Pilot Shortage Is Here


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" being very high off the ground! ' but Don that's a good thing. It's that last foot above the ground that can be really troublesome.

...Oh yes, I know...that last foot and the sudden stop after the last foot. DC9-15 onto YSB30...I recall the captain saying it was the first time he'd seen the dust rise at the other end of the runway

I guess there are as many opinions about this as there are pilots and airline executives. Wish I was smart enough to offer a constructive solution; alas, I don't have one. I can't help but think that

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13 hours ago, deicer said:

What a joke. And when the pilot becomes incapacitated  ... what then?

I'd like to witness the Minister of Transport that signs that exemption to allow airlines (704, 705) operators to operate single pilot IFR/day/night with nothing but [as described] in the right seat.

 

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“If you are a multi-engine private pilot and planning to trave,l you need to call the reservations number of the airline –  tell them you are a qualified private pilot willing to take right seat duties - your ticket will be issued at no charge”

 

And if you tell them that you stayed in a Holiday Inn Express the previous night, you get the left seat!

 

 

No duff!

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Flybe cancels flights amid redundancy talks

 

Regional airline Flybe has cancelled dozens of Wednesday morning flights as it enters discussions over potential job losses.

The company blamed an industry-wide shortage of pilots for the delays, as well as its own pilots taking holidays.

Flights from Belfast City Airport and Birmingham are among those affected. Most of the flights are within the UK.

The airline said it would like to "sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused".

The discussions over jobs are at an early stage and the company will try and avoid job losses by filling internal vacancies with existing staff, including roles at other bases, Flybe's chief executive Christine Ourmieres-Widener told 5 live.

 

'Follow the rules'

The company is "engaging with all impacted crew", she said.

Of the delays, she said the company would "follow all the rules of compensation" and that "we are expecting to go back to normal operation as soon as possible".

While the disruption was widespread, it only affected 5% of flights, she insisted.

Cardiff Airport boss Deb Barber said: "We understand Flybe is in the process of consulting with a number of its employees, including its crew at multiple bases across its network, which includes Cardiff.

"Flybe's plan to restructure and reduce its jet operations across many bases is part of the company's long-standing objective to stabilise the business," she said.

The cuts will affect Doncaster and Exeter, as well as Cardiff, as the company seeks to drop expensive jets in favour of cheaper turboprop routes.

Sue Piercey, who lives in Bradford, told the BBC her flight from Leeds to Belfast today was cancelled.

"We received a curt email at 19:00 last night followed by an even shorter text message," she said. "No other flight options were offered."

Flybe are scheduled to fly three later services from Leeds to Belfast today, and none were offered to Ms Piercey, she said.

"Our holiday is totally off now, and I hope my insurance company can help me," she said, describing herself as "very annoyed today".

Customers also vented their frustration on social media.

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How times have changed. A pilot shortage has now turned into a pilot surplus.  You do have to wonder what this will do to wages.  Lots of pilots seeking few jobs might, and let's hope not, result in a overall reduction in pay for all who do find a job and might accept a lower wage vs no wage at all. I see some military forces are attempting to  entice  some of their younger retirees back to deal with their real pilot shortage. 

As for the AMEs, cabin crews and support staff, they too will be facing a shortage of positions and that will also likely result in an overall reduction in wages.  

Airport fees will increase because there will be fewer flights and a lot of airports have turned themselves into large scale shopping malls with large debts, expect announcements re the need to increase the AIFs at these airports. 

Airlines will be scrambling to cancel most new aircraft orders and since fuel prices are down, may elect to serve what passenger needs remain with older, less fuel efficient aircraft.

 

The coming months will be hard on all who are involved. 

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With a pilot and AME surplus for years to come, the schools won’t be churning out many new apprentices either. Colleges will have to adapt to less demand... many ripple effects, eh?

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I know a KC-135 pilot who is going to defer their retirement from the USAF because what's the point? Delta and JetBlue aren't going to be nearly as interested in talking to them now as they were six months ago.

