Representatives from ATP were among the exhibitors at the recent FltOps.com Job Fair on August 28th in Atlanta.
The conference was very well attended by pilots at all levels of their careers who had come to introduce themselves to recruiters from several United States Airlines as well as a few international carriers.
Recruiters from Delta Airlines were in attendance and gave a presentation focusing on Delta’s present and future pilot hiring needs. Following the presentation, up to six Delta recruiters interviewed over two hundred pilots anxious to fly for Delta. Many of those pilots were successful in getting second interviews with Delta.
AirTran was also in attendance and the line of pilots waiting for a few minutes of face-to-face time with an AirTran Recruiter numbered in the hundreds also. The same could be said for at least one international carrier, Dubai-based Emirates Airlines, who also spoke with hundreds of pilots from the United States interesting in flying in the Middle East.
Recruiters from Compass, Colgan Air and Cape Air were also there speaking with pilots about flying for their airlines. Other recruiters representing several freight carriers were actively seeking pilots for their operations as well.
I gave a presentation at the conference titled “The Worldwide Pilot Shortage is here” which described the tangible reasons that the airline industry is preparing for a severe shortage of qualified pilots. As a side note, I had the opportunity to meet with recruiters from most of the airlines in attendance and they all agreed that a series of circumstances have converged to create a Perfect Storm for the airline industry when it comes to pilot recruiting. Over the next several years ballooning airline pilot retirement rates, international airline growth, military cutbacks, lack of financing for training of new pilots and recent legislation will combine to create a severe shortage of qualified commercial pilots to fill the cockpits of America’s Airliners.
If you look at the components of that Perfect Storm, most of them have been actively happening for two years or more already. As we get farther into the pilot hiring process, as we get closer to the point when forced retirements will once again become a major factor increasing pilot hiring, it will be most important for any pilot aspiring to fly for an airline to look ahead and begin to prepare for the opportunities that are available in the present tense, the near future and beyond.