All major US airline carriers are struggling with a pilot shortage. In the wake of the shortage, carriers are considering shortening the number of training hours to become a pilot.
United CEO Scott Kirby stated:
“The pilot shortage for the industry is real, and most airlines are simply not going to be able to realize their capacity plans because there simply aren’t enough pilots, at least not for the next five-plus years.”
The CEO of Alaska Airlines released a Youtube video apologizing for the carrier’s continued flight cancellations. The CEO said, “We had 63 fewer pilots than what we planned for when we built our scheduled, which he said led to a ripple effect.”
To combat the shortage, Delta announced it would increase pay for pilots, as well as offer large sign-on bonuses. Delta will also no longer require pilots to possess four-year degrees.
Some carriers have requested to halve the number of flight hours needed to become a pilot. Pilots currently need 1500 flight hours.
Senator Lyndsey Graham has proposed increasing the retirement age from 65 to 67 years old for pilots.