- Robert Isom, chief executive of American Airlines, said Friday that the company has grounded about 100 regional aircraft.
- However, he believes the problem can be “remedied” with appropriate compensation and incentives.
- United Airlines grounded 100 regional planes in December amid a pilot shortage.
The pilot shortage continues to affect US airlines, forcing some to ground planes Because there are not enough pilots to fly it.
American Airlines CEO Robert Isom told participants at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference on Friday that the company has grounded about 100 regional planes due to a shortage of pilots. The news was first reported by Dallas Morning News.
“There is an imbalance in supply and demand at the moment, and it is already within the ranks of the regional carrier,” he said. “We probably have a hundred planes – almost a hundred planes are not in production now, and they don’t fly.”
He explained that the grounded planes are smaller planes of 50 and 76 seats. However, Isom said that the American company made up for the lack of frequencies by flying larger regional aircraft, such as the Embraer 175.
Despite the underpinnings, Isom says the company currently employs 2,000 pilots and believes that “if there are the right incentives and there’s some kind of compensation that draws people into the industry, that’s something that can be addressed.”
Isom’s comments come as the airline industry grapples with a pilot shortage, especially with the busy summer travel season fast approaching. Regional airlines have been particularly affected as their pilots move to larger airlines.
Mesa Airlines CEO Jonathan Ornstein He told CNBC In May, it took about four months to replace a pilot who was put on a two-week deadline to fly to a larger airline, and Mesa needed “about 200 pilots”.
While some airlines are reducing their fleet and focusing on laser hiring, one airline is trying to change training requirements to get more pilots flying sooner.
In April, Republic Airways, which flies on behalf of Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American, asked a question. Federal Aviation Administration To obtain permission to hire pilots from its training academy, LIFT. Right now, most pilots need 1,500 hours to be hired by an airline, but Republic wants to cut that in half to 750 hours.
“Republic is not proposing to abolish the 1,500-hour rule or impair safety; on the contrary, we are proposing a more intensive, mission-specific training pathway similar to what is permitted for military pilots under current law,” Republic CEO Bryan Bedford said. Statement sent to Insider.
He stressed the importance of safety, and that the proposal is a data-backed “pathway” that would “produce higher-performance pilots while reducing significant economic barriers to enable more diversity in our cockpits.”
There are actually some exceptions in place that allow pilots to be hired with less training time. Specifically, those with two- or four-year college degrees can be employed with 1250 and 1,000 hours respectively.
The American is not the only grounding plane for airlines. in December, United Airlines has announced that it will ground 100 regional aircraft Amidst the shortage of pilots.
“The shortage of pilots in the industry is real, and most airlines simply won’t be able to meet their capacity plans because there simply aren’t enough pilots, at least not for the next five years or more,” United CEO Scott Kirby said in a quarterly earnings call. annual in April, CNBC reported.
Shortages have worsened during the pandemic when the industry has lost thousands of pilots to early retirement, and carriers expect supply to continue to drop as the mandatory retirement age of 65 is reached, according to the Dallas Morning News.
To keep more pilots flying for longer, Senator Lindsey Graham (Republika Srpska) might propose a bill that would increase the retirement age to 67, According to Aviation Weekly.
“Visually reducing the number of required flight hours might seem a riskier approach than allowing a healthy pilot to continue flying for a few more years,” Henry Hartfeldt, a travel analyst and head of the Atmospheric Research Group, previously told Insider.
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