How long will the pilot shortage last?


How long will the pilot shortage last? A lot of people are saying that in 3-5 years there will be enough pilots in regional and major airlines that it will be hard for pilots to get hired after 2024. And even if they get hired at a regional, it will be very hard to get promotion fast and it will take them years to get hired at majors because majors will have enough pilots too. I don’t really believe them because they are not experts and not currently in the industry. But will it be hard to get hired at a regional in next 3-5 years? Because it might take me 3-4 years from now to become a pilot so I’m kinda worried now :joy:

1 Like


My resources all say it will last for another 2 decades. Keep in mind that these predictions were made 2-3 years ago, before the CV outbreak. Even considering the affect that CV will have on the industry, I still believe the shortage will continue for the next 15-20 years.

The question that I have for you is, does it really matter? Would you not pursue aviation if there wasn’t a shortage? If so then I think you need to re-evaluate your reasons for wanting to become a professional pilot.




I’m very curious who these “lot of people” are because EVERYONE in this industry is forecasting decades not years. That said the current virus outbreak may show things a little.

Regardless, I’m fascinated why so many people believe there needs to be drastic shortage in order to justify this career? When I was hired 15 years ago there was no shortage of pilots and yes you had to work a little harder to get hired but there will always be attrition and there will always be a need. It just might take a little more than a pulse to get hired and that’s ok.




Most analysts predict that the shortage will last for the foreseeable future. But as Adam said, why do you need a shortage to get into a career? For decades, the airline industry simply had normal hiring practices, jobs were a little more competitive and quite frankly, I think that was a good thing.



I went into aviation in 2007 because I didn’t have the resources or the family situation to become a pilot. I worked on the airports side and saw the expansion boom after the 2008 slow down. Anyone in the industry with any longevity will tell you that you have to learn to flow with the hills and valleys in this business and know what your plan B is. And most of the time the valleys are unexpected. The shortage at the majors is coming, even with the CV scare. It’s in the statistics. In the numbers of retirements through the industry. That is not going to change. If anything, as airlines lean out right now, early retirements will be one of the ways they do so. I just got a heartbreaking text from a really close friend at Delta, telling me that after Tuesday he may never fly an airliner again as early retirements are rolling out. That means that once things are back to normal (as they always become—we aren’t gonna be traveling from place to place on sailboats—let’s be real), those slots will be filled with regional pilots. So where do you think those regional pilots will come from, especially as we are seeing indicators of flight training slowing down across the globe right now? Will it take time to get back up to the days of regionals visiting every flight school in the US and recruiting heavily? Yes. But once they do, are you going to be just getting ready to dip your toes in or are you going to be building your hours to ATP mins.

A lot of my friends and colleagues took a grim perspective on the current state of affairs. A lot of layoffs, furloughs, withdrawn job offers. All of us that are still working are just ready to be told that we have to walk away ourselves for some time. In the meantime, I posted this video for my FB friends. I used to watch it frequently as I was a student and when the going got tough. It’s a good reminder to always have perspective:



Thank you for you response. The shortage wont stop me from becoming a pilot. Just wanted to know more about the shortage.

1 Like


Thank you for your response. That’s absolutely right, you have to work hard to get hired.

1 Like


Thank you for your response. I wont quit just because of the shortage. Just gathering some information.

1 Like


Thank you for your response and all the helpful information. The video was great and very motivational. Honestly I needed that. Thanks again.