In today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal I found an article about the shortage of qualified that the Regional Airlines are suffering now, and how it will affect us all in the near future.
“U.S. airlines are facing what threatens to be their most serious pilot shortage since the 1960s, with higher experience requirements for new hires about to take hold just as the industry braces for a wave of retirements.”, the Wall Street Journal article begins. From there the articles three authors explain the circumstances leading up to the shortage.
The authors quote all the right sources in explaining the problem. Kit Darby, of Air, Inc. fame, is quoted as saying, “We are about four years from a solution, but we are only about six months away from a problem.”
The article points to Delta Airlines estimate that they will need 3500 new pilots over the next decade to keep it’s pilot group the same size, and that is IF they don’t grow at all. That is unlikely considering the estimate that they will grow approximately 4% per year. American Airlines also said that they will hire over 2500 pilots over the next five years, and will be competing with all of the other airlines in this country for what few pilots are available.