Just something I thought of. Is there any possibility that the regionals require a 4 year degree after this is all over? I know it all depends on demand most likely, but if demand is slightly reduced, then regionals would be allowed to be more competitive in hiring, right? Kind of like how atp is no longer giving their students the guaranteed CFI job, but they will still hire CFIs if they did very well in training. Regionals could be picky and require that degree like the majors. Is this a possibility or is it unlikely that they change their ways of selecting pilots to hire?
The pilot shortage was a relatively new phenomenon. In the past before the shortage it was very competitive to get hired at the Regionals and they never required one. Frankly I don’t see that changing. That said should the Majors choose to absorb the Regionals (which I also don’t see happening) that could be a possibility.
A degree has never been a requirement at the regionals, even when the jobs were far more competitive. I do not see a degree becoming a requirement again. Prior to the pilot shortage, the regionals looked at total flight time, quality of flight time and quality of training. These things will matter again. This means that it is not just a race to 1,500 hours, but that things like multi-engine time and having your ATP-CTP complete will be great resume builders. Qualifications will matter again, I think that is a good thing.
You have to remember that Supply and Demand have 2 factors. Yes Demand for pilots may drop in the regionals (or maybe not since the majors will still have plenty of retirements and growth will should eventually return), but will Supply of newly minted 1500 also drop due to COVID-19? Will the mid-career adult who still has a job (like military officers, accountants, computer programs, etc.) who want to be pilots leave their jobs for an industry they see is getting decimated at the moment? How about a college freshmen or high school senior, will they start their studies in aviation or a more stable industry? I think that Supply will also go down…and in my opinion will go down even more than the Demand for pilots will go down. In that case, if anything, in 3, 4 or 5 years, the pilot shortage will even worse due to COVID-19. There are so many unknowns and it is all too early but if the above holds true, new pilots will be in ever bigger demand once you go job hunting in 2-4 years.