SURVEY: Half of world’s pilots grounded

(PHOTO: Goose & FlightGlobal)

Use this oneMore than half of the world’s airline pilots are no longer flying for a living as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on aviation, according to a global survey of the profession. The Pilot Survey 2021, carried out by specialist aviation and pilot recruitment agency GOOSE with aviation publisher FlightGlobal, captures the devastating effect the pandemic has had on airline pilots, with 30 percent describing themselves as currently unemployed, and a further 17 percent furloughed. In addition, 6 percent say they are employed in aviation in a non-flying role. Another 4 percent are working, but in another industry, leaving just 43 percent of pilots doing the job for which they trained.

Download the survey here.

The poll of almost 2,600 flight crew paints a picture of a community devastated economically and psychologically by the pandemic. Of those who identify as unemployed, two-thirds say they are actively looking for a new position as a pilot. In normal times, a high number of job-seekers might indicate a buoyant jobs market. However, the opposite is the case. Only 3 percent are currently in an interview process, and more than eight in 10 say they would happily take a pay cut for a new cockpit opportunity.

The online report comes 12 months after a previous survey by GOOSE and FlightGlobal revealed that pilots, though admitting occasional challenges of stress and achieving a better work-life balance, were enjoying a strong global demand for their services. The latest survey, carried out during October 2020, polled pilots flying in every region of the world. It also covers questions such as how valued pilots feel by their employer, whether pilots would recommend their career to young people, and when pilots think the recovery in the market will come.

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