They just hope if they retire five years from now they will have some 767 time.

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15 hours ago, conehead said:

With a pilot and AME surplus for years to come, the schools won’t be churning out many new apprentices either. Colleges will have to adapt to less demand... many ripple effects, eh?

I don't think you will see an AME surplus at least not on the medium term. The situation in maintenance is not the same as for pilots. To start with, take a company such as AC. You had 4500 pilots and probably 1300 AMEs. So the numbers of AMEs looking for a job is going to be much lower. AMEs are also not restricted to airlines... Many recycle their skills in automotive, heavy equipment, rail, manufacturing and general industry.

A few things come to mind concerning the AME situation....

1) What you are seeing now is not a structural surplus but a punctual one. The schools haven't been producing like they used to so not many new techs were on the job market. What was happening in the industry was a transfer from company to company, with AMEs chasing wages and benefits.  Many went toBombardier/Airbus, Transat, Westjet, and AC. Many others exited the industry to greener pastures. The end result was that the outfits on the bottom of the chain that were paying 60G/year for AMEs had to adjust their payscales and even then they were left with vacant positions. I doubt the wages will go down since most are locked in with negotiated contracts and were lower than what a car mechanic gets paid. About Marshall's comment on AME wage reduction, a few years back a Montreal company did just that. After an AC layoff (2003 I think), Exceltech hired on the AMEs at reduce wages. As soon as employees got the opportunity to go elsewhere, their was a mass exodus of their workforce.

2) The 60G/year (30$/hour) paid by the small operators had the effect of emptying the colleges. Kids saw Air Canada get rid of thousands of maintenance workers in 2012, they saw Bombardier doing massive layoffs. They voted with their feet and abandoned the aircraft maintenance programs. If you can be an electrician (in Québec) and make 42$/hour, with pension plan, job security, day shift and the ability to work just about anywhere in the province, why would you want to go work on airplanes on a night shift, tied to a large city for less money? The prestige and glamour? lol

For pilots, finding another job related to their training can be quite a challenge... the sheer size of the pilot group assures that.

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Years ago when many Charter groups failed, any Military pilots employed with those companies could not get jobs with the Big Three....(AC and CP, and WD)  as those three airlines were really not hiring that many so opted to get back in the Military.

Quite a few were accepted but they went back to BOD8Ds, ( Big Oak Desk, 8 Drawers),  for their penance,  and much later might have found their way back into a cockpit...... if they were lucky..

Perhaps any ex Mil pilots may seek employment back in the RCAF ???.

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58 minutes ago, mrlupin said:

I don't think you will see an AME surplus at least not on the medium term. The situation in maintenance is not the same as for pilots. To start with, take a company such as AC. You had 4500 pilots and probably 1300 AMEs. So the numbers of AMEs looking for a job is going to be much lower. AMEs are also not restricted to airlines... Many recycle their skills in automotive, heavy equipment, rail, manufacturing and general industry.

A few things come to mind concerning the AME situation....

1) What you are seeing now is not a structural surplus but a punctual one. The schools haven't been producing like they used to so not many new techs were on the job market. What was happening in the industry was a transfer from company to company, with AMEs chasing wages and benefits.  Many went toBombardier/Airbus, Transat, Westjet, and AC. Many others exited the industry to greener pastures. The end result was that the outfits on the bottom of the chain that were paying 60G/year for AMEs had to adjust their payscales and even then they were left with vacant positions. I doubt the wages will go down since most are locked in with negotiated contracts and were lower than what a car mechanic gets paid. About Marshall's comment on AME wage reduction, a few years back a Montreal company did just that. After an AC layoff (2003 I think), Exceltech hired on the AMEs at reduce wages. As soon as employees got the opportunity to go elsewhere, their was a mass exodus of their workforce.

