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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On 5/2/2020 at 12:35 PM, Guest said:

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. 


Nearly 800 pilots have applied for jobs at Frontier Airlines with only 100 open spots - here's what execs look for when hiring
tpallini@businessinsider.com (Thomas Pallini)  1 hour ago
Frontier Airlines is looking to hire 100 pilots with nearly 800 applications already received. 
The ultra-low-cost carrier is one of the few hiring pilots during an industry downturn.
We spoke to Frontier's vice president of flight operations to see what makes a great candidate. 
Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.
It's been nearly a year since Frontier Airlines froze pilot hiring in March, at the start of what would be a crippling period for travel. But as aviation enters a new year focused on recovery, the ultra-low-cost carrier is ready to bring more pilots into the cockpit. 

The application window for Frontier's latest round of pilot hiring opened on January 27 with prospective pilots having until February 17 to apply. Only around 100 pilots will get to join the airline's ranks this time around despite potentially thousands of applicants and nearly 800 applications submitted in the first seven days. 

While getting a spot at a major carrier like Frontier has never been easy, the pandemic is making it even more difficult as there's no shortage of unemployed yet highly-qualified pilots eager to get back in the air. Pilots looking to get a foot in the door at the Denver-based carrier will have to be strategic in how they present themselves when applying.  

Read More: Spirit Airlines' low-cost model puts it in the perfect spot to be the big winner of the pandemic, a Deutsche Bank analyst says

Here's what the airline looks for when hiring pilots.

A pilot ready to choose stability over glamour
Frontier's primary focus is domestic leisure travel with a growing number of routes to the Caribbean and Latin America. For pilots, that means exclusively flying narrow-body Airbus A320 family aircraft mostly on domestic hops instead of larger wide-bodies on intercontinental flights to exotic overseas locales. 

Long-haul international flying is a glamorous perk enjoyed by those flying for the big three - American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines - but the pandemic and past economic crises have shown just how fragile that type of flying can be. Frontier's proposition is stability over glamour. 

"Some of the perks you may see at a larger international carrier, we don't have those," Brad Lambert, Frontier Airlines' vice president of flight operations, told Insider. "But in exchange for that, you get long-term stable employment, quick upgrade, and we think a very bright future in terms of schedule and basing and things like that, that are always important. Quality of life, really."

Ultra-low-cost carriers are proving to be rebounding faster than their international-oriented competitors thanks to an increase in domestic travel, which Frontier believes will help pilots better weather economic storms. 

Frontier is also in growth mode with recently opened bases in cities like Miami and more to be potentially opened in 2020. New planned routes also take Frontier as far south as El Salvador in just one of many expansions announced in 2020.   

"With growth comes, more crew bases, quicker upgrades, better stability, better seniority to be able to bid better schedules, and instead of having a kind of a contracting business environment, we've really got an expanding business environment," Lambert said.

A first officer can typically upgrade to a captain in as little as three years, Lambert says, which comes with an increase in pay and responsibility. More importantly for some, Frontier's model also gives pilots more control over their schedules.

"Being home more often and spending more time with your family, those are the types of family values that you get when you fly Frontier," Lambert said. "And I think that's huge."



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If you thought there was a shortage of pilots before,  wait till this is over. Frontier is smart. Maybe some of the new hires will stay. 

 There will be not enough pilots,  not enough aircraft,  and  nobody to fix them. 

 Let's hope the people that run the place use it as an opportunity to make some money for a change. 

 For years I have thought that if you raised the fares 25 cents a week for 3 months,  you would not know what to do with all the money 🤔

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12 hours ago, Tango Foxtrot said:

If you thought there was a shortage of pilots before,  wait till this is over. 

How do you figure that?

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The top of the seniority lists are venturing off to "Dot Land" at an alarming rate.  There are no new people coming into the bottom. 

 Add to that the number of existing people at the bottom of the seniority lists that will not return. 

 Old aircraft are being removed permanently from service.  New aircraft are not being built. 

 Even with the obvious good reasons not  to, and ridiculous rules forcing the decision,  everyone I know wants to travel. 

 Everybody in Canada will be vaccinated by September.  Every day new treatments are discovered to help patients recover. 

 Just my $.02 worth. 

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1 hour ago, Tango Foxtrot said:

Add to that the number of existing people at the bottom of the seniority lists that will not return.

Agree with you here TF.  Just last week I was contacted to provide a reference for a (very junior) laid off AC pilot. When we spoke in advance, I asked him if this was a "temporary move while laid off, or a full-on career change" (paraphrasing). In short, he's seen enough, and will make the decision when it's presented to him, but at this point he's ready for a new challenge (IT infrastructure/Programming remotely job).

My experience with many of the younger-Millennial and Gen Z personalities is that there is not the commitment to any one career anymore- even the opportunity of flying at the major airlines doesn't matter.  It will be even harder to return to being paid airline entry wages comparatively when quite likely, working elsewhere will pay more.

The shortage will return barring some further freak economic nail.

Now if only Trudeau and his posse would start addressing the issue we could be prepared for it. In the short term however, he's giving us the finger.

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