What happened? Is the pilot shortage over?
What a difference a year – and a global pandemic – can make.
It wasn’t long ago that many business aircraft operators were scrambling to find qualified candidates in the face of an ongoing personnel shortage. However, among the many changes wrought by COVID-19 has been a near-complete reversal of the employment market, with dozens, if not hundreds, of applicants – many of them furloughed airline pilots – seeking to fill each open business aviation job.
“Of 182 resumes on my desk right now, 60 are from airline pilots,” said the chief pilot for a Fortune 250 company based in the western U.S. “And of those 60 applicants, I’ve got 27 different airlines represented.”
Jennifer Pickerel, vice president of industry recruiting and consulting firm Aviation Personnel International, has seen a similar rush of applicants looking for placement. “Prior to this crisis, we might have seen a retired airline pilot who wanted to register with our services maybe three or four times a year; now, I would say 30% of our applicants are airline pilots.”