Potential pilot applicants often ask about exactly how much movement there is within the industry. You may have read about the current and predicted global pilot shortage, in particular, the Asia Pacific region. While pilot job opportunities are increasing:
Where are these applicants going to come from, and exactly how much will pilot job opportunities increase in the global market?
From our own experience with the pilot selection and flight training over recent years, the demand for candidates is developing more rapidly than ever at all levels. The impact on the industry is already being experienced significantly.
Training organisations and operators are employing pilots. However, once pilots accumulate sufficient flight experience, the lure of more senior roles and too good to refuse salaries will inevitably lure them away.
The flow-on reaches the pool of pilot candidates beginning with the regional airlines, and then eventually affecting the larger airlines on a global scale. The effect that this has along the entire supply chain of pilots with varying experience levels has become increasingly evident. Larger operators and airlines are now looking at pilots that they historically wouldn’t have considered until they had gained significantly more flight experience.
Airlines that have previously preferred 1,500 – 2,000 flight hours are now actively interviewing and employing pilots with less than 1,000 flight hours.
This results in the pool of pilots becoming smaller, including those with previous experience. Furthermore, for candidates just out of flight training with that first 500 – 1,000 hours of flight experience, it widens the number of opportunities available for entry to both the regional and broader airline markets.
In Asia in particular, major airlines are actively interviewing and employing pilots with less than 500 flight hours. Previously they only considered cadet entry applicants (with little to no previous flying experience) or direct entry pilots with extensive experience.
Another of the world’s leading airlines has begun recruiting candidates both from outside their home country and with far less experience. Both the sourcing of pilots from other countries and the lowering of accepted experience is something this airline had not needed to consider until recently.
Pilot job opportunities increasing within a shrinking candidate pool has allowed for numerous positions to become available to candidates far earlier in their flying career.
These previously unavailable opportunities now extend beyond cadet pilot programs (which have also expanded). They also include direct entry options for pilots that may have only just obtained their qualifications. While these opportunities remain as competitive as ever, the number of positions available to pilots with less experience has expanded dramatically.
Given the highly competitive nature of airline application procedures, particularly for those entry points allowing for lesser experienced pilots, detailed preparation is more critical than ever. We offer a range of airline interview preparation courses that have had an exceptionally high success rate in helping applicants achieve success with multiple leading airlines. The programs are run by Learn To Fly in partnership with ACS – Aviation Consulting Services.
For more information on these courses or becoming a pilot in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are committed to taking pilots beyond their initial training and helping them find the best pathway to obtaining their dream flying job in the future.
Captain Darren McPherson, ACS – Aviation Consulting Services