Airlines to lower pilot hiring requirements to deal with shortage

Airlines are under pressure as the number of flight cancellations increase due to pilot shortage


Amidst a time when airlines across the globe are facing a massive increase in travel demand, they are also facing an acute shortage of staff including pilots. The airlines are struggling to fill in their cockpits in the aircrafts which has forced them to lower the bar for qualified fliers. To accommodate more pilots, the airlines have also halved the number of hours that is required to become a pilot. But the issue of dropping the requirement is seen at different levels across the country and across the airlines.

In January, 2022, Delta Airlines had removed the need for having a 4 year college degree requirement and added that the qualified fliers did not need a bachelor’s degree if they have ample flying experience. As for now the airlines require the pilots to have at least 1,500 hours of flying experience to qualify. But the representatives from some of the popular airlines including Delta, United and American have said that they have submitted applications to the Federal Aviation Administration, so they could hire pilots with a flying experience of 750 flying hours.

Some of the industry experts including Scott Kirby, the CEO of the United Airlines said that if the move is approved, then it could address the issue of pilot shortage across the sector. Kirby said that the problem of pilot shortage is real and majority of the airlines are not able to realize their capacity plans as there are not enough pilots out there. But the United Airlines is not the only airline that is facing the pressure. Other airlines including Alaska is also finding it tough to answer the travel demand.

Alaska Airline CEO Ben Minicucci, while talking to a leading daily said that the flight cancellations has been going around since a while and he has been apologizing to the customers. He also said that nearly 1,200 flights are operated by the airlines on an everyday basis and 50 of them are cancelled that accounts to 4 percent of the total flights.

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