Living the dream? Post-pandemic pilot market

No Comments

“BM8LT Cleared for Landing rwy 15 !” On 22 February 2020 it was the last time that I heard this sentence. 

This is an article published by the European Cockpit Association (ECA) on their website, providing some interesting views of what most of Europe’s pilots have to endure in this pandemic.

My Name is Marco and I was a First Officer flying on Boeing 737. I lost my job because of the COVID crisis. Today, I not only struggle to find a job in the aviation industry, but it seems that having a pilot licence makes me unsuitable for other jobs as well. 

Already before the pandemic, finding a job as a pilot was a challenge where you had to be ready to invest and gamble your savings into a type rating or a Pay-to-fly scheme . Today, even this is not going to help you into a job. I have been looking for a job as a First Officer for months now. But so far, I’m only dreaming about my last flight. 

The goal is to restart my career in aviation but as many of my fellow unemployed pilots know – it is not so easy:  too few job openings, too high job requirements and too many unemployed colleagues competing for the few positions that pop up. 

The aviation market has slowed down so much that over 50% of the pilots haven’t been flying at times. Old and new companies failed or simply left a lot of pilots without a job.

Almost two years into the pandemic the situation on the European pilot job market is dramatic! Almost every day there is an article about “the pilot shortage” in the US and how US airlines are ramping up operations and recruiting new pilots.