortage is happening on the lowest end of the pay scheme and those that who don’t treat their people fairly.
Ryanair’s publicized struggles gave the issue further prominence. The Dublin-based carrier has always denied that it has a pilot shortage.Ryanair isn’t the only airline to suffer from crewing issues. Norwegian had its own problems which led to cancelations across its short-haul network.
Most of the Monarch pilots have gone to, or a lot of them are going to Norwegian. They’re very experienced pilots. That’s why they don’t foresee for ourself that they will have a shortage of pilots next year. as we speak. But there have always been ups and downs. Sometimes there have been an overflow of pilots.”
Problem was likely to hurt those airlines that have big expansion plans in 2018. One such airline is low-cost carrier Wizz Air. They are taking advantage of Monarch’s recent demise, to open new routes from the UK.
Not everyone seems to be suffering. It appears to be those at the low-cost end of the market that are having the biggest problems.Earlier this year, Lufthansa settled a long-running dispute with pilots.
Mr. Walsh, CEO of British Airways and Iberia owner International Airlines Group, is an executive who thinks the pilot shortage doesn’t exist or affect his company.They are not seeing any issue in terms of supply. All of their airlines are recruiting pilots.
The issues are specific to airlines that have pursued strong growth where they need captains. Walsh said. “So it’s not a pilot issue. For some people, it’s being that they haven’t been able to get their copilots promoted fast enough to fill the left-hand seat, and that’s I think the bottleneck and it’s probably specific to a number of airlines.”