Air travel is back, but who’s flying the plane?

The pandemic caused a pilot shortage. Now, airlines are scrambling to fill positions and it’s a VERY opportune time to become a pilot.


July 19, 2021

Learning this control panel is very lucrative right now (Source: Alexander Hassenstein / Getty Images)

As Americans return to the skies at near pre-pandemic levels, airlines have been on a hiring and plane-buying spree.

But staffing shortages are still affecting carriers. American Airlines just canceled voluntary leaves for its 3.3k flight attendants and plans to hire 800 more by March 2022.

One of the toughest positions to fill is the pilot

And many airlines are experiencing a huge backlog when it comes to training new and returning captains, per CNBC.

The pilot shortage has several pandemic-related causes:

  • Many pilots quit, took buyouts or early retirement, or changed jobs
  • Reduced travel prevented pilots from maintaining their minimum takeoffs and landings
  • New pilots can take weeks to train, while retraining lasts days

To try to keep up, airlines are…

… adding training capacity, hiring more flight instructors, and clipping flight schedules.

Trever Rossini, owner of InFlight Pilot Training in Minnesota, told Fox 9 it’s “probably the best time in the history of aviation” to become a pilot.

Meanwhile, travelers should expect continued limited flights and delays as airlines staff up. But hopefully not like this nightmare flight from Vegas to Stockton, California, that somehow took 17 hours.

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