The Real Cost of Pilot Shortages

Published May 24th, 2022 by Thepjcadmin

You may remember the pilot shortage that was briefly discussed a few years ago. Retirement ages have always played a factor in the supply of qualified pilots, which is why in 2007 Congress elected to vote in a bill raising the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 65. The reason for this concern of pilot supply is driven by a myriad of factors. Today we will focus on two and what the predictable impact seems to be:
- Pilots lost interest in the job, or were concerned with the travel, during COVID. Whether experiencing worldly meals with fellow crew members, seeing a new country or city, or just being able to wander the streets on their days off, crew members found themselves going from cockpits to hotel rooms without much enjoyment in between. Travel had changed the role of being a pilot so much that those in their upper years decided that the additional few years of a salary was not worth the new lifestyle.

- Salaries were notoriously low for early-stage pilots, causing them to think twice about stepping into high training costs to make a modest earning. Especially while other jobs have recruited young talent at such demanding degrees and the salary band for those roles has been driven up to the highest levels experienced for entry-level workers. 

So, what does all of this mean for the private aviation industry? The short answer is that salaries continue to increase to attract commercial pilots and retain the crew members that exist in the pilot pool. This is one of many key examples of how a new cost structure has hit the industry of private travel and will not be dissipating anytime soon. With the cost of chartering an aircraft remaining relatively stagnant, compared to inflation, we are now experiencing a normalization of pricing that has caught up with the times and recreated that barrier to entry that previously existed. With the wealth generation and additional demand, this is a necessary rebalancing of the cost of goods and services in our industry to retain the resources needed to make it operator smoothly. However, working with a private jet consultant representative will help you find an aviation approach that allows you to maximize the value and experience of every flight. 

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