• NC Software is proud to announce the release of APDL - Airline Pilot Logbook version 10.0. Click here to view APDL on the Apple App store and install now.

ALPA proves there is no pilot shortage.

MAJICJOHNSON

Active member
Joined
May 1, 2005
Posts
27
Total Time
8500
ALPA has released a new statement intended to debunk what it calls ?the myth? of a pilot shortage, and publishing a new fact sheet on the employment realities for trained pilots in today?s aviation industry.

I?ve covered the projections by Boeing of demand for 533,000 new pilots needed in the industry by 2020, as well as the announcement of Boeing?s Pilot Development Program in collaboration with Jeppesen?and made mention of a February article which appeared in Flying Magazine and made many of the same points in yesterday?s announcement.

However, the new ALPA announcement presents some interesting additional information.

ALPA attributes the following facts to a recent US Government Accountability Office report indicating there is no current shortage of qualified airline pilots in the United States:

A large pool of qualified pilots exists relative to the projected demand.
Data on wage earnings and employment growth are not consistent with the existence of an airline pilot shortage.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2000-2012 showed that the median weekly earnings of airline pi- lots decreased by 9.5 percent over the period (adjusted for inflation), which is an average decline of 0.8 per- cent per year. Wages would be going up if a shortage existed.
In the context of the 72,000 airline pilot jobs that existed in the United States in 2012, FAA data show there are 137,658 active pilots who currently hold an air transport pilot (ATP) certificate and a first-class medical certifi- cate, and were younger than 65 as of January 20, 2014.
Another 105,000 pilots hold instrument ratings and commercial pilot certificates and could potentially obtain an ATP.
In 2012, the FAA certificated 6,396 new ATPs, and that number is trending upward.
In addition, about 2,400 qualified pilots leave the U.S. military services each year; and mainline airlines, which offer new-hire first officers approximately $48,000 per year, indicated that they have no difficulty attracting qualified pilots.
ALPA once again presents figures on pay scales at US Regional Carriers which are shockingly low:


10 Lowest-Paying Airlines, US/Source: ALPA


Flight: Without Actually Flying

ALPA also points out that the educational investment required, compared to the poor starting wage scales at airlines in the US, are drawing potential pilots away from a career working for an airline into different aviation careers more likely to pay well.

Becoming an airline pilot is an expensive and time-inten- sive undertaking, no matter which path is taken to reach that goal. Many new pilots have invested $150,000 or more in their college aviation education and flight training with the expectation that they will be able to pay off their loans and eventually earn a salary that is commensurate with their education, training, and experience.

Even for students who feel passionate about working
in aviation, other careers for which university aviation program graduates may be qualified offer stronger starting salaries than becoming a pilot. A test engineer ($52,000), an operations manager ($55,000), and a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force ($53,616 in salary and allowances) are just a few of the alternatives graduates with aviation degrees have to becoming a professional pilot.

The Growing Expat Pilot Dynamic

Of course, Boeing?s projected growth figures speak to global demand. Boeing predicts that 88,000 new pilots will be needed in the US. It predicts 55,000 demand for new pilots in the Middle East and 216,000 in Asia Pacific. Both of these are regions where, ALPA indicates, ?hundreds of other qualified pilots work abroad? for leading carriers; attracted to working overseas by better compensation packages. Says ALPA of this dynamic:

Many of the pilots working elsewhere would prefer to fly for U.S. airlines were they able to earn compensation commensurate with their aptitude and confident of a long-term career.

Aviation Freakonomics

Under normal supply/demand market conditions, a pilot shortage would be good for pilots?forcing airlines to compete against each other for qualified staff and raising the stakes. However, two and a half key factors prevent this dynamic from taking effect when it comes to commercial airline operations.

1) Economic forces and competitive models at the airlines (spurred by the ongoing passenger demand for cheaper fares), make high wages for pilots (or any other personnel for that matter) unsustainable.

2) Technological advances by the OEMs make it easier for new-entry pilots to train and fly.

2.1) Flying is still an attractive career for many (just for the joy of it) making Boeing?s pilot hatchery an attractive and viable option for airlines? price-picked new recruits. A Boeing spokesperson confirmed to Flight Chic that the Pilot Development Program is focused on airlines and that any fees for training and pre-qualifications are under review. When released, these will be targeted to airlines and focused on those airlines? needs.

UPDATE: According to an AOPA article by Ian J. Twombly:

David Wright, the Pilot Development Program director, said that it is expected to cost roughly $100,000 to $150,000 to train each student. But with much of the rest of the world working on an ab inito basis, airlines will be the customers.

He said that although individual sales may come in the future, airlines are expected to foot the bill. Although Wright said no North American airlines are customers at this point, they are talking and ?the airlines aren?t opposed to it.?

I have not yet been able to independently confirmed this, but have reached out to Boeing for more information on the details of the Pilot Development Program, and will update when that is available either here on in a new post.

