Meanwhile, 42 percent of all active airline pilots, or approximately 22,000, will retire over the next decade, one industry survey says, with a new mandatory retirement age of 65, imposed by the federal government several years ago, looming as a main culprit. But growth in aviation will require 20,000 extra pilots a year for the next decade, Boeing estimates.
So airlines are getting more aggressive about recruiting, which puts a particular squeeze on business aviation. “It’s hard for pilots to justify not going for more time off, a schedule and more money, with an airline, and it’s a hard thing for a corporate operator to compete with,” says Sheryl Barden, CEO of Aviation Personnel International.
To make sure they and their clients aren’t losers in this game of high-flying musical chairs, business-aviation players are fighting back in these ways:
Increasing compensation is a huge part of that. Pilot salaries in corporate aviation have increased by 20 percent to more than 100 percent, Barden says. Charter company Clay Lacy, for example, just launched a three-pronged program that includes higher salaries, an explicit career ladder and enhanced benefits that include what Lamb calls “zero-deductible, almost no-cost medical” insurance, and likely will add a deferred-compensation option as a sort of retirement benefit.
View the original “Pilot Problems” article in Chief Executive.