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Pilot Shortage Still Looms Despite more ATP's

Old 09-13-2023, 12:51 PM
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Default Pilot Shortage Still Looms Despite more ATP's

From AIN Newsletter:Jefferies: Pilot Shortage Still Looms Despite ATP Growth

While the number of newly issued FAA pilot certificates has jumped significantly, analyst Jefferies estimates that a shortage of about 5,000 pilots still exists in the U.S. and is on pace to reach a 12,000 deficit by 2025. Jefferies reported that total pilot certificate issuances last month increased by 34 percent year-over-year and by 77 percent from August 2019.

Of the 15,900 certificates issued last month, 1,266 were for airline transport pilots (ATP), a more than 21 percent year-over-year rise. At the same time, commercial certificates issued were up by 25 percent, private pilot issuances by 43 percent, and students by 35 percent.

However, taking into account the record ATP issuance, Jefferies estimated that the pipeline total is still shy by 4 percent given the early Covid retirements. This shortfall is expected to grow to 8 percent in 2025 and 9 percent—or 14,000 pilots—by 2023 as the pent-up certifications normalize and retirements reach 3 percent annually.

Jefferies points out that 16 percent of today’s pilots are between 60 and 64 years old and another 17 percent are between 55 and 59.
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Old 09-13-2023, 03:31 PM
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The pilot shortage was always a myth.

It still is.

A temporary surge does not a shortage make.
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Old 09-16-2023, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnBurke View Post
The pilot shortage was always a myth.

It still is.

A temporary surge does not a shortage make.
I would agree with that.
For sure a high demand for captains! Especially at the regional carriers.
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:16 AM
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It is more "pilot hemorrhage" than "pilot shortage".

Although as you say there is a shortage of experienced PIC's in some sectors.
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:59 AM
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The big problem with the "shortage" was always that it wasn't universal. Regionals, for a long time, had a tough time attracting and retaining because of poor wages and working conditions, not because of a shortage of pilots. It was so commonly heard as to compete with the weather for a comment in passing, that one didn't want to go to the regionals to work for poverty wages with multiple legs per day, and carry lunch in a box. The regionals didn't care. They were the starter job of the industry, nearly always one's first place after flight instructing, and prior to implementation of the ATP requirement, was the entry-level place, with a fresh commercial, ink still wet and sticky.

Regionals pay better now. Not by choice, but they were forced to do so. Still, the lifestyle remains, and while some stick it out long term, with opportunities farther up the fruit tree, the regionals aren't having a hard time attracting captains because there aren't enough; they simply still suck and don't or can't compete with what legacies, et al, have to offer.

That said, I'm aware of a number of senior pilots at ACMI carriers who have flocked to regionals or quasi-regionals in recent times, thanks to direct-entry positions, hiring bonuses, living in base, etc, and recognition of their years of 121 service (starting at a higher year pay grade), and so forth. That used to be the other way around, with regional pilots going to ACMI. Had an ACMI pilot, especially a captain, gone to a regional, others would have asked, in not-hushed tones, "what's wrong with that guy?" Not so, now.

It's a brave new world with incredibly underqualified people getting jobs in equipment where they have no business being, people out of their element, and the mud on the bottom semi-permanently stirred such that it never seems to settle. Lots of rolling stones, very little moss, of late.

But not a shortage. That was always the big lie, the future airline pilots of 'murica got-a-bridge-to-sell-ya byline, hawked by every flight school in the country (and still a popular, but false selling point). There's no pilot shortage. There never was.
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Old 01-09-2024, 07:57 PM
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When do you think the surge will slow down ?
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Old 01-10-2024, 07:04 AM
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It's driven by...

Retirments, which are known and will continue into the 2030's but slowing from their current peak. Possible brief slowdown for age 67, but it's not going to be "all stop" like last time.

Air travel demand, which all predictions indicate should increase over time (remote/hybrid work has helped).

Broader economy, which may be slowing into a "soft landing".


Contrary to what the various chicken littles like to espouse, these three factors are summative... a mild downturn does not stop retirements, and also may not impact shifting societal/demographic attitudes which make people more interetsed in experiences/travel. Even if they have less money on average, they might still prefer travel over a new diesel F-350.
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