Aviation's Next Big Challenge Will Be a Lack of Employees
The airline industry is currently experiencing a manpower shortage, which will delay recovery from the COVID-19 epidemic. We’ve already seen these problems with American Airlines, and they’ll almost certainly continue in 2021.
The summer’s biggest challenge
During the Routes Americas event earlier this week, Peter Cerdá, regional vice-president of the International Air Travel Association (IATA), addressed the issue. “, he explained.
“The industry will confront hurdles this summer, not due of weather or regulatory constraints, but due to a lack of manpower to keep up with the recovery.”
Last week, American Airlines had to cancel hundreds of flights, prompting this comment. The operational hit was caused by unusual weather and manpower difficulties at several vendors, according to the company. As a result, according to Local 10, the airline may have to cancel between 50 and 80 flights each day in early July, depending on the demands.
This scarcity affects more than just the aviation sector. The tourism industry as a whole is suffering as a result of fewer personnel and rising travel demand. According to Frontier CEO Barry Biffle,
“We anticipated shortages. This is a real problem. You’re in big trouble right now if you haven’t planned this for months and months.”
Ted Christie, the CEO of Spirit, added,
“We were able to get the engine moving again quickly, but it was not without agony. It’s a seller’s market right now, and the shortage is putting a strain on the economy. We’ve been in a fantastic spot, and our summer and fall schedules seem promising.”
Due to a manpower shortage, American Airlines had to cancel hundreds of flights. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
Pilot shortage after COVID-19
The problem isn’t going away anytime soon. After the pandemic, according to Oliver Wyman and United Airlines, there will be a pilot shortage. This was a problem before to the current crisis; it looked to go away over the last year, but it will resurface in the near future to bite the aviation industry.
Oliver Wyman, a management consulting firm, stated it thus way:
“With the outbreak of COVID-19, the debate turned from scarcity to surplus almost instantaneously. This has provided a temporary reprieve for carriers who were experiencing pilot supply issues. It isn’t going to last.”
No later than 2023, certain locations will face a pilot shortage. By 2025, there will be a global shortage of 34,000 pilots, with the number rising to 50,000. The most significant shortages of pilots will be in North America, Asia-Pacific, and the Middle East.
In the foreseeable future, there will be a pilot shortage. Photo: Getty Images
Aging and early retirements
Many airlines employed the early retirement strategy to deal with the COVID-19 situation. They gave appealing retirement programmes to elderly pilots, making them more likely to retire. That decision, however, is now backfiring.
The shortage of workers is exacerbated by the fact that the region’s overall pilot population is ageing.
According to Oliver Wyman, North America will require approximately 12,000 pilots by 2023, accounting for 13% of global demand.
To address this problem, airlines must rethink crew operations and increase productivity, reducing the overall number of pilots necessary and lowering expenses. They should also continue to invest in pilot recruitment and training programmes. Finally, given the likelihood of rising competition, airlines should aggressively participate in boosting retention, according to Oliver Wyman.
What steps would you take to address the present labour shortage in the United States? Please let us know in the comments section.
Cover Photo Credit: Getty Images