2) The 60G/year (30$/hour) paid by the small operators had the effect of emptying the colleges. Kids saw Air Canada get rid of thousands of maintenance workers in 2012, they saw Bombardier doing massive layoffs. They voted with their feet and abandoned the aircraft maintenance programs. If you can be an electrician (in Québec) and make 42$/hour, with pension plan, job security, day shift and the ability to work just about anywhere in the province, why would you want to go work on airplanes on a night shift, tied to a large city for less money? The prestige and glamour? lol

For pilots, finding another job related to their training can be quite a challenge... the sheer size of the pilot group assures that.

That’s an interesting analysis mrlupin, thanks. I still believe there will be a surplus in the short-to-medium term, as I believe the various operators will be very slow to return aircraft to service over the next few years. Perhaps we will see another shortage of people in about 5 years or so.. it’s difficult to predict how this will go. People can’t wait around forever waiting for their job to reappear, as you said they will transfer their skills to other professions. I don’t think we will know the full impact and ramifications of this pandemic until a year from now, spring of 2021.  And a lot of things will depend on the discovery of a vaccine for covid19.

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8 hours ago, mrlupin said:

why would you want to go work on airplanes on a night shift,

Probably the biggest drawback of even getting a specialised licence.

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Hopefully Young people will open their eyes to the concept of a 15 year apprenticeship that restarts if you change employers. Aircraft maintenance is the only trade I know of that would expect this to be acceptable. 

 I hope Young people vote with their feet. They may be about to be given a golden opportunity to do so.

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36 minutes ago, Tango Foxtrot said:

Hopefully Young people will open their eyes to the concept of a 15 year apprenticeship that restarts if you change employers. Aircraft maintenance is the only trade I know of that would expect this to be acceptable. 

 I hope Young people vote with their feet. They may be about to be given a golden opportunity to do so.

Will the retirement age for Pilots ..... go up or down?   

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2 hours ago, Marshall said:

Will the retirement age for Pilots ..... go up or down?   

Based on the "Fly til you Die" ruling you can fly until you want to retire. Your pension will be based on years you put in. No mandatory retirement age anymore.

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On 5/3/2020 at 8:42 AM, Kip Powick said:

Years ago when many Charter groups failed, any Military pilots employed with those companies could not get jobs with the Big Three....(AC and CP, and WD)  as those three airlines were really not hiring that many so opted to get back in the Military.

Quite a few were accepted but they went back to BOD8Ds, ( Big Oak Desk, 8 Drawers),  for their penance,  and much later might have found their way back into a cockpit...... if they were lucky..

Perhaps any ex Mil pilots may seek employment back in the RCAF ???.

Big oak desk.....funny. 

I think the invitation for ex-RCAF Pilots may already be happening. Our Air Force might get a break with experienced flight crews returning for an unknown period of time.  

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9 hours ago, Kip Powick said:

Based on the "Fly til you Die" ruling you can fly until you want to retire. Your pension will be based on years you put in. No mandatory retirement age anymore.

World wide?  

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6 minutes ago, Marshall said:

World wide?  

I really don't know as the ruling in Canada came out after I was punted through the goal posts at age  60.

'I think there are restrictions as to what seat you can occupy at certain older ages in some countries. I am sure someone still in the game knows the answers

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Some airline’s and regulator’s scheduling rules do not allow two ‘over 60’s’ to fly together. In some cases this can make preferential bidding a problem even though you are near the top of the heap.

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Agree, blues...and I think ">65" isn't permitted in the left seat in the U.S. (or in U.S. airspace).

I missed the opportunity to stay by a few months. I suppose since I'd signed up in '73 for "60" that that was kinda that - off the conveyor belt for those behind, still on it! 😄

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9 hours ago, Don Hudson said:

Agree, blues...and I think ">65" isn't permitted in the left seat in the U.S. (or in U.S. airspace).

I missed the opportunity to stay by a few months. I suppose since I'd signed up in '73 for "60" that that was kinda that - off the conveyor belt for those behind, still on it! 😄

Oddly enough Mr.H , I remember that happening. Three or four hundred other students and I looking on in awe. One hundred and fifty to two hundred young ladies in tears. 

 Even to this day people still ask "Where is Mr. Hudson?"

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