Real Answers from Real Pilots

Will the pilot shortage be worse 5 years from now?

So with everything going on now, do you guys think this will make the pilot shortage worse? Students dropping out, retirements, attrition, etc.


I haven’t heard about “students dropping” out, but while the pandemic has given the airlines a break in the shortage, it’s fine nothing to address it. In fact if anything it’s made it worse. The number one action the airlines have done to mitigate furloughs is early retirements. They’ve actually sped up the process by having many eligible pilots retire now rather than spreading it out over a period of time. When the airlines recover they will be short on bodies.

The real question is how long will it take?



Let’s be clear, this is just my guess and nothing more, but I think that we will have a pilot surplus for a few years, which will quickly delve back into a shortage. We are a society that likes to travel and as such, that means there will be a need for pilots. With some people postponing their training now, or deciding to do other things all together, this could make the shortage worse when things pick back up again.


Saw this article recently that echos what my expectations are - I think yes, it will definitely be worse in 5 years than it would have otherwise.


Thank you for posting that article. I agree.