I?d welcome your questions or comments, as I take a deeper look into the future of aviation employment.

Featured Image: Capt. Chesley Sullenberger and fellow pilots at the introduction of the ?Safe Skies Act? in the 113th Congress, legislation designed to ensure that America?s cargo plane pilots are sufficiently rested and alert before they fly. Via Senate Democrats Flickr.
 

pilotyip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
13,629
Total Time
14000
There is an unbelievable shortage at the bottom feeder entry level jobs. And this is the breeder grounds for the next lever of jobs. I look at a long list of pilots who had never flown a jet before they came to JUS and now fly for SWA, FedEx, DAL, NJ, etc. Maybe you don’t need to pay your dues anymore?
 

scoreboardII

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Posts
2,694
Total Time
xxxxxx
If there was an unbelievable shortage, there would be an unbelievable wage to attract those pilots. There is not, so there is no shortage, only a shortage of pilots willing to take those low wages, big difference.
 

HalinTexas

昇る太陽の土&#
Joined
Feb 14, 2004
Posts
1,536
Total Time
10000+
They aren't short enough. They're still operating. Their code share enablers aren't sweating it either, at least publicly.

I'm still in Asia. Waiting for an interview at a top tier legacy. Nothing.
 

jmreii

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 15, 2006
Posts
584
Total Time
11,600
If there was an unbelievable shortage, there would be an unbelievable wage to attract those pilots. There is not, so there is no shortage, only a shortage of pilots willing to take those low wages, big difference.

Shortage or not no more money for pilots unless ALPA pays it. Good Luck with That!
 

sstearns2

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 25, 2001
Posts
596
Total Time
9000
Pay is unrelated to supply and demand. The US had not had full employment since WWII, so it is always a game of musical chairs. There has never been a pilot shortage, but some pilots have great pay packages. It comes down to unions working properly.

The mainline passenger unions have failed by allowing a large percentage of their jobs to be transferred off of their rolls and into a system that eliminates the only leverage a union has to improve compensation. The only leverage a union has is that the company is legally required to use union workers. This is very effective at mainline, but the regionals work on contracts which will not be renewed if management can not keep pay low.

The easiest way for mainline to get better pay is to trade it for more jobs being transferred to the regionals in the form of relaxing the scope clauses. This has been happening for 20 years now. I hope it will stop or even be reversed, but I am not confident in that.

For those at mainline, please consider this when management asks to let the regionals fly E-190s in exchange for a raise. I think this is 6-12 months away. It looks to me that 100% of mainline flying will be regional style contract in 20 years and management's long term plan to kill the unions will be complete. This can only happen if the mainline pilots allow it to. Keep in mind that the "regionals" now operate in 4 countries and over 1000NM from any US border.

Scott
 

atpcliff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
4,260
Total Time
6000
Meanwhile, back in the real world, for the first time every, several Chinese carriers are hiring expat FOs, for the very first time....Emirates held a pilot hiring informational session in Singapore, and not a single pilot showed up.

Low Pay? I think $15.5/mo for an ERJ-145 capt is good, and $21.5/mo for an ERJ-190 capt is even better...unless you are a small airbus capt at $22.5/mo.
 

DCAA320

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 27, 2001
Posts
488
Total Time
15000
They aren't short enough. They're still operating. Their code share enablers aren't sweating it either, at least publicly.

I'm still in Asia. Waiting for an interview at a top tier legacy. Nothing.

What country/city are you in? Don't like it there? Just curious.

Had a great time in Korea but was only there 2 years in the military.
 
Last edited:

waveflyer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Posts
10,005
Total Time
12000
If there was an unbelievable shortage, there would be an unbelievable wage to attract those pilots. There is not, so there is no shortage, only a shortage of pilots willing to take those low wages, big difference.

Yip??

He just called you out^^^
Care to comment?
 

pilotyip

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
13,629
Total Time
14000
Yip??

He just called you out^^^
Care to comment?
Don't need to, I agree with him. We can't find pilots, like all of us in this sector. Therefore there is pilot shortage. But it is nothing that can not be fixed with money. But instead we redefine competitive mins to absolute minimums. We find if we interview a very well qualified pilot and don't get him in class within a couple weeks of the interview they have found another job. I think almost everyone we have interviewed this year have been unemployed. In 17 years of doing this I have never seen this situation of almost no one applying.

As the years go by and the shortage creeps up the food chain, the major airlines will also redefine competitive mins, like the late 90's where begin hired without a college was not unusual.
 

Roomwithaview

Well-known member
Joined
May 6, 2005
Posts
494
Total Time
10000
Don't need to, I agree with him. We can't find pilots, like all of us in this sector. Therefore there is pilot shortage. But it is nothing that can not be fixed with money. But instead we redefine competitive mins to absolute minimums. We find if we interview a very well qualified pilot and don't get him in class within a couple weeks of the interview they have found another job. I think almost everyone we have interviewed this year have been unemployed. In 17 years of doing this I have never seen this situation of almost no one applying.

