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2022.04.26 飞行员短缺将使美国的航空公司受到冲击

发表于 2022-4-27 23:52:36 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式

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Daily chart
Pilot shortages will buffet America’s airlines
The lack of staff makes it harder to keep up with rebounding demand
Apr 26th 2022

Imagine booking a flight from San Francisco, California to Atlantic City, New Jersey. But instead of landing ten miles (16 km) from the coastal resort, the plane touches down some 60 miles inland, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The remainder of the journey must be completed by bus. That is the solution that American Airlines, the country’s largest carrier, will put in place from June to overcome a shortage of pilots.

The number of airline pilots in America peaked at 84,520 in 2019, according to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS). But at the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, many of them took early retirement or voluntary redundancy. The number of pilots employed has dropped by 4% since that pre-pandemic peak. American Airlines has said that one-third of its 15,000 pilots will retire within the next seven years (pilots are obliged to do so at the age of 65). Largely because of these departures, the BLS expects that America will need 14,500 new pilots every year over the next decade. Data from the Federal Aviation Administration, the industry’s national regulator, show that half of all pilots licensed to fly for airlines are within 15 years of retirement age.

The staff shortage is hampering airlines’ ability to match demand. As the pandemic recedes, passenger numbers are at last rebounding. The number of travellers passing through airport security is now close to its level in 2019. In the seven days to April 24th, 14.5m people were checked at security, just 11% fewer than in the corresponding week three years before. Airline ticket sales are just 15% lower than in 2019, according to the Airlines Reporting Corporation, a data provider.

Still, lucrative corporate bookings are yet to take off: sales remain one-third lower. The turbulent price of jet fuel is also depressing company earnings. And employment costs have risen in response to staff shortages. The annual salary of the average airline pilot in America is up by 30% compared with five years ago, to $200,000. It is now America’s highest-paid profession after medicine. It is also the most distinctly male and white job outside logging: nine in ten pilots are white men. In hiring too, airlines would do well to spread their wings.





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