War for Talent in Aviation

Amidst the labor shortage in the airline industry, long-term demand for pilots is widely known. The lack of knowledge and necessary training to become a pilot forces airlines in the industry to rethink recruitment methods. 

The Pilot and Technician Outlook for 2021-2040, published by Boeing projects the worldwide personal demand of new pilots to be 612,000. Additionally, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the overall employment of airline and commercial pilots to have outpaced anticipated growth in all occupations.

Projected to grow 13 percent the next decade, the anticipated annual average of open pilot positions is 14,500. This growth is not the only challenge airlines are facing. With an increase in demand for new pilots and seasoned pilots exiting the industry, it poses questions of how airlines will recruit, train and ensure effective knowledge transfer so aspiring pilots are set up for career success.

An article published by Fintecology, “I’m an American Airlines pilot— here’s why there’s a shortage,” in which they interview Dennis Tajer, describes the difficulty in recruiting pilots at American Airlines to be unlike anything the airline has seen. Many cadets attempting to earn flight time hours are being forced to leave aviation due to not being able to “afford [sitting] around a flight school hoping to get a couple [of] hours”.

In midst of these challenges, American Airlines has aimed “to find people who are capable but never saw themselves as having the option to become an airline pilot” as well as affording its attention to underrepresented groups. As airlines continue to get a grasp on emerging financial challenges and its labor shortage – the ability to recruit, manage, and provide appropriate talent development is all the more crucial for the retention of candidates entering into flight academy.

What can we do?

This rapid increase in demand of pilots poses as an opportunity for candidates who have dreamed of becoming pilots, but may not have had the opportunity due to a variety of circumstances. The Ashton Johnson CloudDancer Memorial aims to fill this gap. Our mission is to provide as many scholarships possible to military veterans and underserved individuals seeking a career in aviation. By donating to our scholarship, your contribution will help alleviate the financial burden of our scholarship recipients and give them an opportunity to focus on working toward their dream.