Shortcomings in the Sky: Fewer Pilots, Lesser Flights

Airline Industry

When the Airline Deregulation Act was passed in 1978, the government no longer controlled the industry. Although the administration still remain in charge of flight safety, man airlines controlled their own fares, scheduling, staffing, and the consumer market were now in charge of who they were hiring and how much they were paying.

Despite this, or perhaps, due to this, the industry quickly expanded throughout the 1980s. The airline industry became a booming labor market. But 9/11 happened, and what began as a rapidly growing market became a devastated industry. Airlines faced a decade of bankruptcies and mergers and the employment pool quickly dried up.

Unfortunately, it seems the nosedive is about to stoop even lower.

Turbulence Ahead

A mix of economic woes, steep training costs and underwhelming wages might be pushing the industry to more flight cancellations and pilot shortage. Although and other sophisticated aviation management systems are being put up to aid the industry’s growth and development, the struggle remains across the labor market.

Pilots everywhere are nearly saying the same thing: they love flying, but they can’t make a living out of it. Contrary to how it looks like from afar, not every pilot makes a lot of money. In fact, pilots struggle at the beginning of their careers. They pay thousands of dollars to get the education they need and enter the industry with over $200,000 in debt for a job that pays $22,914 per year, to start.

Of course, this gap in wage and skill exists in industries everywhere.

Shortage and Struggle

In the airline industry, however, the gap is too wide for anybody to fail to notice. And although not all pilots are hurting, as senior pilots flying coast to coast or international routes make a lot of money, smaller and regional carriers can’t deal with these financial struggles and unsatisfactory wage issues. They are left with no option but to give passengers fewer options.

The coming pilot shortage is not only going to affect the airline industry, but several other sectors that rely, or at least purchase flying time from varied carriers. While negotiating for a higher pay seems the first solution a lot would think of, other airlines are considering building their own subsidized flight academies, to lessen the number of new pilots entering the field with heavy educational debt.

Instead of cutting back on flights, this alternative could in fact lead to better heights.