2 APRIL 2018
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Pilots’ lobbying organisation the European Cockpit Association last week slapped down suggestions of a shortage in the profession in Europe, saying media headlines and rumours were misrepresenting the situation.
In a discussion paper on the subject, the group said: “To date in Europe, there is no evidence for a deficit in pilot numbers.” Rather, it said, there was a large pool of licence holders either unemployed or unable to find flying jobs providing a reasonable lifestyle.
The ECA said lack of data from relevant authorities made it difficult to track the total number of European licence holders vs actively flying pilots but “pilot supply exceeds the number of jobs needing to be filled, has done for decades, and shows no sign of restriction”.
The association said thousands of European pilots had gone abroad as expats to find acceptable terms and conditions. Thousands completed basic training but then looked at starting conditions in airlines and concluded they were better off in another job or sector.
“There are large numbers of available licensed pilots who are deterred from filling available positions, and they are ready to be recruited by any operator wishing actively to do so – under the right conditions,” the paper concluded.
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