Pilot Shortages Could Make Travel Harder For Americans

The travel season is picking up. With summer approaching and after various restrictions throughout 2020 and 2021, many Americans are ready to get back to their regular lives.

This means that flights are being booked quickly. There’s more of a demand than there’s been in a while for travel. However, the air travel industry still has some kinks it needs to iron out.

Last year, and even during the earliest parts of this year, mass flight cancellations occurred. Some of this was due to weather problems and workers calling in sick with COVID.

There are also rumors that in 2021, COVID vaccine mandates and the protests against them played a significant role in flight cancellations.

Unfortunately, as the public gets back to travel this year, there may be some complications along the way. One of the strongest drivers of these complication will be shortages of pilots, according to Newsmax.

Another Problem For Airlines and Travelers

Since at least 2020, there have been way more pilots leaving airlines than coming on board. With demand for travel roaring back, the difference is now starting to catch up to airlines.

Part of the reason for so many departures has to do with retirements and a decline in people being trained to work as pilots in the first place.

Needless to say, this doesn’t bode well for airlines or the travelers relying upon them to reach their destinations.

This is one huge reason why pilots may soon see the age limit on their service raised to 67 from 65. On top of this, there are reports that limitations on the hours that pilots can work may be rolled back.

Scott Kirby, the CEO of United Airlines, recently stressed how seriously this shortage is impacting airlines. Kirby mentioned that because of this shortage, the coming five years will be difficult.

Damage Control From Airlines

As a result of pilot shortages, airlines are doing all they can to offset this problem so they don’t lose money from having to cancel flights.

Reports indicate that as many as 12,000 pilots could be hired this year. This would mark an over 100% increase from the number of pilots that were brought on board back in 2021.

After having to cancel so many flights not too long ago, airlines will be seriously dodging a bullet if they’re able to avoid new rounds of cancellations because of the shortages of pilots.

Time will ultimately tell whether or not travelers see major disruptions in their flights because of all these problems being faced by airlines.

Are you concerned about how pilot shortages could impact the plans of travelers going forward? Let us know in the comments area below if you think airlines can beat back this problem before it gets out of control.