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.
Federal mandates taking effect next summer will require all newly hired pilots to have at least 1,500 hours of prior flight experience—six times the current minimum—raising the cost and time to train new fliers in an era when pay cuts and more-demanding schedules already have made the profession less attractive. Meanwhile, thousands of senior pilots at major airlines soon will start hitting the mandatory retirement age of 65.
A rule requiring new airline pilots to have at least 1,500 flying hours will postpone the day flight instructor John Adkins, above, can join a carrier.
Another federal safety rule, to take effect in early 2014, also will squeeze the supply, by giving pilots more daily rest time. This change is expected to force passenger airlines to increase their pilot ranks by at least 5%. Adding to the problem is a small but steady stream of U.S. pilots moving to overseas carriers, many of which already face an acute shortage of aviators and pay handsomely to land well-trained U.S. captains.
“This is going to come to a crisis,” said Bob Reding, recently retired executive vice president of operations at AMR Corp.’s AAMRQ -2.70% American Airlines and now a consultant to FlightSafety International Inc., an aviation training provider.
Added Kit Darby, a consultant on pilot-hiring trends: “We are about four years from a solution, but we are only about six months away from a problem.”
Estimates differ on the problem’s magnitude. Airlines for America, a trade group of the largest carriers that collectively employ 50,800 pilots now, cites a study by the University of North Dakota’s aviation department that indicates major airlines will need to hire 60,000 pilots by 2025 to replace departures and cover expansion.
Mr. Darby’s firm calculates that all U.S. airlines, including cargo, charter and regional carriers, together employ nearly 96,000 pilots, and will need to find more than 65,000 over the next eight years…
Choosen excerpts by JMM from
via Airlines Face Acute Shortage of Pilots – WSJ.com.
Lufthansa : Threat of wage cuts and layoffs
At a press conference in Frankfurt last Thursday the CEO of Lufthansa, Christoph Franz, announced details for the long-planned restructuring of the company. From 2013 onwards Lufthansa will transfer all of its Europe-Germany flights—with the exception of those from Frankfurt and Munich—to the subsidiary company it formed ten years ago, German Wings. German Wings will … Continue reading »
American Airlines Layoffs – Tulsa families up in the air
After negotiations with the union and early retirement packages, company and union officials said this month that American would lay off 300 mechanics and about 70 fleet service workers in Tulsa by February. The layoffs will be effective in November … American Airlines layoffs leave families up in the air | Tulsa World.
FedEx Outlines Broad Cost-Cutting Plans: Layoffs to come ?
FedEx Corp. announced programs targeting annual profitability improvement of $1.7 billion during the next three years. In a keynote speech at FedEx Corp.’s 2012 Investors and Lenders Meeting, Frederick W. Smith, FedEx chairman, president and CEO, said a significant portion of the profitability improvement will come from cost reductions at FedEx Express and FedEx Services… …Continue reading »
SAS | To cut nearly 6,000 jobs
Loss-making airline SAS will shed nearly 6,000 staff through cuts and asset sales to secure loans from banks and Nordic governments to help it survive a global downturn and fierce competition. SAS (SAS.ST), one of the European flag-carriers being squeezed by discount carriers such as Ryanair (RYA.I) and Norwegian (NWC.OL), has not made a full-year … Continue reading »
Iberia | IAG to cut 4,500 jobs
International Airlines Group warned on Friday that its Spanish carrier Iberia was ‘‘in a fight for survival’’ and unveiled a restructuring plan to cut 4,500 jobs as it reported a drop in third-quarter profit. Iberia CEO Rafael Sanchez-Lozano said the carrier is losing money in all its markets and was ‘‘burning €1.7 million ($2.17 million) … Continue reading »
Air France – 5,000 jobs to be cut by 2013
French airline Air France has announced it is to cut more than 5,000 jobs by the end of 2013 in an attempt to reduce costs and return to growth. The figure represents just under 10% of the total workforce of 53,000. The job cuts form part of a restructuring plan to restore profitability, in the …Continue reading »
Transat increases temporary layoffs
Transat increases temporary layoffs amid capacity cuts to improve profits. By Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press | September 13, 2012. Email. MONTREAL – Transat AT is set to temporarily lay off more than twice the number of pilots and flight attendants … http://www.canadianbusiness.com/article/98430–transat-increases-temporary-layoffs-amid-capacity-cuts-to-improve-profits
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