COVID-19’s Impact on Pilot Demand
COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the aviation industry, however, history shows us that these times will not last, and we are sure that travel demand, and the demand for pilots, will return and return quickly. Over the last 50 years, there have been several economic crises that effected aviation, including the 9/11 attacks, SARS and the global financial crisis of 2008. In every case, airline growth not only returned to previous numbers within 1-3 years, but accelerated afterwards, doubling in size every 15 years. COVID-19 is expected to be no different, with travel expected to return to prior levels in late 2021.
In addition to the overall recovery of travel demand, due to the impact of COVID-19 forcing airlines to encourage early retirement from their pilots, the resulting impact on pilot demand and the pilot shortage may be greater than it would have otherwise been. As training to become a commercial airline pilot takes at least 2 years in the U.S., AeroGuard students in training are poised to be well positioned on the front end of this hiring curve when airline travel returns.