As the years go by and the shortage creeps up the food chain, the major airlines will also redefine competitive mins, like the late 90's where begin hired without a college was not unusual.

The wage problem exists because ALPA and APA stepped on their d*cks back in the early days of the regionals. Had they not been so arrogant and elitist about main line flying they would have umbrella-ed the commuter pilots and made sure the pay and bennies was adequate. Additionally, they could have set the commuter gig up for what it eventually became which is the farm team for the big leagues. That wasn't the attitude back in the 80's and 90's and is the petrie dish for why we (unionized pilots) are fractionalized and constantly getting our ass handed to us.
 

atpcliff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
4,260
Total Time
6000
Atlas Air has lowered their mins four times in 4 years...not much further to go to reach straight ATPmins.
 

atpcliff

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 26, 2001
Posts
4,260
Total Time
6000
Was reading the ALPA propaganda. If there is such a "Large Pool", then why are guys calling AA/DAL/UAL and no-showing for class? Why are guys leaving UAL during groundschool for another carrier? Why is Atlas Air having problems getting enough pilots?
 

bafanguy

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Posts
2,412
Total Time
23,000
...then why are guys calling AA/DAL/UAL and no-showing for class? Why are guys leaving UAL during groundschool for another carrier?

I find that astonishing. How much of it is happening and do you know any of the people involved ?
 

waveflyer

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 9, 2005
Posts
10,005
Total Time
12000
If I were in a United class and delta called, I would leave.
There is always a little bit of this based on domiciles and personal preference-
But to leave united right now- seems pretty wise -

At the moment until their leadership structure changes significantly- what looks like a lateral move...isn't
 

jynxyjericho

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Posts
795
Total Time
4k
Don't need to, I agree with him. We can't find pilots, like all of us in this sector. Therefore there is pilot shortage. But it is nothing that can not be fixed with money. But instead we redefine competitive mins to absolute minimums. We find if we interview a very well qualified pilot and don't get him in class within a couple weeks of the interview they have found another job. I think almost everyone we have interviewed this year have been unemployed. In 17 years of doing this I have never seen this situation of almost no one applying.

As the years go by and the shortage creeps up the food chain, the major airlines will also redefine competitive mins, like the late 90's where begin hired without a college was not unusual.

That's a business model failure you are describing, not a pilot shortage. Ive got a shortage of guys who will mow my lawn for 5 bucks a mow, at 6 dollars a mow it's worth my time to mow it. I've a hurting shortage right now for lawn mowers.

Regionals can't attract because of pay, pay can't go up becuase mainline will take it back. Unless a regional can offer someing besides pay and work rules that attract pilot (read: quick upgrade) that regional will fail and regionals as a whole willl fail and shrink. All those people will be flown around by mainline, and mainline will have zero problems hiring.

Regional business models don't work in 2014 with competative pay packages and widespread industry competition. It's luck if your regional was gifted with a bunch of airplanes and or a high turnover rate thanks to flows. There will be a couple regionals left flying small fleets around, mainline will be stocked, and we will forget this stupid Pilot Shortage part VII.
 
Last edited:

bafanguy

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2004
Posts
2,412
Total Time
23,000
If I were in a United class and delta called, I would leave.

Times change, for sure. There was a time DL wouldn't touch a pilot from another airline...even a furlough who didn't want to return to his previous carrier.

I sat across the desk from Art Davis who told me he couldn't even consider a couple of my buddies because they were furloughed from other legacies...even if they'd resign.

New time in history...different management.

Didn't UAL suspend new hire classes (or maybe interviewing ?) for a while because the training dept. was covered up with the UAL/CAL musical chairs and couldn't fit in new hire classes ?

What is UAL doing now regarding interviewing/hiring ?
 

jynxyjericho

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 2, 2011
Posts
795
Total Time
4k
Times change, for sure. There was a time DL wouldn't touch a pilot from another airline...even a furlough who didn't want to return to his previous carrier.

I sat across the desk from Art Davis who told me he couldn't even consider a couple of my buddies because they were furloughed from other legacies...even if they'd resign.

New time in history...different management.

Didn't UAL suspend new hire classes (or maybe interviewing ?) for a while because the training dept. was covered up with the UAL/CAL musical chairs and couldn't fit in new hire classes ?

What is UAL doing now regarding interviewing/hiring ?

They are interviewing right now and I think classes are going but I don't know for sure.
 

maru657

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2005
Posts
509
Total Time
>15000
During the 80's Newt and the boys along with St Ronnie did away with some labor laws. One which required companies to give preference to furloughed Or Un-employed pilots. Another which required preferential hiring for ex-military guys. These were both done away with because companies like Delta didn't want to have to risk hiring riff-raff or ex-enlisted military guys. Of course they still want political consideration and govt contracts.
 
Top