Business Jet Operators Facing Pilot Shortage Because of Competition from Airlines

The businesses that operate business jets are struggling to keep their planes in the air as the current shortage of airline pilots is draining their cockpits of pilots. Those pilots are leaving corporate flying for high paying jobs at the airlines according to an article on Reuters.com.

Competition is intensifying from airlines, which generally offer higher salaries and better benefits and are taking delivery of new aircraft at a fast pace, U.S.-based aviation consultant Rolland Vincent said. Boeing and Airbus left the Dubai Air Show this week with around 700 provisional orders for narrowbody commercial jets.

It is expected that the world’s rapidly growing commercial aviation industry will need an additional 255,000 pilots by 2027, according to training specialist CAE.

U.S. legacy carriers are recruiting employees to fly new aircraft and replace retiring staff, with American Airlines expected to hire 900 mainline pilots in 2018, up from just over 500 in 2017, said Dennis Tajer, a spokesman for the Allied Pilots’ Association (APA), which represents American Airlines pilots.

“It’s really a buyers’ market and the buyer is the pilot now,” Tajer said in a telephone interview on Friday. “If you don’t pay pilots the market rate you’re going to lose them.”

According to the 2017 pilot salary survey from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA), a captain flying a midsized corporate plane like the Bombardier Challenger 350 made about $130,000 on average. In 2017, an American Airlines captain flying the A320 or B737 earned just over $268,000, according to an APA compensation document.

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