Airlines Experiencing Pilot Shortage Written 25 April 2022


American Airlines aircraft at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. | Credit: Quintin Soloviev/Wikipedia; CC BY-SA 4.0

Bloomberg reported that US airlines are experiencing an ongoing pilot shortage, “but a purging of employees at the start of the downturn in 2020 has left the industry ill-prepared for a rebound.” American Airlines CEO Robert Ison said, “We don’t have the regional aircraft flying the summer right now [that] we would like.” Ison added, “This is a fantastic opportunity for people that want to come in and fly planes. They can make a lot of money.” United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said on an earnings call last week, “The pilot shortage for the industry is real and most airlines are simply not going to be able to realize their capacity plans because there simply aren’t enough pilots, at least not for the next five-plus years.” As a result, United likely will not operate 150 regional jets due to a lack of pilots, even though there is demand for flights. Bloomberg said airlines have “scaled back plans for a rapid resumption of pre-pandemic flight schedules,” with United planning to operate 13% fewer flights in the second quarter than in the same quarter in 2019. Likewise, Delta Air Lines plans to operate 16% fewer flights, and American Airlines 8% fewer flights, mostly due to a lack of pilots at regional airlines. Bloomberg added that both American and United are working with Landline Co. to offer bus service between regional airports and larger airports.
Full Story (Bloomberg)